Stirling Gin has been named Best New Business at the inaugural Scottish SME Business Awards.
The artisan drink, created by Bridge of Allan couple June and Cameron McCann, beat off competition from six other entrants to win the coveted title.
The awards were presented at a ceremony in Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel last night following nominations from across Scotland and a public vote.
The company’s co-founder June McCann was delighted when Stirling Gin was named winner of the New Business of The Year award.
She said: “We were so chuffed to hear Stirling Gin’s name called out and quite surprised as there were a lot of nominations in our category.
“We don’t know who nominated us for the award but it’s great to think that people out there know about Stirling Gin and care enough to put us forward for an award.
“The fact that it was a public vote for the winner makes it very spe cial too and it’s lovely to be appreciated for all the hard work we put into the business.”
Accepting the award, Cameron McCann spoke about the couple’s passion for the Gin and how they hoped to put Stirling on the map by creating a drink named after the city.
He said: “We’re delighted to be recognised with this award, it’s a great honour for us and for Stirling.
“We’ve been inundated with messages of congratulations since it was announced and we’re grateful for all the support.”
The Scottish SME Business Awards, launched this year, celebrate the contributions made by small businesses and entrepreneurs.
They were organised by Creative Oceanic and members of the public nominated and voted for the highest achieving companies in various categories following an online campaign.
Irfan Younis, CEO of Creative Oceanic, said: “We are delighted by the support we’ve had from the Scottish public who voted for their favourites to show them the appreciation they deserve.”
Stirling Gin faced tough competition for the Best New Business Award from a shortlist of seven which included Synergy Cycles in Auchterarder, Glasgow-based digital marketing platform Swipii and beauty salon the Style Lounge in Livingston.
The family firm has gone from strength to strength since the McCanns decided to create their own gin and began experimenting with different botanicals two years ago.
They installed a tiny copper pot still, nicknamed Jinty, in their Bridge of Allan kitchen and set about distilling and blending different combinations – eventually settling on their perfect recipe after almost 50 tweaks.
After finalising the recipe, the couple scaled up the quantities and formed a working partnership with Glasgow Distillery to help them with production.
The first batch was distilled in October 2015 and the drink was launched at the annual Stirling Gin Festival the following month.
The couple hope to open a distillery and visitor centre in Stirling in the near future so they can produce Stirling Gin in its home city.
The popular drink now sells at a variety of outlets across the UK and is the main sponsor of Olympic medal-winning Scottish curlers Team Murdoch.