A Growing Family

Right at the start of the distillery project we were very proud to have created ten full-time jobs for our fellow Hearachs. The original Tarbert Ten were to be our core team, tasked with establishing our distillery in the months before and after last year’s official launch. Kenny, Donnie, Domhnall and Billy were our distillers and charged with the production side of the work while Shona, Kate, Sandra and Peter looked after the shop, canteen and guest side of things. And in the office we had Angus and Alex to keep the books and admin in good hands.
But we’ve been growing quickly as the success of our Isle of Harris Gin takes hold and word of the distillery begins to bring people to our door from all over the world. So, less than a year since opening, we’re happy to say we’ve doubled the number of people in our employment, creating an array of new jobs and positions to help us work even better. We’re also delighted that all posts have been filled by island folk and the majority by young people from our local community.

Joining us since the opening are people like John Sutton, a young man from Tarbert who initially worked as security on our construction site but came on board to help our bottling operations and now has a hand in all manner of work from online orders to the distillery shop. There’s also 24 year old Shona Maclennan from Stornoway who commutes from the Lewis town five days a week to work in our Canteen and host tours.

‘It’s so exciting’, says our MD Simon Erlanger ‘to be beating our initial target of 20 jobs in less than a year. Distilling, bottling and even delivering our gin direct from the island means we keep complete control over quality and we grow our team of local employees at the same time. It’s a win-win!’

As tourists arrive in Harris in greater numbers we’ve taken on more staff to meet demand. 21 year old Leanne MacAulay from Leverburgh also joins our Canteen team alongside other local youngsters like Amy Mackay, Caroline Mackay and Ruth Macleod (daughter of our distiller Domhnall). Our shop staff has been expanded with 17 year old Alistair Macleod (son of Domhnall!) and Harrison Wood helping out on busier days. 

And there are, shall we say, more mature new members of the team on board too including Irene Morrison who bakes our delicious Canteen cakes for us and Ewen MacDougall pitching in with kitchen work too, while the ever-smiling Joy Jamieson and Kate MacSween keep the distillery spotless. Finally, we’re delighted to have school-leaver Ryan Morrison from Borrisdale, South Harris getting hands on with admin and office work before he pursues plans to study business at college or university further afield.

We now have 23 members of staff, more than our initial plans had hoped for and we’re confident this number will keep growing as we progress. We’re proud of all the new members of the team as they show pride in their island and such enthusiasm for the work at hand. We always set out to create new jobs and provide much needed employment within our community and, thanks to all those who have supported our spirit-making endeavour, we’re doing just that.

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