A WEST Dunbartonshire drinks start-up specialising in ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, Angel’s Share, has become the first company to secure funding from new Scottish micro-investment firm CAM Ventures.
Experienced hospitality manager Michael Crozier identified a gap in the market for premium RTD cocktails to enjoy at home back in 2019 and had been operating a local delivery service in Dumbarton and Helensburgh as a way of “dipping a toe” in the market.
During last year’s lockdowns, however, he set out a business plan and was introduced `to CAM Ventures’ founder Will Macpherson via LinkedIn. “We really clicked and it took off from there,” said Mr Crozier. “The idea had been bubbling away for a while – I enjoy making cocktails, I’m good at making cocktails so it was time to do it.”
With a loyal customer base built up via social media, Mr Crozier now plans to target a wider audience with the “significant” financial support from CAM Ventures which was set up with the intention to provide funding to individuals impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
Asked what attracted him to Angel’s Share, Mr Macpherson noted: “My primary aim when establishing CAM Ventures was discovering potential business partners who stood apart from the crowd. Angel’s Share did exactly that, and it’s been great working with Michael in the run-up to the launch.”
Mr Crozier, the third generation of his family to work in hospitality – his father ran pubs in Lanarkshire and Glasgow – has latterly worked in fine-dining restaurants, including the five-star Mar Hall near Glasgow Airport.
Targeting his cocktails as a more “artisanal” product that differs from those found on a classic cocktail menu, Mr Crozier will initially launch four RTC cocktails – two that are gin-based, one that has vodka has its main element and the other whisky. He said: “The Angel’s Share brand aims to bring bold and exciting flavour combinations to shelves.”
Mr Crozier is working with the Start-Up Drinks Lab in Port Glasgow which offers clients a “concept to shelf” service. Launching online and in selected retailers, including farm shops and farmers’ markets, later this year, at a price point of £8, Angel’s Share will “offer consumers a new way to enjoy cocktails outside of a traditional bar environment”.
He noted: “Angel’s Share is a brand which I have been looking to properly launch for the past couple of years. The RTD market is one which keeps growing, and we feel like we can offer consumers the chance to enjoy a premium, bartender-inspired experience in the comfort of their own homes.”
As well as creating a brand synonymous with quality drinks, Mr Crozier is keen to emphasise the ethics which are integral to Angel’s Share and is using packaging which is at least 90 per cent recyclable. He is also looking to team up with charitable partners. “If we find ourselves in a position that can make even a few people’s lives that little bit easier then that’s what we will do,” he said.
“From the start, we’ve prided ourselves on connecting with our customers, we’re real people – when you visit the website it’s me saying hello and welcoming you to be part of the Angel’s Share experience and journey, and that personal touch and approach alongside our imaginative cocktails will set us apart.”