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Business Lending Success boosts Vegan Tipple

Posted: 20th Dec 2016 by Julia O'Connor
Business Lending Success

Business Lending Success

A vegan alcoholic drink was launched in the UK in time for Christmas, thanks to funding organised by Mark Grewer and the team at Hunter Gee Holroyd.

Following a health scare in 2012, Peter and his partner Penelope who lived in Spain at the time, chose to eat healthier diets and lower their cholesterol to pursue a healthier lifestyle.


Chance invention

Besos Food and Drink business owner and inventor Peter, said: “One evening, for fun, I mixed brandy with a drink called Horchata. Horchata is the tuber of the tiger sedge plant.
It’s a good source of oleic acid and helps to lower cholesterol – plus, it’s vegan. The result was delicious – a creamy liquer, which is dairy, lactose, gluten and nut free.”


Start-up drinks company

After success with Grupo Garvey, a major drinks company in Spain, which saw the need to fill a gap in the market and offered start-up support to Peter, he needed help to bring the drink, Besos de Oro (which means ‘golden kisses’), to the UK. Peter had bought all the raw materials, but without an input of cash into the business, was unable to prepare the product for the UK Market.

Peter tried all the conventional lending outlets with no success and after searching online for business funding he contacted Kirsty McGregor from Angel’s Den, who put Peter in contact with Mark.


Business Lending Success

Mark identified the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) as the most suitable business lender. He helped Peter to complete the paperwork which included a business plan and personal expenditure details. This process was a little more complicated due to the time Peter had spent living overseas.
To Peter’s delight, within only 48 hours, the funding of £10,000 was available. The funding was provided by the government’s Start Up Loans Programme for which BEF are a delivery partner.


Business Growth

As a result, Besos De Oro were able to tie together a distribution strategy, continue production and take on a new member of staff, all to capitalise on the important Christmas sales period.
“We have launched in the UK and Besos de Oro has flown off the shelves at fairs nationwide – we ran out of stock at the National Vegan Fair in under two hours!

We’ve spent a lot of time distributing the product and creating an online buzz but we couldn’t have got where we are today without Hunter Gee Holroyd and BEF who were so quick to respond to our need,” added Peter.


Further Product Development

The Besos Food and Drinks team is also launching a vegan friendly milk alternative, enriched with calcium and vitamins D2 and B12. There are also plans to use the chufa plant to manufacture cheese, ice-lollies and chocolate.
Mark Grewer, Director at Hunter Gee Holroyd said: “We’re really excited to see Peter’s business taking off in the UK, it is a unique product that tastes great. I’m thrilled about the opportunities that have already sprung up for him and excited to see how the business grows.”


Contact us

If you’d like advice on how to grow your business, please contact or call 01904 655202.