Mounts Bay Distillery
Mounts Bay Distillery was set up as a limited company in 2020, and is one of very few rum distilleries in Cornwall. The business was founded by Ben Roberts and his partner Lisa Anglesjo, building on their experience in the hospitality industry and on Ben’s qualifications as a process engineer.
The Penzance-based family business made their first sale in May 2021 and received their Full Distillers License in January 2022, enabling them to make their own rum from molasses from scratch.
Their initial product, Keynvor, is a rum flavoured with saffron and Cornish honey. It caught the attention of Cornish tea producer, Tregothnan Tea, who proposed a collaborative venture combining rum and Cornish tea. The new product will be launched in summer 2022, together with a cask-aged spicy black rum, called Rum Dhu. The company will also launch its first gin in 2022, Coastal Gin, with a citrus sherbet flavour using seaberries from Cornwall.
With its ambitious plans and extensive new product development programme, Mounts Bay Distillery turned to Superfast Cornwall for help streamlining their operations and marketing. Ben says: “We were aware that we were not making the most of superfast technology. Superfast Cornwall has taken us to the next level.”
Ben continues: “The support we have had from Superfast Cornwall has been phenomenal and is really helping us to unleash the full potential of our business. First and foremost, we have benefitted from the guidance and tutoring of an excellent business mentor. He has gone well above and beyond the 12 hours of support we expected. This has taken us to such a level of expertise on topics such as Search Engine Optimisation and Paid Advertising on Facebook and Google, that we are now able to handle these confidently ourselves. We were in fact using Facebook advertising before but the Superfast Cornwall coaching has made us aware of how to use it far more effectively and in a way that is more tightly targeted.
“Our mentor also helped us identify the key words to use in our website and helped oversee the design and production of our new eCommerce website. The new website is a huge step forward for us as our initial website was very basic. Our website now reflects the brand in a much more evocative way, including making use of video to bring our brand values to life. The eCommerce facility enables us to sell online to potential customers around the world. Thanks to the assistance with search engine optimisation, our website is now performing really well in search results – and we are seeing this translate directly to improved sales.”
In addition to business coaching support, Mounts Bay Distillery has benefitted from grant support from Superfast Cornwall. The grant support has helped towards the build of the new website as well as Brewman, a specific distillery management software programme that is HMRC compliant and links directly with the company’s accounting system. Superfast Cornwall also provided grant support for a new computer of high enough specification to run the new software. As Ben comments: “The new software system and computer has been a game changer. Our systems are all now streamlined and we have a technology platform for the business which means we can continue to grow. There are also a number of other useful benefits from our new software and computer. For example, we can now design and print our labels in house.”
Ben adds: “The grant support even extended to a new digital alcometer for the business. This is far superior to the old glass alternative which was always vulnerable to breaking.”
Ben concludes: “We are ambitious and passionate about making outstanding rum and gin products, using quality ingredients from Cornwall and do so in a sustainable way. Superfast Cornwall has enabled us to put in place the technology we need to run an effective business and reach out to customers worldwide. Without this excellent support from Superfast Cornwall, we would not have been able to put these improvements in place at this stage. So Superfast Cornwall has been instrumental in helping us accelerate our business growth. Superfast Cornwall has helped us get our business set up with all the superfast technology and skills we need to carry our business forward and fulfil our ambitions.”