On Monday 14th October over 30 Business Studies students (U6th) went to visit the ‘Silent Pool’ Gin Distillery in nearby Albury, Surrey. Having visited last year for the first time we knew it was a worthwhile trip. The recent start-up (Silent Pool started distilling and selling in 2014); first established on a small site in a disused barn on the Albury Estate (situated next to the Silent Pool itself), explained its journey including the decisions that have been made along the way – contributing to their global success. A growth story like no other, Sophie Best (Head of Commercial and with the brand since starting up) fielded questions as we made our way round the tour.
Our students were engaged throughout and were interested to hear about how they raised their start-up funds, what previous experience the founders had, how often they conduct market research, how long it took to develop the first formula they were happy with and the many production and distribution challenges they’ve had along the way. More recently, they explained how their rapid growth has led to important and defining decisions such as whether to invest in another ‘still’, bottling production line, diversification and new markets. We even got a detailed explanation into why their labour turnover is so low, what training they embark on and how they motivate their staff.
A hands-on and hugely worthwhile Business Studies lesson like no other, Sophie fielded questions around the subject of the moment – ‘BREXIT’. Our students were interested to hear how they’ve overcome or are preparing for a leave from the EU, and what the likely challenges are that they’ll face in the future.
We were welcomed very warmly and are so grateful that we got such a useful insight into one of our local and successful brands. We look forward to hearing how their launch in New York this week goes and wish them all the best over a busy but prosperous Christmas period!