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House of Boe launches first retail outlet

Carlo Valente, Andrew Richardson and Graham Coull

One of the UK’s fastest-growing independent gin and vodka producers, House of Boe, is launching its first bricks and mortar shop as it looks to extend its reach to retail customers.

The company, whose products are distilled in Stirling, sells mainly across the on-trade, in bars and restaurants, as well as the off-trade and online.

Its retail outlet opens in South Queensferry next month overlooking the Forth Bridge and stock will include a limited edition gin.

The company has set an annual group sales target of £10 million for 2022/23 as it emerges from the global pandemic when it was impacted by the closure of bars and other venues. Before Covid-19 its annual turnover was £8.5m.

The majority of its sales are in the UK, but it is also growing in popularity in Spain and plans to target other European and global markets.

The business was launched in 2007 and is run by food and drinks veterans Andrew Richardson, Carlo Valente and Graham Coull, who combine their production, marketing and sales skills.

Mr Richardson, a former executive at The Scotsman newspaper titles and biscuit firm McVities, said: “We have been investing in our business with the launch of new flavoured gins and vodkas and growing our employee numbers.

“We’re now in a strong position to open our first brand home in South Queensferry, in which we have already invested more than £200,000. This a major step for us and a sign of our confidence in future growth. We’re sure locals and visitors to the area will see our venue as a destination of choice.

“We have grown quickly over the years from a primarily Scottish to a UK-wide business. We see ourselves as risk takers, willing to stand out from the crowd, hence our move away from craft, with its production focus, to focus on the enjoyment of our drinks and their fit with our consumers’ lifestyles.

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“Along with others in the drinks trade we were impacted by the closure of bars, pubs and other venues during the pandemic, but we continued to put money into our business and are now reaping the benefits.

“We’re on track to meet our sales target for next year and have many more exciting developments in the pipeline.”

The business now has a head count of 15, of which 10 are in Scotland and five in England, following a recruitment drive, including the appointment of a sales person to manage relationships with large supermarket chains across the UK. It is taking on a retail manager and other staff for its South Queensferry venue.

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