To celebrate 20 years of trading, we are delighted to release our own private cask whisky in collaboration with Arran Distillers.
Shortly after the UK went into lockdown in March, we should have been celebrating our 20th birthday. What followed for many people was a period of isolation and reflection, which was certainly the case for me.
When my parents’ business ceased trading at the end of 1999, a lifeline was thrown to me by way of an empty shop in Largs. My father encouraged me to ‘go for it’ and Sugar & Spice was initially established as a traditional seaside sweet shop with ice cream, candy floss and sweets.
It’s incredible to think how my business has developed over the years, especially since I rebranded to Geraldo’s in 2016, in memory of my dad who passed away in 2005. I would never have believed I would be here 20 years later.
In the 12 months prior to lockdown, I chose to significantly invest in the digital side of the business with enhanced website and social media developments. That decision alone has been a lifesaver or should I say, business saver. Lockdown forced us to introduce new services such as Call/Click & Collect, Local Delivery and a Gift Hamper Service. It was all driven by social media to our website and my small team worked incredibly hard to deliver everything from chocolates and gift hampers, whisky, gin and wine across the UK.
My business has taken on additional staff, appointed a new Shop Manager and expanded to meet the unexpected demand created during lockdown and beyond since reopening our doors again in August. Orders for Gift Hampers have soared and we are experiencing our busiest time on record leading up to Christmas. If ever there was a year to embrace ‘change’ and take a nostalgic look back it’s 2020 as the business is unrecognisable from where it all started 20 years ago. It was always my intention to release our own private whisky cask from Arran Distillery this year as we have such a strong connection with them and co-hosted a sell-out whisky masterclass for the distillery’s 25th Anniversary before lockdown in February.
The private cask bottling was carefully chosen from just 3 cask samples. Our new Whisky Ambassador, James Gillies, assisted rating the whiskies to help me decide on something special to mark Geraldo’s 20th year. When we both compared notes the choice was clear. It’s later than planned but given everything that’s gone on in the world this year, the timing seems right to ‘seize the day’ as who knows what’s round the corner. 2020 has been a ‘coming of age’ for Geraldo’s as we’ve come a long way since the days of sugar mice and Largs Rock!
Geraldo’s Private Arran Cask Whisky is now available to buy in our shop or online. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did sampling it and together we can raise a wee dram to a more 'normal' 2021 when it comes.
Take care this Christmas and stay safe everyone.