From its beginnings in 2016, Claxton’s has seen its customer base grow from a small pool of local customers to an established global network of international importers and distributors spanning over fifteen countries and four continents with an annual growth rate today exceeding 300%.
Based in Ripon, the company’s founder Adrian Hoose, started Claxton’s as an independent bottler of outstanding single cask malt whiskies, but quickly took steps to broaden the company’s customer base by providing bulk and cask whisky sales, cask whisky management for third parties, bottling services for other businesses and individuals, whisky consultancy, events and tasting.
As is the case with most start up businesses, the initial investment had come from family and friends. “They were extraordinary supportive and were able to offer advice as well as finance.” says Adrian, “…but despite having people close to me to talk to, it soon became apparent that I needed someone from outside of the business interests in whom to confide. That was when I got to hear about The Skipton & Ripon Enterprise Group.”
Having completed a short online application, Adrian was appointed business mentor Simon Mercer. “When Adrian sat in my sitting room discussing his vision, it sounded ambitious” says Simon “… and he obviously had the passion, but at that moment he had sold just three bottles. He may have had an eye for buying the right casks, but not sales.”
Simon didn’t mince his words with some pretty blunt, honest advice on both current issues and those that were likely to become a challenge in the future. As an experienced and successful business owner, Simon was able to guide Adrian in the right direction to ensure the business continued to scale up effectively and focus its energy in the right areas.
“….and the benefits of having an experienced business leader as a mentor have not been to me alone,” says Adrian ’’ …importantly they have also spread out into the wider community through job creation, development in communities through the new warehouse projects and even charitable donations.”
While the majority of mentoring partnerships are planned to run for under a year, Adrian and Simon continue to meet for an hour or two each month and have become good friends. For Adrian, as the business continues to grow and evolve with talk of setting up a distillery, Simon will be at hand to bounce ideas off and help keep him on track.
Adrian Hoose – MD and Business Owner