Eden Mill is a Scottish distillery in St Andrews specialising in beer, gin and soon whisky too. Set up in 2012 by entrepreneur Paul Miller, alongside a team of three, the firm grew in numbers and welcomed a huge footfall of international visitors. This popularity with tourists encouraged the firm to enter foreign markets, and it now exports products to China, the USA, Japan, Germany and Portugal. Paul caught up with BQ to tell us more…
In 2012 Paul Miller and a team of three began Eden Mill, a distillery specialising in beer, gin and whisky, on an old, derelict site in St Andrews. The idea came about when Paul’s boss, and owner of the largest distillery in the world, was playing golf in the area and asked where the nearest distillery or brewery was.
“He was amazed to find that it was over an hour away and thus the seed was sown to craft alcoholic drinks near the famous town,” says Paul.
Four years on, the company now exports to China, the USA, Japan, Germany and Portugal.
“At Eden Mill, we seek to revive the lost art of distilling and brewing in St Andrews,” Paul explains.
“We are Scotland's first single-site distillery and brewery, making beer, whisky and gin. Our gins are created in copper pot-stills, and exhibit a wide range of flavours from botanicals sourced from the local area, as well as from around the world.
“Eden Mill’s unique location means that it has been visited by over 60 different nationalities in its four-year existence, providing a great platform for global brand awareness.”
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The distillery decided to embark on its exporting venture in 2013, with support from Scottish Development International, after seeing over 20,000 tour visitors from over 60 countries visit the distillery each year.
According to Paul, the easiest part of exporting is: “Researching the market, selling the proposition. The travel is fun of course too.”
However, he notes that exporters can face a range of difficulties too, including paperwork and compliance issues for non-EU markets.
“At Eden Mill we have a clear focus on understanding and identifying where culture and language understanding can benefit our business,” says Paul.
“An example is in China where we have two Mandarin language speakers and communicate our brand messages in an appropriate tone via local social media (WeChat) rather than Facebook and Twitter, which are more common in Western markets.”
Alongside being aware of cultural and language barriers, Paul also urges budding exporters to take in as much advice as possible.
“Listen to lots of people who have done it,” he suggests. “Take time to do the homework and ensure that you have good reason for selecting your priority markets.”
With a successful string of key markets already firmly under its belt, Paul is now looking to build on Eden Mill’s core platform by adding geographies including Asian markets in Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand, major European markets in Spain and France, plus entering the Canadian market.
The distillery will also be launching its first single malt whisky in early 2018 and a unique blended whisky range from November 2016.
Exporting and international trade remain high on the Scottish Government’s economic growth agenda and the
Scottish Export Awards, in association with Scottish Enterprise, are about recognising the excellence in those emerging, wealth creating companies that are selling their products, services and expertise in scores of overseas markets.
To nominate or book your ticket for the awards, click here.
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