Nurturing Belonging

Like so many parts of the Western Isles, close community is key to connection and well-being here in Harris. As the social distillery it is one of our aims to extend this sense of togetherness to a wider world, as we place great value on nurturing belonging, to people and place, through the work we do.
With the opening of our doors late last year we’re enjoying welcoming guests from far and wide, meeting and making new friends as we go. One such person is Marco van den Broek, an accountant originally from the Netherlands and now living in Germany. A shared love of whisky and Scotland brought Marco and his wife Uta to our door in August last year before we had opened the distillery. 

“We were welcomed by Shona and Kate, they caught me up in their enthusiasm and hospitality. I liked the social set up of the distillery, the way that its entrepreneurship added enormous value to the island and the people. We wanted to be part of it besides just buying things.”     

Such is his love of our project, he left Germany on New Year’s Day to visit us again and we thought we’d help him feel part of the work we do here by letting him get a little more hands-on for a few days.


“It was definitely hands on…and it was fantastic! The staff just treated me like a part of the team, involving me with all the work that needed to be done: cleaning up, making/distilling gin, discussing ways to optimize the process, discussing new possible distillery tours, helping on accounting, nosing the gin produced in the nosing panel, and much more.”

He goes on to say…

“The Harris people are just great. Very friendly, always lending a hand if needed, never in a hurry, always making time for a chat. The people here treat you as a real person and not because you are a tourist or rich or famous. I hope I may come back many, many times to support the team, to stay connected with the distillery and the Hearach and to breathe the Harris spirit.”

We’ve enjoyed giving Marco a real taste of our island spirit and very much value his support, as we do all those who have taken time to join us here in Tarbert. We hope, over time, to extend a warm welcome to all who feel an affinity with Harris and help them to deepen their relationship with the distillery and this beautiful place we call home.

And while we promise not to make everyone undertake the many and varied tasks and workloads here we certainly do promise to make you feel like you belong...


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