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By Colin Smeeton
An Arran drinks company is to embark on a major expansion programme at its Cladach base.
Arran Botanical Drinks, previously known as Arran Gin Company, is to expand its production and hospitality activities after receiving planning permission from North Ayrshire Council.
One or two shipping containers are to be brought on to the site to allow an expansion of production and add some much-needed storage. These will be clad in local wood, to blend into the site.
On the hospitality side the company plans to host small, regular food pop-ups inside and out.
It also wants to creating bespoke talks and tasting events that are very different for Arran but would include items such as ‘gardeners’ question time’; flower arranging and weaving using local botanicals; showcasing local food and drink producers on Arran and in the west of Scotland which focus on local, sustainable food and drink; and story-telling around Cladach history and nautical themes.
Owner Stuart Fraser explained: ‘As we saw last year – even with the restrictions – there was a surge of staycation traffic coming to Cladach beach to enjoy a tour, tasting or cocktail.
‘We think this year will be even busier, and we want to ensure we maximise the space and the experience. Added to that, we are on a big push to engage with locals and not just the tourist market.
‘We now have the ability to add some space to grow our botanical drinks production; and can develop new experiences such as cocktail classes; more foodie pop-up partnerships; and developing the beach-bar which continues to grow in popularity, with its rustic calm vibe.
‘The outdoor space is paramount to the operation, and Covid has taught everyone how to lean-in to the variable Scottish weather.
‘For many, this fun little beach space rivals anything in the Mediterranean – perhaps not as warm – but definitely as nice!’
The expansion of the company will also see one of its products, Arran Gin, being sold and marketed on the neighbouring islands of Bute and Cumbrae in collaboration with gin producers based there.
The partnership between the three organisations has resulted in a novel package of three 20cl bottles celebrating all three Clyde island gins.
Stuart continued: ‘We got to know the lovely folk at Bute and Cumbrae last year, who, like ourselves, are fortunate to have tasty gins and beautiful coastal locations.
‘I thought it would make sense for Arran, Bute and Cumbrae to work together to celebrate the A,B,C of Clyde island gins, and to encourage visitors to experience and engage with all of us.
‘CalMac is going to be selling the three-packs on their Clyde island routes, and we will be hoping to drive business to each others’ locations as more people staycation and indulge in island-hopping. This is something fun, new and collaborative for the brands and their gin fans.’
Arran Botanical Drinks can be contacted on 01770 302513 or by email at email@example.com.
Bookings can also be made for bespoke cocktail parties for groups of up to 20 people and tasting experiences, and cocktail classes, are also available.