CO-FOUNDER & HEAD OF EXPORT & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
WeDO Scotland 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner
Marcus Pickering founded Pickering’s Gin in 2013 with co-founder Matt Gammell. They built the brand from the ground up including constructing their own distillery in the heart of Edinburgh. It was the first exclusive gin distillery to be established in Edinburgh for over 150 years. Pickering’s has enjoyed huge success in the highly competitive gin market winning multiple awards. Marcus shines in his role as Head of Export & Business Development and in November 2017, up against stiff competition, he scooped the prestigious and coveted WeDO Scotland Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In the thick of the Scottish gin revival, Pickering’s has since become the official gin of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo & The Royal Yacht Britannia. Pickering’s has also partnered with luxury cruise liner Cunard to create gins for its three ships, the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 & the Queen Elizabeth and distills Ginerosity, the world’s first social enterprise gin. Additionally, It has scooped numerous spirits awards including Best British Gin at the Great British Food Awards and Best British Spirit in the China World Spirits Awards.
2019 saw them launch a world first gin that has been specifically developed to be enjoyed at altitude for British Airways. The gin is available to drink onboard on all short haul flights and as part of a limited-edition triple ‘Gin Flight’ miniature gift pack, sold on board on all long haul and non-EU flights through the High Life Shop.
“With Pickering’s, the goal was always to work far and wide to establish where potential demand could be tapped into. Even though we work from a small batch gin distillery in Edinburgh, we have a truly global outlook on the business.
We opened the first ever gin bar in Beijing in July 2018 in the trendy Sanlitun area of the city. Markets such as Australia and New Zealand are also showing growing interest in the brand – so we have to follow our international fans and demand.”
Pickering’s filled 150,000 bottles last year and has produced over 500,000 bottles since 2013. They export to 17 countries with turnover of £3.5 million. The business is on a rapid growth trajectory not least due to its success with gin filled Christmas baubles which sold out in 82 seconds when launched in 2016. Even US domestic guru Martha Stewart is a fan!
2017 saw Pickering’s scale production by 33 times from 2016 volumes to meet global demand and produce a million baubles, boosted by funding from Edinburgh based peer-to-peer lender LendingCrowd as part of £2.75 million provided by Scottish Enterprise. The baubles also scooped the inaugural Innovation of the Year Award at the Scottish Gin Awards.
Before launching Pickering’s in 2013, Marcus was Managing Director of Summerhall for 3 years following on from a raft of more than 25 jobs in his earlier career including picture-framing, builder, letting agent & even a butler at Skibo Castle.
“A ‘can do’ and ‘make it yourself’ attitude will get you where you want to go, with a lot of hard work, a great team and sheer dedication added in of course! That’s the entrepreneurial blueprint we followed with Pickering’s Gin, and it got us a World Spirit Award Double-Gold Award. I’m not saying that positivity and determination will get you all the way, but it sure helps you on your journey.”