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Strathaven-based rum distillery Old Mother Hunt has launched with support from Business Gateway, a publicly funded service delivered by local authorities.

Founded by husband and wife Matt and Becky Hunt, the company specializes in manufacturing small batches of spiced rums.

The couple accessed a packaged of support across Business Gateway’s start-up and growth services, including 1:1 business advice and support with their business plan, along with assistance with marketing and ways to improve their online presence.

Having received dedicated support through a Digital Boost e-commerce business surgery session, the company saw visits to its website double, while turnover increased by 65%.

In the beginning, setting up on our own gave us something to focus on during the pandemic. However, now we have a thriving business that includes a core range of rum, silver, spiced and golden, as well as special limited-edition flavours. We’ve become specialists in a short space of time, deliberately distilling our rum in small batches, so we can continue to craft the perfect rum and hone on the distinctive flavours of each rum,” Becky Hunt said.

“We are now growing after a relatively short period, all while juggling the challenges of the pandemic and raising a young family. Business Gateway has been a key partner to us throughout this period, and ensured we know as much about running a business as we do about rum.”

Keith Elrick, adviser, Business Gateway, added: “Old Mother Hunt is working in a crowded market., but Becky and Matt have worked hard to carve out a portion of the industry and provide a welcome new offering for customers.

“They have made full use of the diverse support provided by the Business Gateway services, which has helped them upskill and grow their business. For anyone else in a similar position, we would encourage them to contact their local Business Gateway office.”