Based in the historic market town of Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, Old Mother Hunt was founded in 2020 by husband and wife duo Matt and Becky. Their story begins with an unfortunate turn of events, as Becky describes:
“Matt lost his job as a pilot and we suddenly found ourselves with zero income. Neither of us could get a job so we realised we’d have to create our own jobs. We wanted to pour our efforts into a business that could withstand the turbulence of the pandemic and the unknown future and we spent a huge amount of time looking at business ideas.”
While distilling craft gin was always an option, Matt and Becky ultimately set upon rum - with the aim to create something a little different.
Although the process of setting up and preparing what would soon be called Old Mother Hunt was longer than expected, Matt and Becky were preparing with great care and an impressive attention to detail. Not only were they navigating the process of gaining a distilling license from HMRC, but they were visiting and speaking with distillers up and down the country to gain an understanding of best practice, and to begin forming the flavour profile of Old Mother Hunt’s base spirit.
Old Mother Hunt launched in November 2020, six months after Matt and Becky’s journey began. In order to ensure this milestone was met ahead of the crucial Christmas period, and with a distillers license yet to be granted by HMRC, Matt and Becky reached out to partners within the industry, as Matt notes:
“We initially contracted out the distillation of pure white rum to an established distillery and then rectified and compounded it to produce our bespoke range of rums. This allowed us to prove to HMRC that we are a viable, trustworthy company.”
The hard work paid off, and in early 2021 HMRC granted Old Mother Hunt a full distillers license, allowing Matt and Becky to own the process from beginning to end. Something that’s clearly very important to the both of them as Becky adds “we’ve got some exciting announcements coming!”
Despite all that Matt and Becky have learned over the last year and a half - including the awkwardness of molasses (and it’s desire to stain pretty much everything) - the biggest challenge was somewhat unexpected. “Marketing” says Becky, continuing to add “we don’t have a large marketing budget at all so it’s been difficult to know where to focus on. Neither of us have ever owned a company before, or really used social media so every day is a school day!”
We’re thrilled to be supporting Matt, Becky and Old Mother Hunt on their journey and are pleased to hear it’s treating them well.
(Of course, we’re also eagerly awaiting these announcements, too…)