Gin has become the drink of choice lately, and one Yorkshire business in particular has made the most of its popularity – Whittaker’s Gin Distillery. Toby Whittaker, the creator, has made strong progress with his business over the past 18 months. He’s currently got five people on his team and has even ventured overseas to give Switzerland a taste of what this Harrogate-based gin has to offer.
Ready when the time is right
It was back in February when Toby first came to Y&NY Growth Hub. We’ve been with him over the past few months, ready to help when the time was right for him. As a manufacturer, Toby has a busy schedule and not a lot of time to spare for people trying to sell something. We keep track of what funding and support is available for businesses, and are ready to share it with you when you’re ready for it. Toby said, “this continuity has really helped us. It’s a good reminder to make ambitions a reality”.
Once Toby had some space in his diary, we introduced him to the Department for International Trade, as he was interested in the potential benefits of exporting. Along with their contacts in the UK, Deliciously Yorkshire (where Toby’s a member) also introduced him to Switzerland’s Department for International Trade. The UK and Swiss contacts co-ordinated and helped Toby to get a palette of gin over to Switzerland. Although a first time exporter, Toby now has his products in a high profile department store that he described as the “Harrods of Switzerland”.
Continuing the growth journey
The growth for Whittaker’s Gin Distillery doesn’t end there either. When we caught up with Toby, he told us that thanks to following our advice, he contacted the Department for International Trade who recommended a trade mission to Germany in October. Toby is also planning to apply for funding from their Exporting for Growth Programme – a grant for up to £2,000 that’s available in York, Selby, Craven, Harrogate and East Riding. With this, Toby would have financial support to visit the target country and pay for accommodation, coverage of fees to exhibitions and much more.
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