Why is the Isle of Harris Distillery such a good example?


When we visited the Isle of Harris last year, there was one destination that was at the top of the list. We’d been following the Isle of Harris Distillery for a long time, having seen a programme about it some time before. As a new distillery, they were facing a tough time; distilling, bottling and storing their whisky until it could be sold. In those intervening years though, they were doing a VERY good job of distilling and selling a beautiful gin, that we wanted to try! And we weren’t disappointed….

The distillery tour was unique.

We’ve done a few, but this was the first with Harris tweed, jelly beans and such a personal approach. You got a real sense that the business was living its values. The walls were adorned with images of the people we’d seen in the TV programme, locals who had come together to create something for the future.

Fast forward twelve months, and the distillery continues to thrive, winning awards and gaining sales in extraordinary volume.

We’ve kept in touch with them, watching their blogs as we feel a personal connection with the team who are working so hard to create a legacy for the island community, rather than ‘just’ a profit for the shareholders.

I was really pleased then, to see this week that they’re recruiting their first Apprentice!

A youngster from the local community will get the chance to join this close knit team and gain training and experience in all aspects of distilling. What an opportunity!

So why am I talking about this? Yes, it’s a great story, but it shows the power of having a goal beyond profit, and making that the backbone of everything that you do.

The Isle of Harris Distillery has a HUGE fireplace that is always burning, just inside the door of its visitor centre, so that every visitor gets a truly warm welcome. It has re-engineered the Distillery visit to ensure that theirs is memorable in so many ways. And now it is going every further to ensure that the local community gets the chance to benefit from its success.

If you’re looking for an example of how to make your business stand for more than just profit, which will help to bind your customers and clients to you, they are a fine place to start.

You can find out more about this story here.

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