A Staffordshire gin distillery is targeting international growth after launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise £300,000.
Nelson’s Distillery, based in Uttoxeter, was formed five years ago by former chef turned master distiller Neil Harrison.
Since then the award-winning company has become well-known for its popular gin and vodka schools and today has five schools across the UK and Asia.
It has also signed four new contracts with Hilton and Clayton Hotels to launch further gin schools – three in the UK and one in Asia – in 2021.
Now Nelson’s Distillery has launched a crowdfunding campaign as part of its plans for international expansion.
Founder Neil Harrison said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people seeking to be part of an exciting adventure, backing a British company to not only continue its growth domestically but also enhance its standing on the international stage.
“In terms of business growth, the pace has really gathered over the last two years and we have plans to open four further schools in the UK and Asia in 2021.
“The investment raised will help build on the success we have enjoyed in the last two years, creating innovative new product launches, increasing the number of gin and vodka schools across the UK and beyond and developing our industry-first franchise offering.”
Neil added: “We have a strong and loyal community of gin lovers who enjoy the Nelson’s products and we have had more than 8,000 people alone attend one of our gin schools in the UK.
“We want to invite those people and more to be part of the ongoing success story and reap the rewards of our ambitions.
“There are predictions that the gin industry will continue to grow at a fast rate during the coming years and our desire is for Nelson’s Distillery and School to be at the heart of that expansion.”
Nelson’s Distillery and School – which is based at Grindley Business Village – produces a range of gin, vodka and rum and supplies its products to selected bars and restaurants across the country as well as UK stockists including Waitrose, Fortnum & Mason and several independents.
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CEO Mark Chambers said: “With our investment in e-commerce we’ve already witnessed a 377 per cent growth in online sales in 2020 and we’ve built a unique franchise business model to take out into the UK and further afield into Asia. However, at the core of what we do is our passion for R&D (research and development) into innovative products. We’re always pushing the boundaries.”
He added: “We’ve invested in the business, we’ve built a solid platform for growth and now it’s all about the execution.”
The campaign – on Crowdcube – has already raised almost £170,000 from more than 170 investors, and donations are still being accepted.
Individuals can donate as little as £13.30, and each investor will receive equity in the business as well as access to a rewards gift scheme including specially-created craft spirits, gin and vodka school vouchers and the opportunity to attend shareholder meetings in the Philippines.
For more information about the crowdfunding campaign, visit the company website.