Ellon Gin is a drinks brand that continues to grow and flourish.
So much so that owner Kieren Murphy recently took the decision to quit his job as a retail store manager and concentrate on the business full-time.
Dad-of-one Mr Murphy currently produces three flavours of gin liqueur – strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb and lemon.
The bottles are stocked by 10 shops including Greens of Ellon, Barrels and Botanicals in Turriff, Inverurie Whisky Shop and Aberdeen Whisky shop.
It was in November 2018 that Mr Murphy started to think about how he could make his own gin liqueur and came up with the idea of trying strawberries.
He said: “A number of years ago I fell in love with the science behind making alcohol when making cider.
“This followed shortly by a keen interest in distilling. From this love Ellon Gin was born.”
It was December 2019 that Mr Murphy, along with his fiancée Steph Edwards, attended their first selling event at Thainstone Christmas Market.
Now 20 months on, the product is also available online and Mr Murphy is concentrating on developing new products in his full-time role.
He said: “I guess there is never the perfect time to leave a full time job and become self-employed, however, there may have been no better time than now.
“With the business growing it was becoming harder and harder to manage my full-time job and my side hustle.
“So after a short holiday from work with plenty time to collect my thoughts, I decided to hand in my notice.
“I have worked in retail since I was 16 with a short spell in oil and gas during university and an even shorter spell in construction after university.
“During all my working life my goal was always to run my own business, a dream of mine is to run a number of businesses.”
When Covid-19 hit it meant the end of craft fairs and events, which forced Mr Murphy to come up with other ways of selling including launching an online shop.
He said: “In January 2020 we planned markets, events and loads of way to sell direct to our customers. Unfortunately due to the pandemic all our events were cancelled. I was working in retail at that time and my partner was looking after our new born son Hamish.
“We took the decision to slow down the business at the start of the pandemic. During Summer 2020 we started to sell to direct to shops throughout the north east and we are now working on increasing that number.
“Without moving into selling directly to shops we may have not made it through the pandemic. Now that everything is opening up we have been able to get back to markets and events, plus online and wholesale.
“Here at Ellon Gin, creating liqueurs that are pure has always been our clear vision. From the moment we began, the key to our success has been using the highest premium gin and the best quality fruit we can source.
“It is with pride that we produce liqueurs with no chemicals, additives, preservatives or nasties.”
Mr Murphy is now looking towards expanding his business and new premises in Ellon.
He said: “In the short term we have a number of new products that we will be launching, we are also aiming to get a larger premises in the next couple of months.
“In the longer term, we aim to bring out a range of rums, vodkas and whisky.”
Mr Murphy has shown his support for the North East Now campaign, which has made it easy for people to support local firms from a wide range of industries during the pandemic.
He said: “The website is very smooth, not overly cluttered and easy to navigate around.
“It’s really great to see so many local business being promoted.”
For further information on Ellon Gin, visit www.ellongin.com
To find out more about North-East Now, visit www.northeastnow.scot
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