The Harris Connection

It’s been a wee while since we featured any of our Tarbert team so this week we pulled Peter Kwasniewski away from his front of house post to share his story…

Peter is a prime example of the power the Isle of Harris can hold over those who set foot upon our shores. Perhaps there’s something in the fresh air or clear waters, but many who spend a little time here find themselves quickly falling under our island’s spell. Peter is one such person. Arriving to enjoy some superlative fishing one summer, the island life quickly got under his skin. 

Previously Peter’s journey had taken him from his homeland, rural Chancza in Poland, to the UK, where he worked with English Heritage, a high-end upholstery business as well as volunteering as a Special Constable. Here, he also met the love of his life Sara and together they forged a new life in Surrey, England. But Peter’s first Harris trip was to become more than a chance to unwind, it was to change their lives…

The island was calling and the decision was made to sell their house and make the leap to the Outer Hebrides. Peter went first, renovating a home for them in Drinishader, until his family could join him 18 long months later. It’s a decision he says he will never regret. He quickly enrolled with the local coastguard and began to play an important role in his new found community.

“I would be happy to throw my anchor overboard and fix it in concrete to this beautiful place, I never want to live anywhere else again!”

Peter will usually be the first friendly face you see when you arrive at the distillery, manning the reception desk and looking after our shop. He’s also one of our regular tour guides, chock-full of new-found whisky knowledge and bursting with enthusiasm for the island and distillery project. He personifies the idea of a people-person, someone who loves to listen to everyone’s story and share plenty of his own.

It is his focus on connection that shines through. He has found himself profoundly connected to the island, its land, sea, people and culture. And in kind he is passionate about helping those who join us here at the distillery feel that connection too. Which is exactly what we at the Isle of Harris Distillery aspire to do, through our spirit and all aspects of our daily work.

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