Monday, July 07, 2014

A beer and handbags partnership

In the heart of the Highlands an unusual partnership has evolved, the coming together of a successful and highly acclaimed organic brewery and a micro business that makes handbags.

The brewery is easy to guess. Black Isle Brewery, established in 1998 by David Gladwin produces a fine range of organic beers to worldwide acclaim from its home in Old Allangrange. The other partner however is much less well known. The Little Cawdor Bag Company, set up in 2011 and run by Jane Lane, is a micro business based in Cawdor, producing high quality handbags in the finest Scottish tweeds. Although not as well known as its partner TLCBC has a growing and devoted following.

So how on earth did these two unlikely businesses get together? Well it was one of those ‘by chance’ emails, Jane tells us that got the ball rolling. She received an
unusual request from Black Isle Brewery asking if she made dog jackets. Being a Yorkshire lass and not wanting to turn potential business down she agreed to a meeting at which it became obvious that she and David both shared a passion for Scottish tweed. The Black Isle Brewery, as Jane was to discover, has its own bespoke tweed, designed by Sally Hampson and within weeks The Little Cawdor Bag Company and the Black Isle Brewery were working on designs and samples for a new range of promotional items. These include the Shopper, wash bags, dog jackets and tea cosies all in the Black Isle Brewery’s unique tweed and carrying their distinctive Thistle logo. With more items being planned this partnership looks set for the future.

“I’m usually a wine drinker, admits Jane, but David introduced me to his Yellowhammer ale and now I’m a total Black Isle Brewery convert”. 

An unusual partnership, maybe, but with a shared passion for tweed and a desire to produce high quality products, it appears that fine organic beer and bespoke handbags do go together!

You can see and buy the full range of products at either or in person at the brewery, which is well worth a visit for their free guided tour and maybe a bottle or two of their finest organic beer.

If you want a bespoke Scottish Tweed bag then drop by where bespoke and off the shelf bags are always available.

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