We visited the Brighton Gin distillery to film the gin-making action, and interviewed Founder and MD Kathy Caton, and Chief Gin Peddler Ellie Dobing about the business and why they chose to work with Close Brothers.
Kathy Caton, Founder and MD at Brighton Gin
Brighton Gin is not only Brighton's first legal distillery but a multi-award-winning small batch super premium gin, made with organic wheat spirit, hand peeled fruit, juniper and milk thistle to apologize to your liver. It's a great handmade gin.
Ellie Dobing, Chief Gin Peddler at Brighton Gin
From peeling the fruit to waxing and labelling the bottles we do it all by hand, and it's the kind of stuff we want to have and drink so, you know, why not share that?
It went from a moment of inspiration on Brighton seafront, of wanting to create a gin for Brighton, then led into actual years of experimenting and refining the process.
We went from the kitchen table to the basement of a pub in Hove called ‘The Urchin’ and then we finally moved here, which is fantastic, bigger premises, you know we've got the whole distillery here. Like loads of small businesses starting out, cash flow is a major issue and can be the downfall of a lot of new businesses.
And having bootstrapped ourselves for the first few years, and absolutely bootstrapping, sold my car, remortgaged my flat, all of that kind of thing, actually in order to be able to take the next leap onwards, working with Close Brothers has really freed up our cash flow and let us do things like give people jobs and buy kit and really ramp up our production.
We've used invoice financing to help us get over our biggest hurdle which is all to do with cash flow, and as our customers have grown their terms get more onerous, we want to work with them because we really want to get this gin that we absolutely love and make with such care and passion out to the world, but also all of our costs are upfront so that really helps bridge that gap.
On a day to day basis it's fantastic I can pick up the phone, find out what's going on with a particular client, ask a question, there's always somebody there to help, it's been really useful and transformed how we can do business here.
One of the things that we've done with Close Brothers is a tasting session, we talked about Brighton Gin and got people having a few gin & tonics and a natter, that's been a fantastic experience, to go and directly engage people and go, okay, actually there's a team of people working here, they've all tried Brighton Gin and seem to like it, that's a good thing!
We're hoping to just grow and grow in much the same way that we have been doing and it would be great if Close Brothers were alongside us while we're doing that, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be.