Dunnet Bay Distillers: An Innovation Story

Dunnet Bay Distillers is the story of a couple who long dreamed of starting their own business and combined their passions with a desire to get back to their roots to open their own distillery.  

[adbutler zone_id=’297765′]

Founders Martin and Claire Murray first met at school in Caithness. After moving away for university and work, they longed to come back home.

Martin enjoyed making gin and beer, experimenting with flavours for fun. Claire is creative with a passion for design. Using the best of both of their talents and skills they forged their plan, resulting in their first distillation in August 2014. Using local botanicals, they had created an earthy and floral gin, with both spirit and bottle design reflective of their Caithness surroundings.

The company grew far more quickly than Martin and Claire had anticipated, prompting them to get in touch with Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s (HIE) Innovation team. “Being a small family business, we were struggling to find the time or find those with the skill set to help us get things done,” says Martin.

“HIE gave us help sourcing people who had the expertise for the things we didn’t have time to do. They were very supportive during the development of some of our more challenging products. Without their help these products may have disappeared, but HIE’s assistance made their development and completion possible.” Martin and Claire now employ a further 13 people at the distillery which, thanks to their continued growth and innovation, is now open to visitors for tour with tasting sessions.

Innovation has been vital to Dunnet Bay’s growth and expansion, says Martin. “Before we started the business, innovation felt like something other people did. Once we started, we realised we had to innovate to do things more efficiently. It’s the simple little things. For example, putting stickers on our bottles. It was a clumsy, time-consuming process. So Claire’s dad designed a rack that could steadily apply three stickers at a time. He then tweaked it till perfection and it has totally sped up our process.”

Coming into the market during the recent gin boom, Dunnet Bay had to be innovative to compete and grow. Martin says, “Innovation has helped our business have an advantage over our competitors. We helped carve out our place in the market by creating spirits using local botanicals. This means we’re making products our competitors can’t make. We’re capturing flavours only we can catch. We also created the first grass vodka in the UK, using Holy Grass found on the banks of Thurso. Our gin and vodka bottle designs reflect how our spirits tie in with the story of the area. There’s a lot of Caithness both in or on the bottle.”

Speaking of his experience with HIE’s Innovation team, Martin said, “We’ve found it to be a brilliant resource to allow our business to innovate. They also help you break down the barriers to innovation. You might have an idea but sometimes, without the reassurance that it’s the right way to go, you drop it. With HIE, you get that reassurance. They’re a supportive and motivational sounding board.”

Collaborating with HIE has been vital in ensuring Dunnet Bay could scale up from its roots as a small-scale cottage industry. According to Martin, HIE’s Innovation team has helped the business develop something that is unique. “Innovation is in our nature. We want to do exciting things. It’s easy to go out and copy people and be successful but the real reward comes when you create something of your own.”

[yikes-mailchimp form=”2″ title=”1″ description=”1″]


  1. Utterly composed subject matter, thank you for selective information. “He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.” by Michel de Montaigne.

  2. I was just searching for this information for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this kind of informative sites in top of the list. Generally the top web sites are full of garbage.

  3. excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

  4. Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to claim that I acquire actually loved account your weblog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing on your feeds or even I fulfillment you get right of entry to consistently quickly.

  5. Howdy very nice website!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds alsoKI’m glad to seek out a lot of useful information right here in the post, we’d like work out extra strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  6. There are actually a variety of particulars like that to take into consideration. That is a nice level to convey up. I offer the thoughts above as basic inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you carry up where a very powerful thing will be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round issues like that, however I am certain that your job is clearly recognized as a good game. Both boys and girls really feel the affect of only a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  7. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was seeking this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  8. What i do not understood is actually how you are not really much more well-preferred than you may be now. You’re very intelligent. You already know therefore considerably with regards to this subject, produced me in my view imagine it from so many various angles. Its like women and men are not interested except it’s one thing to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding. At all times deal with it up!

  9. you are really a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a magnificent job on this topic!

  10. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  11. Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem along with your website in web explorer, could check thisK IE still is the market chief and a large element of folks will omit your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  12. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  13. I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i¦m glad to exhibit that I’ve an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I so much undoubtedly will make sure to don¦t forget this website and give it a glance regularly.

  14. I am curious to find out what blog system you have been utilizing? I’m having some small security problems with my latest site and I would like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any recommendations?

  15. I just want to say I’m new to blogs and really loved you’re blog site. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your site . You surely have perfect articles. Cheers for revealing your blog.

  16. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  17. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thanks Nevertheless I am experiencing concern with ur rss. Don?t know why Incapable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody obtaining the same rss trouble? Anyone that knows kindly react. Thnkx

  18. This is the right web site for anyone who really wants to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that has been discussed for ages. Great stuff, just wonderful!

  19. Sweet blog! I discovered it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions regarding how to get indexed in Yahoo
    News? I’ve been trying for some time having said that i never manage
    to arrive there! Many thanks

    Feel free to surf to my web page – CindieTNunoz

  20. Somebody necessarily assist to make seriously posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and to this point? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular submit extraordinary. Magnificent process!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Our Other Titles


Logan Energy gets hydrogen on the road in multi-million pound Teesside project

EDINBURGH-based hydrogen technology specialist, Logan Energy, has been chosen as the preferred partner to supply two of the first publicly-accessible hydrogen refuelling...

Orbis Protect acquires Glasgow-based Optosafe

GLASGOW-based Optosafe has been acquired by Orbis Protect. The deal comes comes following a sustained growth in Orbis Protect...

Beattie announces senior promotion

COMMUNICATIONS agency Beattie has appointed a new managing director for Scotland and digital. In her new role, Joanne Spence...

Scotland’s opportunity to grow a new clean, sustainable economy

The idea of a net zero carbon emissions and zero waste economy isn’t as far-fetched as some may think. The key promise...

Decade of continued growth marks new record for Brodies

LEADING Scottish law firm, Brodies LLP, has continued to make progress for the year to 30 April 2020, reporting a 7% increase...