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Creator of the world’s first peat-smoked Bloody Mary mixer has sights set on international growth following Business Gateway support

07/08/2023
Hannah Fisher (Tongue in Peat)

THE SCOTTISH woman behind the world’s first peat-smoked tomato juice has plans to export globally after receiving ongoing support and guidance from Business Gateway.  

Designed to be the ultimate Bloody Mary mixer, Tongue in Peat is an award-winning, peat smoked tomato juice. Handcrafted in small batches, the Tongue in Peat team infuse dried Islay peat into fresh, seasonal tomatoes to give them a sweet, smoky, and salty taste, making a richer, deeper and more complex Bloody Mary. The peat-smoked tomatoes are then blended and hand-bottled by a team of twelve in Port Glasgow.  

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The peat, which grows underground and absorbs the sea salt notes from the atmosphere on Islay, is recycled from whisky distilleries across Scotland.  

Hannah, who spent over a decade working for whisky companies, spotted a gap in the market for a peat-smoked tomato juice after noticing a correlation between clients who enjoyed peated whiskies and a Bloody Mary.  

Hannah Fisher, Founder, Tongue in Peat, said: “It’s fair to say that peat-smoked products divide opinion – you either love them or you hate them – but even if you hate them, you can’t deny that peat intensifies the flavour.  

“I wanted to create a product that replicated the whisky making process, where barley is cold smoked over a peat fire bed, but replace the malted barley with in-season, fresh tomatoes.” 

Working for years to develop the perfect recipe and establish the ideal smoking time, Hannah hit a roadblock when she couldn’t secure a bottle to produce her product, so decided to take matters into her own hands.  

She set up The Start Up Drinks Lab in 2018 to produce her craft drink, but through this venture was also able to help others in a similar position. Now entering its fifth year, the factory employs 15 people and turns over £1m, having supported over 300 start-up businesses.  

Throughout her time in the business landscape, Hannah has benefitted from a suite of support from Business Gateway, including one-to-one guidance from a dedicated business adviser, as well as advice on her business plan and marketing strategy.  

Hannah also received business and financial planning support from Scottish Development International, which has helped her grow Tongue in Peat’s client base.    

Business Gateway has also signposted Hannah to funding grants from Scottish Enterprise and Inverclyde Council, which have helped to secure her premises and ensure her business operations stayed afloat.  

Despite only launching at the end of 2021, Tongue in Peat has won two Great Taste awards, and is stocked at some of the UK’s most sought-after luxury venues, including Mayfair Townhouse Hotel, Gleneagles, and Hawksmoor Estate. Hannah has also grown her team to four people and now has plans to break into the American and Canadian markets.  

Hannah continued: “It’s fair to say that our full business story is rooted in Inverclyde, and that is thanks to support from Business Gateway. I can always count on my adviser to regularly check in and be on hand to provide support and guidance.  

“It’s been so rewarding to see my vision turn into a reality over the last couple of years, and I’m so excited for what’s next for Tongue in Peat.”

Mario Alonzi, Business Gateway adviser, said: “We were able to support Hannah by signposting her to all available forms of funding and external support. It’s been fantastic to support such a focused and determined individual, and I have no doubt Tongue in Peat will continue to grow in the years ahead.” 

To find out how Business Gateway could help your business, visit http://bgateway.com.  

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