An artisan gin business has taken its product from a home distillery in Didsbury to the shelves of Harvey Nichols and the pages of Vogue, using a £20,000 BFS loan.
Gin enthusiasts Liam Manton and Mark Smallwood took their inspiration for Didsbury Gin from the botanical gardens of Fletcher Moss & Parsonage, which were given to the village of Didsbury by Alderman Fletcher Moss. From an initial experiment in the back room of Liam’s Didsbury home and after securing finance from BFS in February 2017, Didsbury Gin has now taken the drinks market by storm, with distribution in Harvey Nichols and Selfridges and salutations from British Vogue, who recently hailed it “one of the most exciting new British gin brands.”
Now handcrafted in an eco-friendly copper in batches of just ten bottles, the flavours of the gin are inspired by the plants and flowers of the eponymous gardens, combining a blend of botanicals, fresh grapefruit, orange, lime and lemon peels, underpinned by British roots and aromas.
Liam and Mark went on to launch a limited edition Christmas Gin, which sold out in a day and plan to develop more flavoured gins. Other goals for 2018 include securing additional investment to expand the brand, growing stockists numbers and embarking on a period of domestic and overseas growth in 2018. Liam and Mark will also be growing their team with two new sales roles this year and looking at how they can train young people as they grow their hospitality offer
Liam said: “Working with BFS in our first year was great - they helped us sense check our business plan, challenged us in areas where we needed to expand our knowledge and have linked us in with the Business Growth Hub who are helping us with our growth aspirations. Without the Start-Up Loan, we’d quite simply not be on this journey today.”