Harrogate Distillery eyes China expansion

20 February 2019.'Ward Hadaway at Whittaker's Gin, Dacre Banks.
20 February 2019.'Ward Hadaway at Whittaker's Gin, Dacre Banks.
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A gin producer is to export its spirits to China after sealing a deal with a local distributor.

Harrogate Distillery, which produces Whittaker’s, was established by Toby and Jane Whittaker in 2015.

The North Yorkshire-based firm has a growing collection of small batch gins and spirits distilled in a Yorkshire-made still named Jezebel using natural spring water from Nidderdale.

The distillery produces gin which it sells under its own Whittaker’s brand, as well as Cassis Gin for UK-based department store Fortnum and Mason, and a mulberry flavoured gin for the Harewood Estate.

It recently unveiled plans to expand with the construction of a whiskey distillery and visitor centre which the firm hopes will boost tourism and employment in the region.

The couple have now teamed up with distribution company Lion Exports in a bid to target the Chinese market, including Hong Kong and Macau.

Mr Whittaker said: “We’re delighted to agree this distribution deal with Lion Exports, supported by excellent legal advice from Bill Goodwin and the team at Ward Hadaway.

“We have ambitious plans to grow our overseas market and believe that Lion Exports has the expertise and connections to help boost our sales and increase profits.”

Liam James, of Lion Exports, said: “We believe that the Whittaker’s brand and products are ideally placed to do extremely well in the Chinese market.

“We are confident that our connections in the region, combined with our knowledge of the drinks sector, means that we are the right partner to represent them in this exciting opportunity.”

Legal work for the distribution deal between Harrogate Distillery and Lion Exports was completed by commercial partner Bill Goodwin supported by solicitor Rebecca Whisker of Leeds-based law firm Ward Hadaway.

Mr Goodwin said: “We have been working with Harrogate Distillery from the start providing them with brand protection advice and now legal advice in relation to their export activities. The food and drink sector in Yorkshire is strong and one in which Ward Hadaway are very active, and so it is always pleasing to see a local drinks business like Harrogate Distillery do so well.”