Mark Reynier, Managing Director from Islay's Bruichladdich Distillery, was interviewed last weekend by the Herald. Bruichladdich Distillery closed in 1995 and was reopened in 2001, and proved to be very succesfull. They have an annual turnover of £6m, employing 47 people. According to the interview Mark Reynier is most worried about the transport facilities offered by the current operator Caledonian MacBrayne, but he acknowledges that there will be improvements in the near future.
A quote from the Herald:
What do you most enjoy about running the business? Making something that is revered by many and gives so much pleasure to those who come across it. I used to sell something that other people had created. And to have the privilege to work in such a beautiful place. You should see the view of Loch Indaal from my office, with the Atlantic only 15 metres away.
What are your ambitions for the firm? To make sure the distillery never closes again. By making Bruichladdich entirely self-sufficient it can live for ever as the name in single malt whisky - synonymous with quality, purity, innovation and variety.
What is your biggest bugbear? Transport. It seems absurd that the island's economy should be strangled by the state's own ferry company stuck in a seventies time warp. For vehicles, the route is one of the world's most expensive on a per-mile basis, and the lack of capacity compounds the dissatisfaction of visitors, islanders and businesses alike. Thankfully Calmac now acknowledges this. But only after heavy lobbying from the whisky industry. It was announced that the number of winter ferry services will be increased to avoid the delays, disruption and chaos that dogged last winter.