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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.

Video transcript 

Chris Fraser, Owner
I really enjoy building a business up from nothing or from an idea. A lot of people tell you you're never going to do it, that you can't do it. When I set about on the journey of building this business, we needed a place. There was this very old Dutch barn that was located here. When we rebuilt this building, we kept a lot of the features of the traditional English Dutch barn and so just stuck as a name, it's one of those names once you hear it once you don't forget it. We've built one of the biggest distilleries in the UK, which is also a carbon neutral distillery focused on making vodka, but also making whiskeys and a number of other products like gins and liqueurs.  

Tabitha Hurst, Head of Sustainability
Sustainability is really important to us here at Ellers Farm. You know from day one the business was set up to not just make amazing spirits but to also give back to the planet and people on it. We use British apples to make our Dutch Barn Vodka, we are measuring biodiversity and the way that changes over time. We have measured and offset all of our carbon emissions and we've been working towards B Corp Certification.

Chris Fraser, Owner
We're planting 20 acres of orchard around the farm and that's just the start. Close Brothers were very keen in supporting a sustainable business like ours so I think there was an alignment there.

Steve Burnett, Finance Director
You're building a distillery, you're equipping a distillery, things are going to change and therefore you need your funding partner, your banking partner to adapt to roll with those changes and to try and find a solution that gives you the best access to capital.  

You can't build a relationship with the call centre. I know I can pick up the phone to Mark, our Sales Director there, we can have a good constructive conversation, come up with a solution and Mark will champion that solution back at Close Brothers.

Chris Fraser, Owner
We can do 1.2 to 1.3 million bottles here now, and you know long-term goals, five years, we would like to be doing double or triple the volumes that we have got capacity here so we will look to be expanding off-site and, ultimately, we want to be a Top 20 vodka [producer] globally. We would love to be the number one sustainability vodka.  

In growing a business to take on the world, we're going to be a voracious user of capital so good working relationships with people like Close Brothers will be fundamental. We plan on growing fast and you know we would look for our banks to grow with us.