Award Winning Artisan Drinks Manufacturer Welcomes Further Growth Thanks To Mallusk Enterprise ParkExcalibur Press Newsroom
A local artisan drinks manufacturer is set to open a second location of its successful Gin School in the trendy Cathedral Quarter bar, The Thirsty Goat next month, after receiving support from Mallusk Enterprise Park to grow and diversify their business.
Belfast Artisan Distillery Gin is a refreshing and smooth Premium London Dry Gin with a local twist stocked in over 140 outlets across Northern Ireland including leading convenience stores and popular city centre bars. It has recently launched two sister companies, Belfast Artisan Gin School and Belfast Artisan Distillery Tours.
Founders Robert Borne and Jo Davison set up their business in the busy Newtownabbey based Enterprise Park in 2017 and have since developed the downstairs space into a manufacturing and bottling zone and a private bar upstairs to welcome both new and existing customers in.
Set up in 1992 to support new and established entrepreneurs, Mallusk Enterprise Park has enabled the passionate team behind Belfast Artisan Distillery to expand their network and receive essential funding.
Jo Davison, Co-Founder of Belfast Artisan Distillery, said: “Mallusk Enterprise Park provides us with work space for our new distillery in an ideal location. It offers support to tenants and other local businesses with networking and partnership opportunities.
“The support from the MEP team has been great and we have benefitted from both workshops and mentoring which has helped us improve many aspects of our business and has kept us informed about funding opportunities..
“The park is very well managed and offers ongoing support to tenants. Their charitable status as a social enterprise meaning any surplus profits made through their property rental and funded programmes are reinvested back into the local community via free advice and support to individuals considering self-employment.”
Emma Garrett, Chief Executive, Mallusk Enterprise Park added: “Jo, Robert and Ian Perry the distiller are passionate about their products, and this is transparent through their continued success.
“The Enterprise Park offers much more than bricks and mortar to start-up companies like this, we pride ourselves in providing wrap-around support to our small business community.”
In November 2021 the company opened its doors to its first edition of their Gin School venture located above the Crown & Shamrock Inn in Newtownabbey, offering guests the opportunity to make and distil their own bespoke gin choosing from over 80 botanicals.
“The Gin School at the Crown & Shamrock is an immersive visitor experience in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough that will attract visitors from the local area, across NI, ROI and hopefully as travel restrictions lift, the whole of the UK and beyond,” explained Jo.
Their great tasting premium gin and vodka range features two fruit based flavours of gin liqueur and charcoal filtered Irish potato vodka that have taken the local drink awards by storm receiving a series of prestigious titles including 2019 Best Irish Newcomer, 2020 & 2021 Gin Masters Silver Award and 2021 Best Northern Irish London Dry Gin World Gin Awards.
Through additional funding from the Antrim and Newtownabbey Business Growth Programme OPTIMAL, the business owners received one-to-one mentoring which accelerated the business’ trajectory.
“Mallusk Enterprise Park’s focus is on supporting indigenous businesses” said Iain Patterson, Chairman, Mallusk Enterprise Park, adding: “Our extensive property waiting list is testament to the support provided by Emma and her team in MEP.
“It really is the location of choice to start and grow a business in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough.”
Jo said that working on the Optimal programme has been “fantastic” for Belfast Artisan Distillery Gin.
She added: “I worked with Miriam Stevenson as a mentor and have learned so many new skills and techniques that have moved our business forward.
“We have designed new websites, vastly improved our online presence and social media and now have an online shop which allows us to sell our products across NI, ROI and the UK. I cannot praise the Optimal programme enough and would highly recommend it,” said Jo.