MEET THE TEAM SERIES
In the latest instalment of our ‘Meet the Team’ series we catch up with our Commercial Manager Adam Hunter.
Tell us a bit about your background?
I trained as a commercial lawyer at a UK law firm before completing the Saltire Foundation Fellowship Programme, a fast stream MBA programme in the USA. Before joining Arbikie I had never worked in the industry although I was well versed in the ‘consumer journey’ ha!
What’s your role at Arbikie?
My official title is Commercial Manager but in all honesty there is a list of jobs and we all work together to get things done.
How did you start with Arbikie?
After I completed the Saltire Fellowship Programme, I knew I wanted to work for a company that created a tangible product rather than working in the service industry. I also wanted to work for a company with an international dimension. I thought our drinks industry is world class and it certainly fell into one of my ‘interests’. Iain Stirling was aware of the Saltire Foundation as a member of Entrepreneurial Scotland and another Saltire Fellow introduced me to him. We met for a coffee and as they say the rest is history.
What makes Arbikie different?
For me it’s our farm to bottle approach, we grow, distill, mature and bottle all on one site, which is very unique in the industry. Arbikie places provenance and traceability of ingredients at the heart of everything we do, we are completely open and honest about how we make our products and what ingredients we use. A great example is our ‘Kirsty’s Gin’, which is Scotland’s first gin to be distilled from scratch without using grain neutral spirit (GNS).
What are the biggest challenges working for a start up distillery?
The size of our team can prove challenging to make sure everything is done and we don’t drop any balls. Saying that this is also one of the best aspects of working at Arbikie as you get the opportunity to do everything from sales, branding, marketing, communications, events and even the occasional shift bottling! I enjoy the responsibility and the challenge that if you don’t do it, it won’t get done! There’s nowhere to hide, we all rely on each other to get the job done.
Another major challenge is developing a new drinks brand from scratch. It’s such a competitive and saturated market that you have to be creative with a small budget to get your message out there. Again this is also a great opportunity as there aren’t many drinks companies where you can influence and drive a new brand from its inception.
What’s the best part of your job?
I genuinely love my job. In my previous life, although an interesting and challenging experience, it wasn’t for me. At Arbikie I don’t feel like I am at ‘work’. Of course there are stressful moments but as I have a pretty good supply of gin any stress is easily taken care of.
I really enjoy interacting with people and finding out how they serve our products. Recently I was in a bar and two customers after ordering Kirsty’s Gin one commented that ‘this is the best gin I’ve ever tasted’. Moments like that make all the hard work worthwhile. I also get a real sense of achievement when I see our product in the bar it’s a good feeling.
What’s your favourite Arbikie drink?
That’s a difficult question. Depending on my mood, I love our vodka in a nice tumbler with big ice cubes and a lemon twist. If I’ve had too many shandies the night before an Arbikie Smoky Bloody Mary with beetroot juice takes the edge of things. Put this in your post night out recovery plan and you won’t look back. But as long as I am enjoying it with friends that’s the most important thing
Outside of the business what do you do for fun?
Socialising with friends, watching the mighty Dunfermline win the league and I am also widely regarded as having the most consistent slice in amateur golf.