Highland Liquor Company of Ullapool doubles the workforce after a seven-fold rise in revenue


Bulletin of Industry

Despite volatile market conditions, the Highland Liquor Company has posted a seven-fold revenue rise over the last twelve months.

The company, based in the town of Ullapool in the northwest Highlands, has benefited from strong customer sales, new product releases and the opening of a new store to succeed in the tough trading conditions of 2020.

The Highland Liquor Company is best known for its batch-distilled Seven Crofts and Fisherman’s Strength gins, owned by Robert Hicks and Helen Chalmers, and has gained praise from some of the best-known bars in the world.

Robert and Helen were able to expand their online direct sales and distribution through specialist retailers such as Harvey Nichols and a strong range of distributors with the introduction of the corona virus and the closing of the pub trade.

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Highland Liquor Company opened its own bottle shop at 26 West Argyle Street in Ullapool in September.

These innovations also contributed to a doubling of the company’s staff from three workers to six full-time positions in 2019.

Ms. Chalmers said, “For so many companies, this was an incredibly challenging year. We really appreciate our work with the hospitality industry and it was particularly awful to see the closures in such a creative and energetic industry. During this time, we are fortunate to have been able to maintain and even increase sales, but most of all, we are proud to have received incredibly broad recognition.”

“We were pleased to be named Newcomer of the Year at the World Gin Awards and the Scottish Gin Awards later on. Like so many others, we are looking forward to 2021 and welcoming our hospitality industry mates back.

Paul Campbell’s picture.

The company was also able to provide local front-line workers with free hand sanitizer this year and to resell the sanitizer as well.

In 2018, the company was formed by Ms. Chalmers and Mr. Hicks. Over 96 recipes were tried along with Head Distiller Ben Thompson before the Seven Crofts recipe was mastered. In small, copper stills, the gin is distilled batch by batch.

“In October, the latest release, Seven Crofts Gin’s Marine Strength bottling, Fisherman’s Strength, was launched. Both gins celebrate the origins of Ullapool’s traditional fishing culture. At the 2020 World Gin Awards, Seven Crofts Gin was called “Best Newcomer” at the Scottish Gin Awards and “Best New Launch Concept,” making it the only Scottish company to win the awards.

In addition to Seven Crofts and Seven Crofts Fisherman’s Strength, the distillery also produces Experimental Gins and The Ullapool Gin in a limited edition, which is only available on site or via the online store of the Highland Liquor Company.

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