Whittaker's Gin

Whittaker’s Gin gets a taste for export

It’s Friday evening after a long week at work and you go to the pub – what bottles do you see on the shelves? It’s likely there’s rows upon rows of crisp, clear gin, because Yorkshire beers are no longer the clear winners for the drink of choice.

With gin’s increase in popularity, the number of distilleries in the area have increased and bars are stocking up. One of those bottles you might have spotted is garnished with a simple hare-branded design. This is Whittaker’s Gin, and owner Toby Whittaker has seen a lot of success with his business over the past 18 months.

The problem was, Yorkshire shelves were getting a little crowded for Toby and competition was tough. Toby wanted to make his alcohol the go-to for a G&T, but so did every other distillery owner in the UK. So why not sell gin in a different market instead?

Foreign shores were waiting; but export can be a complex process if you don’t know what help is out there. With only five employees, and most of his time focused on his existing business, Toby needed to make sure that any time he spent on export, was time well spent. So he got in touch with How’s Business, the central point of contact for business support in York, North Yorkshire and East Riding.

How’s Business supports over 4,000 businesses a year by making it simple to understand what business support is available. When a business wants to grow, they can filter through hundreds of different options, present a business with a few, prioritised choices that are right for them, make the necessary introductions and then stay with the business as a constant point of contact they can pick up the phone to.

Now, Whittaker’s gin shouldn’t be pushed back to the dusty corner of a bar, so How’s Business made exporting a priority and introduced Toby to the Department for International Trade. Toby didn’t need to spend hours searching online for the right support, he got to focus on what he loves – keeping glasses topped up with Whittaker’s gin. Now, Toby has his product in a high profile department store that he described as the “Harrods of Switzerland”.

This is just the start of Toby’s journey with How’s Business. They’re always on the side lines, ready when Toby is, which means helping with a trade mission to Germany and moving into new premises. When asked about the support he’s received, Toby said: “I’m delighted with what is available. You don’t expect this level of help and it can actually bring substantial results such as export. It’s catapulted us forward to grow.”

From selling into your local to venturing into Switzerland, this Harrogate-based gin has come a long way in a short time. If you’ve got a thirst to grow your business then get in touch now via support@howsbusiness.org.