Entrepreneur’s toast to success
Craft gin creator wins £65k prize
A Kirkcudbright entrepreneur planning a new craft gin company and distillery in the town is toasting success after winning a top innovation prize.
Andrew Clark Hutchison scooped the £65,000 inaugural Guy & Cocreation Award with his Dark Art Gin idea.
The former banker, who spent 12 years of his career specialising in the food and drink sector, was “delighted” with his win.
Mr Hutchison developed his own–brand gin proposal after taking voluntary redundancy from Lloyds Bank.
He said: “This fantastic award will enable us to establish a long-term relationship with the innovative creative and research agency, Guy & Co.
“We look forward to working with their brilliant team in creating an imaginative and inspiring brand strategy for Dark Art Gin, as well as bringing the whole project to life and fulfilling its exciting and ambitious plans.”
The award was launched by Edinburgh creative and research agency Guy & Co to help innovative Scottish food and drink businesses turn great ideas into winning brands.
Former Scotland Food and Drink chief executive Paul McLaughlin was one of the judges.
He said: “I saw a real vision from Andrew Clark Hutchison with Dark Art Gin.
“His was a compelling story of the brand and its home in Kirkcudbright.
“The distillery and visitor centre he is creating, coupled with his funding, drive and exporting ambitions make this a real product to watch.”
The Dark Art Gin distillery, visitor experience and shop will be housed in two former classrooms of the former Johnston Primary School.
Renovation work will start next spring, with an opening later in the year. Dark Art Gin will launch with two as yet unnamed gins – a core dry gin and a Navy strength gin.
The distillery also aims to produce other spirits such as vodka.
The fledgling company will now benefit from the prize package from Guy & Co services including brand planning, consumer testing, website, packaging design and artwork.
Mr Hutchison is the fifth generation of his family to live and work in Kirkcudbright.
Toasting his success Andrew Clark Hutchison at the former Johnston School building where his gin firm will be based
Gin entrepreneur Andrew Clark Hutchison