The Alchemist Cocktails comes out on top

The Alchemist Cocktails comes out on top

A young Scottish entrepreneur has been crowned ‘Start-up of the Year’ for her innovative travelling cocktail bar.

Kirsty Gurr, from Dunbar, received the accolade at the Start Up Loan Company Awards 2016.

Previously employed by Pret a Manger and inspired to become self-employed by her father, 24-year-old Kirsty spotted a gap in the market and founded The Alchemist Cocktails in May this year, serving a range of vintage-themed cocktails from a customised 1979 Renault Estafette van in Dunbar Harbour.

In just six months, her business has gone from strength-to-strength and her mobile cocktail business is now a regular fixture at public events around Scotland, including East Linton Gala, The Edinburgh Wedding Exhibition, music festivals and golfing events.

31 delivery partners were asked to nominate the most creative, innovative and ambitious new business that they had supported in 2016.

Kirsty’s business was nominated by Transmit Start-Ups and was the 1,000th venture supported by a start-up loan from the company.

Kirsty Gurr said: "This year has been a complete whirlwind for me. There really is no challenge quite like starting up your own business, but every bit of effort has been worth it!

"To win start-up of the year is amazing. It feels like I’ve hit another milestone and I’m already looking forward to what 2017 will bring."

Tim Sawyer, CEO of Start Up Loans Company, added: "This has been a record year for us. We’ve now lent over £250 million to fledgling business owners, meaning the competition at this year’s awards was fiercer than ever.

"Kirsty has a great start-up story. Her journey as a business owner has not been easy, but she has worked hard to overcome the challenges and this really came across in her nomination. We look forward to tracking her progress across the coming year."