Business Start Up Finalists 2018

Wild Thyme Spirits

Isle of Colonsay, Argyll

WTS not only makes premium artisan spirits but also runs a Gin Lover’s Retreat from its Hebridean HQ on the island of Colonsay. It was formed in August 2016 by husband and wife, Finlay and Eileen Geekie. Their first product – Colonsay Gin – was launched in March 2017 and since then, the two entrepreneurs have sold over 3,000 bottles in the first six months and gained listings in over 90 on and off-sales establishments in Scotland, the wider UK, and online, as well as selling direct from the island through their own website shop.


The Highland Cookhouse

Dingwall, Highlands

The Highland Cookhouse was launched in November 2015 by Quintin, Michelle Stevens, and Ian and Sabine Richards – four foodie friends fanatical about Highland produce! United by their love of great tasting food using the finest, fully traceable ingredients from their local area, they are dedicated to delivering real Highland meals. Inspired by the abundance of amazing produce found right here on their doorstep, The Highland Cookhouse is all about provenance, sustainability and wellbeing. And taste, of course!


The Carnegie Whisky Cellars

Dornoch, Highlands

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars is situated in the historic Carnegie Courthouse in Dornoch. Opened in 2016, they are a new independent retailer showcasing whiskies from across Scotland including those from local Highland distilleries, as well as a unique range of malt whiskies from across the rest of Scotland. They also stock a great selection of blended whiskies, independent bottlings, liqueurs and other Scottish spirits. The range equates to over 400 different whiskies and 60 gins in peak season.


Rosset Bespoke Ltd


In summer 2015, Simeon Rosset founded Rosset Bespoke Ltd (Rosset Bespoke Butlers). After working as a private butler for 15 years and frequently travelling up to work on clients shooting estates in Scotland,he not only fell in love with the Scottish countryside, but he also noticed a gap in the market for truly high-end staff in remote rural areas. The bulk of their work is providing staff for shooting estates, exclusive use houses and castles. They also organise weddings and corporate events and run a butler academy, training Scottish butlers and candidates from as far afield as Beijing. Their ambitions are to improve the standing and reputation of the service industry in Scotland and to create a community of fine luxury companies in Scotland.


Orkney Distilling Limited


Orkney Distilling Limited were able to design and create a spirit to fit perfectly with their brand and aspirations, and have managed to get to market with Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin almost exactly six months to the day after forming the company from a simple idea, on 6 August 2016. Working hard with a local team, they managed to go from a standing start to market in just six months in 2016.


Kirkcolm Village Shop Ltd.

Kirkcolm, Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway

Kirkcolm Village Shop was founded on 10 May 2017. Sarah-Jane Coleby and Sheena Horner decided to combine their love of art and food to open the shop in late spring of this year. Customers are both locals and visitors to the area. Their ambitions are to grow the business to a stage where they can employ people within the business and continue to attract more artists to the shop.



Scottish Highlands

Jorie is a luxury line of fine jewellery. Each piece is designed around deer tusks which are ethically sourced straight from Jorie’s estate in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, and neighbouring estates too. She incorporates precious and semi-precious stones; collection coloured diamonds and tumble cut tanzanites, mandarin garnets and peridots.


GlenWyvis Distillery

Dingwall, Highlands

GlenWyvis Distillery in the Highland market town of Dingwall is the UK’s first 100 per cent community-owned distillery. Together with the local community, they are bringing whisky distilling back to the town after an absence of almost 100 years – and in doing so, it is their mission to rejuvenate Dingwall by generating employment opportunities, financial return, tourism and a sense of local pride.


Food from Argyll at the Pier

Oban, Argyll

The Food from Argyll Café opened in June 2016 after a period of planning alongside Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) regarding an empty space in the Cal Mac Ferry Terminal building at Oban. CMAL were keen to rent the space out to a social enterprise who could use it to benefit the community and the area as well as the ferry customers. Argyll Food Producers (a producer led co-operative group) were looking to develop markets and promotional activities for their members and this opportunity provided an ideal vehicle through which to do this. The Co-operative set up Food from Argyll as a limited company to act as a trading arm for the group and the Café/Shop was set up as new business, opening its doors in June 2016.



Berneray, Isle of North Uist

Coralbox is a gift shop located on Berneray, Isle of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. They stock a range of gifts from local handmade Hebridean products to souvenirs, selection of greeting cards and photograph items such as coasters, mugs, and keyrings. They also stock a wide range of nautical and island themed items. Coralbox also has items made by owner Eilidh alongside a wide range of other local crafts and products. They aim to provide excellent quality items and gifts at small, affordable prices to all who visit.