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Our customer

Ellers Farm is a distillery that puts sustainability and ethical practices at the heart of what they do. Since inception in September 2020, they have grown steadily and in 2022 began producing a range of small batch spirits and vodka.

The start-up is based on an old farmstead, ten miles outside of York, which has been thoughtfully converted to accommodate the drinks business. Today, it includes a barn-based distillery and an orchard that will eventually help to sustain the distillery’s vodka making.

With a world-renowned distiller and head of sustainability in place, the business now sells its spirits in several prominent supermarkets and high-end restaurants, as well as direct to consumer through their website.

Business Challenge

The business opened during the coronavirus pandemic, placing additional pressure on their already ambitious plans to combine a focus on people, planet, and profit. It was vital that they could access and install the equipment they needed, so they decided to look for a funder who would support their investment.

In line with their ethos, Ellers Farm were keen to find a financier who shared their commitment to sustainability and had fair business practices in place. They spoke to several different organisations, and were particularly impressed with the Close Brothers presentation, which covered current and future commitments to the environment, as well as information about governance and funding costs.

The solution

Using the equipment finance solution developed for them by our industry specialists, Ellers Farm were able to fund their new distillery plant, consisting of stills, bottling and fermentation equipment, a boiler and water treatment plant to enable them to produce vodka and other spirits.

The results

Andy Braithwaite, Managing Director, said:

“As an ethical business that is doing things a little bit differently, patience is key and Close Brothers Brewery Rentals were brilliant to work with. We put our partners and suppliers under scrutiny to check that they meet our values, and we’re confident we chose the right funder as a result.

“Throughout the funding process, the team were candid and open. We always knew where we were because of their excellent communication. Plus, we were able to speak to members of the credit committee directly, which was a game changer.

“Thanks to the flexibility they demonstrated, it was straight-forward to work with them, even when we faced new challenges due to the pandemic. Our partnership continues to be strong.”