En­tre­pre­neur’s toast to suc­cess

Craft gin cre­ator wins £65k prize

The Galloway News - - FRONT PAGE - Stephen Nor­ris

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

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