Isle of Lewis' The Island Spirit Whisky Shop offering new blend of services after Business Gateway support
The Island Spirit Whisky Shop, founded by Iain Faller, sells high-end Scotch malt whiskies, Scottish artisan gins and other spirits. While initially due to move into new premises in April 2020, Faller adapted his firm in response to Covid-19 with the launch of a delivery service available across the Outer Hebrides and mainland Scotland. This has been accompanied by a series of virtual tasting sessions.
Prior to the pandemic, Faller attended many Business Gateway and DigitalBoost workshops, and has accessed several business start-up services. He said: “I had always dreamt of turning my hobby of collecting whiskies into a business, and after attending 20 Business Gateway workshops, I finally took the plunge.
“While I was not anticipating the current situation, the skills I gained from attending Business Gateway workshops equipped me with the confidence to diversify and utilise social media to advertise and market our business, without having the presence of our high-street shop. I have been overwhelmed with the support and encouragement I have received from the local community and other local businesses.
“The business support grant we applied for has helped keep the business on track with our original plan and prevented us from spending money allocated for stock purposes. Meanwhile, the valuable networking opportunities have led to collaborations with other local businesses, we have adapted our operations over the last few weeks to offer our customers a virtual tasting experience in their own homes.”
Derek Maclean, business adviser at Business Gateway, said: “Over the past two years, Iain has been able to take advantage of a wide variety of services which we offer and it is always rewarding to see someone take the leap and start their own business.
“While the ongoing circumstances are not what anyone could have predicted, it has been brilliant to see how Iain has adapted, with the successful launch of his new service and I look forward to when he can open his shop so that customers can enjoy the experience he offers.”
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