14 months of planning
From the time we decided to throw our hats in the ring officially to the time we eventually had our first bottles on shelves was about 14 months. This included moving away to gain practical experience, designing our packaging, building our business plan and model, scraping together all the funds we could and designing our flavour profile for our signature gin. As a new company, we knew that these initial stages of development were going to be critical to our success.
We were lucky enough to have recognised growth in the gin category and also an increased interest in locally produced products. This paired with the growth of small-batch local distillation that was starting to gain more and more momentum globally helped us take the leap of faith and throw everything we had into getting a company started. We were in no way financially capable of fronting the sort of money necessary to build a distillery from scratch. This left us with two options. We could either wait and save money to buy a still and rent a place to put it or we could approach Applewood Distillery and ask to organise a contract distillation arrangement. If we waited to save enough money we would have missed the crucial timing that was upon us.
At this stage, Kangaroo Island Spirits were on the market and had been for an extended period of time. Adelaide Hills Distillery was just about to launch and Applewood was hot on their heels. We were poised to be part of this first wave of South Australian Gins to hit the market. We had heard whispers of others catching on to what was happening as well. We knew Settlers Spirits were not far from releasing and that there would be more to come.
As soon as we had organised a means of production we had to move fast, time was of the essence as they say. We decided on bottles and corks and ordered them as soon as possible. We had refined the recipe over time so we knew what we needed. Extensive research went into where to source the best botanicals from. The original label design was created whilst teaching ourselves how to use the program to design it. We eventually had everything together and so we booked in our first run, made up our first batch of botanicals and eagerly arrived at the distillery to do our first run. Everything went well, the gin tasted good. Finally, we were away.
– David Danby