Express & Star

First gin school franchises on offer from Staffordshire firm

Gin enthusiasts across the UK are being given the chance to create their own school after a craft distillery set up what is believed to be the industry’s first franchise scheme.

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One of the gin schools in progress

Nelson’s Distillery and School, based in Grindley, near Stafford, has launched the scheme as part of its international expansion programme.

The opportunity is open to businesses, including pubs and restaurants, or individuals and will see the franchise owner able to host their own schools on licenced premises.

Interest is already building in the project, with Nelson’s founder and former chef Neil Harrison believing the newly-formed franchise offers an outstanding business opportunity in the post-Covid-19 world.

Nelson’s, which has seen its products receive endorsements from Saturday Kitchen’s Matt Tebbutt and broadcast personality Philip Schofield, has seen a boom in sales in lockdown, with online purchases up 1,000 per cent and its not-for-profit NHS gin raising more than £30,000 for NHS Together Charity.


Neil said: “This is an extremely exciting development for Nelson’s and any interested parties.

“Owning a gin school franchise represents a fantastic opportunity to build a successful business around a topic they are passionate about.

“We have mentioned we are introducing this opportunity to a few of our customers and the early interest has been overwhelming.

“We are receiving enquiries daily, many from long-standing Nelson’s customers who have visited our own gin school and are now fascinated by the opportunity to set up their own.”

Nelson’s has opened up three new schools in the UK this summer, in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.


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