First gin school franchises on offer from Staffordshire firm

Posted 09/09/2020 : By: Debbie Dennis

Gin enthusiasts across the UK are being given the chance to create their own school after a craft distillery set up what is believed to be the industry’s first franchise scheme.

Nelson’s Distillery and School, based in Grindley, near Stafford has launched the scheme as part of its international expansion programme.

The opportunity is open to businesses, including pubs and restaurants, or individuals and will see the franchise owner able to host their own schools on licenced premises.

Interest is already building in the project, with Nelson’s founder and former chef Neil Harrison believing the newly-formed franchise offers an outstanding business opportunity in the post-Covid-19 world.

Nelson’s, which has seen its products receive endorsements from Saturday Kitchen’s Matt Tebbutt and broadcast personality Philip Schofield, has seen a boom in sales in lockdown, with online purchases up 1,000 per cent and its not-for-profit NHS gin raising more than £30,000 for NHS Together Charity.

Neil said: “This is an extremely exciting development for Nelson’s and any interested parties.

“Owning a gin school franchise represents a fantastic opportunity to build a successful business around a topic they are passionate about.

“We have mentioned we are introducing this opportunity to a few of our customers and the early interest has been overwhelming.

“The still and equipment required are all mobile, so the franchisee will be able to set up their schools in different locations with minimum disruption.

“This would be a perfect choice for an individual or group of people seeking a new business opportunity or the owner of a licenced premises looking to make use of down time or an under-used area in their building.”

For a franchise package fee, owners will be given a protected location of the country to operate the school for a five-year period, equipment, product and full training.

The Nelson’s School franchise has the backing of some of the largest UK banks who will provide unsecured funding to franchisees, subject to status.

Nelson’s has opened up three new schools in the UK this summer, in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.

Nelson’s Distillery and School produces a range of gin, vodka and rum and supplies products to selected bars and restaurants across the country. UK stockists including Waitrose, Fortnum & Mason and several independents, while products are also available to purchase through Nelson’s website at