Borders-based Valentian Vermouth serving up expansion plans on back of crowdfunder

Spirits brand Valentian Vermouth has started surveying locations for a new Borders headquarters after raising £120,000 via a crowdfunder that hit its target in two days.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 4:45 pm

More than 170 investors decanted funds into the campaign on Crowdcube, which was launched to finance a new brand home, new hires, and the development of new products expected next year.

Since the deal concluded in August, brothers Dominic and David Tait, the duo behind the brand’s owner Tait Bros, have been earmarking several locations around the Borders and launched a feasibility study into a preferred site near Melrose.

The plans – initially unveiled earlier this year – include facilities for small-batch production, as well as a licensed bar, taproom, and experimentation studio. Valentian Vermouth has also made its first hire, with a sales executive and brand representative for the west of Scotland due to begin in January, building on the “significant strides” achieved in Edinburgh and the east more broadly.

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The brand says it is growing its portfolio of stockists across Scotland, and has 'new opportunities on the horizon throughout the UK'. Picture: contributed.

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Valentian Vermouth has also cheered two new national Scottish wholesalers signing deals, as well as various new stockists including partnerships with venues such as Fhior in Edinburgh, and The Gate and Bar Vini in Glasgow – with the latter recently hosting a crowdfunding celebration event.

Accolades that Valentian Vermouth has picked up include being named amongst the top 30 exhibitors at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair 2021 at Olympia in London, while Tait Bros plans to take the brand to further trade and consumer events in the next 12 months.

The firm is preparing new Valentian Vermouth products, with two Christmas gift packs due for release in late November, and two new vermouths ­– Valentian Vermouth Bianco and Secco – due for release in spring/summer 2022.

The brothers describe Valentian Vermouth as a new super-premium vermouth that fuses Scottish new-make malt spirit, Italian white wine, and botanicals cultivated in both countries.

Dominic Tait, who runs the vermouth brand on a day-to-day basis, said: “The response to our crowdfunder was beyond anything we could have hoped for, and it’s an incredible feeling to see so many people put their faith – and money – in Valentian Vermouth.

Opportunities

“We are continuing to grow our portfolio of stockists across Scotland, and have new opportunities on the horizon throughout the UK,” he also said, adding that the brand has been accelerating on the back of the hospitality sector reopening.

He added: “Our post-crowdfunding plans are well under way, and it’s incredibly exciting to be looking at locations for our HQ. We are beyond pleased with the plans for our new brand home, and very optimistic about the sites we have identified.

"Once the feasibility study is complete, we will then look to move onto the next stage with planning. It’s too early to say exactly when it will open, but we will have an update soon.”

Tait Bros is currently based in St Boswells in the Borders, an area once known as Valentia, the most northerly part of the Roman empire, which was the inspiration for the brand’s name.

The brothers behind the firm say they grew up around the international drinks business, adding that their bid to reinvent the vermouth category has seen them secure key partners in the Scottish distilling and Italian vermouth and wine industries.

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