Number of jobs created: 6
Project in operation: since 2014
Sector: spirits business
The company’s headquarters are in Vedra but products are sold throughout Spain as well
as to a number of EU countries (Italy, Germany, Belgium etc.) and the market is currently
being expanded in Canada and Mexico.
When our young entrepreneur, José Albela, decided to opt into the spirits business, his aims were clear. On the one hand, he wanted to create innovative and original products for this sector and develop a brand name. At the same time, by showcasing products from rural Galicia he wanted to set his work apart from others. For this reason, the singular ingredients of all his spirits come from Galician produce, with most of them being grown in Vedra by the company itself.
The first step was to look for partners who would support his idea. Two were found and each made a small financial contribution in order to enable work to commence. At the beginning, the workload was mostly intellectual as it was focused on experimenting with flavours and trying new blends so as to obtain an original product and create a brand name. Once this had been done, the necessary infrastructure had to be put in place so that the products could be elaborated and marketed. It was at this point that, thanks to help from EAFRD funds and the initial profits generated under the brand name that he was able to obtain funding for his distillery.
The results have been optimal, both for the founder of the company and for Vedra - thanks to theconnotations of quality and innovation that his products carry. The originality of his contributions to spirit-making has been brought to the attention of companies from other regions of Spain, who have looked into working collaboratively in gin and vermouth production. Osborne, an important domestic drinks enterprise has agreed to acquire a minority holding in the company to facilitate the entry of Galician Original Drinks, Ltd. to the difficult USA market. The principal objectives of expanding and creating a brand name with the rural world as a reference point are therefore being fulfilled.
The main problem which our entrepreneur faced at the start of the project was excessive bureaucracy in obtaining the permits required to start up the company, and the difficulty in finding funding to build his own distillery. These problems were overcome by persistence and by managing to convince public administrations of the viability of his project. Regarding problems related to embarking on a project in a rural area, in his case, this setting only had advantages, particularly as using local products was the basis of his innovative idea.
We would like to add that being in a rural area does not always have to be an additional problem for an entrepreneur; one must look for the potential which makes rural areas different from other options and ideas which harness that potential. That is the case of this entrepreneur whom we have introduced: his spirits based on rural products (e.g. Galician pepper spirit, vermouth made with local wines etc.) make his unique product recognisable outside of our domain and serve as inspiration to other areas. Furthermore, and according to the man himself, what is truly important when embarking upon an entrepreneurial venture is to be willing to dedicate hours and hours of your life to the idea which you believe in; for if you do not fully believe in it and are not prepared to work hard to bring it to fruition, your effort will not be worthwhile.