A young Dunbar entrepreneur, who has launched her first business, has innovation in her DNA as her father was also a pioneering businessman who worked closely with Sir Richard Branson.
Twenty three year old Kirsty Gurr’s business, The Alchemist Cocktails, uses a customised 1979 Renault Estafette van to serve a range of hand-made cocktails in a vintage themed way. She is the 1,000th business to be supported by Transmit Start-Ups.
She was inspired to become self-employed by her father Ronnie Gurr who worked in Virgin Records’ press office in the 1980s with Simple Minds and was then re-recruited by Branson to set up his V2 label where Ronnie discovered and signed Stereophonics.
Kirsty’s route to success was via her background in the hospitality industry working in branches of Pret a Manger. She saw a gap in the market for a mobile coffee business and decided there was an even bigger opportunity for a cocktail-making venture which could travel and be hired for large-scale events like weddings.
She was supported in her set-up costs by Transmit Start-Ups, who gave her a loan to fund the essential items needed for her business. This included insurance, a generator, worktops, fridge and bespoke decorations. The oak worktops were hand-produced by a friend of Kirsty’s, David Muldoon, and her glasses were from vintage shops to help the distinctive, retro look and feel of the van.
Kirsty said: “I literally couldn’t have launched The Alchemist Cocktails without Transmit Start-Ups support. Business Gateway recommended them to me and it was a really easy sign-up process so I was able to hit the ground running in no time at all.”
Richard Myers, commercial director, Transmit Start-Ups said: “We are delighted to reach this landmark of supporting 1000 entrepreneurs under the Start Up Loans programme. Transmit Start-Ups has been delivering this programme for 3 years now and we have seen some incredible people with great business ideas in that time.”
“I am really pleased that we are supporting Kirsty with her cocktail van business. She is one of a number of businesses from Scotland that have approached us recently. In fact, we have just opened offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh so that we can deliver one-to-one support to entrepreneurs who need finance.
Where she can, Kirsty is keen to use local companies to supply her business and will be using local fruit from the Crunchy Carrot in her home town as well as products from the North Berwick Gin company.
Among the drinks on offer by The Alchemist Cocktails will be Rita’s Ruin and Rita’s Remedy, both named after the van which she has called Rita. Prices range from £5 for a cocktail and £2.50 for a coffee.
She also intends to have a selection of mocktails for non-alcoholic drinkers as well as smoothies and coffees.
Kirsty already has her sights on being at her favourite festival, Audio Soup, in the Dunbar hills later this year. Another van in the future is also an ambition.
Richard Myers said: “Kirsty knows her market exactly and is ready to roll up her sleeves and do the hard work needed at the outset of all businesses. She is set for great success.”
Please contact Kay Wilson for press enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Kirsty’s progress on Twitter #1000startuploans.
For more information on Kirsty Gurr and The Alchemist Cocktails visit the business’ Facebook page.