THE WORLD’S first liquid deli has opened at Glenlair Steading near Scotland’s food town of Castle Douglas.
Selling mostly British-made quirky food and drink products, Demijohn has brought its original and distinctive eco-friendly method of retail to rural south-west Scotland, operating both a visitor attraction and mail order hub.
Within the beautiful and architecturally significant 1840 farm steading conversion, Demijohn operates like an old fashioned grocer or Italian cantina, bottling customers orders into refillable glass bottles on demand.
Customers can visit the new attraction to collect orders placed online, refill their empty Demijohn bottles or enjoy a pre-arranged event to taste some of their delicious products first hand. The extensive range includes a port-like Bramble Scotch Whisky from Moffat and a unique Elderflower Vinegar dressing which has been made using flowers picked on the farm at Glenlair.
The company plans to expand the number and type of pre-booked paid events on offer at the premises, ranging from regular smaller private tasting events for up to 20 people to larger occasional events in collaboration with other local food and drink businesses in the region.
Demijohn’s founder Angus Ferguson says: “It is a momentous feeling to be able to finally open a branch of Demijohn at our home at Glenlair Farm, after what feels like 19 years in the planning. The tipping point to start this project was the need to re-organise our business quickly after the 2020 Pandemic. Dramatic change was critical for our long term future.
“Working with a non-existent budget and navigating some complex planning restrictions meant that reusing an existing piece of our charming farm steading and then upcycling our old shop fittings, rather than build a new property and buy new equipment, felt like the right route to go.
“The successful launch of our new e-commerce website in March and support we have received from South of Scotland Enterprise has been crucial in achieving our aim. Our sales are already 35% up this year and collaboration with other local businesses is helping us to grow the Company much faster. Our future is suddenly much brighter!”
Demijohn was founded in Edinburgh in 2004 by Angus and Frances Ferguson with the simple idea of allowing customers to taste locally sourced food and drink products, prior to selling them in refillable glass bottles on demand.
Known as the World’s first liquid deli, their seemingly timeless sustainable retail idea was an instant success and led to the creation of an international mail order business and multiple retail outlets around the UK.
Their products, such as Sloe Gin and Tayberry Vinegar, are generally handmade from real hedgerow fruits and plants, making them intense in flavour and incredible when mixed into cocktails or food recipes.
Demijohn products are also extremely popular as edible gifts, as each bottle can have a free handwritten personalised message added.
Alan Barr, a Business Development Advisor with South of Scotland Enterprise, said: “Demijohn’s new liquid deli is a fantastic addition to the already impressive food and drink offering we have in the South of Scotland.
“The new deli has a strong sustainability theme, including their plans to work closely with local food and drink producers in the South West of Scotland.
“SOSE was delighted to support Demijohn through the conversion of the Glenlair Steading, as well as providing advisory support. We wish them every success.”