What is the Dragons’ Den Craft Gin Club?
Craft Gin Club is the UK’s largest gin subscription club. Craft Gin Club lets you discover the world’s finest gins, in the best way, even in the comfort of your home. The company provides a gin subscription service and several other benefits, like monthly club magazines, mouthwatering snacks, and artisan gin and mixers. Moreover, Craft Gin Club claims to be the UK’s biggest, best and no. 1 gin lovers’ subscription club.
Since its establishment, Craft Gin has been helping small, craft and artisan distillers expand their business and deliver the best and most exceptional gins to the customers. Moreover, the company sends its members a unique and fresh Surprise Gin of the Month box each month. Additionally, each surprise box contains an exceptional and brand-new craft gin made with specially imported spirits and packed in a full-sized bottle. They offer each gin with cocktail ingredients, hand-selected mixers, food treats and a monthly club magazine.
Each Gin of the Month box costs £42, which the club members can pay quarterly, bi-monthly or monthly. Whatever payment method you choose, it’s a gin-gin situation for you.
Who are the Founders of the Dragons’ Den Craft Gin Club?
Jon Hulme and John Burke established Craft Gin Club in 2015. The duo met while studying in Madrid and soon became school friends. They came up with Craft Gin Club’s idea while enjoying some of their favourite tonics and Spanish-style gin at a bar in London. The duo aim to support incredible craft makers and revolutionise how gin enthusiasts discover and enjoy exceptional, fresh and latest gins.
Currently, Jon Hulme is the CEO and co-founder of Craft Gin Club. Before establishing the company, Jon was the Managing Director at Contentive. He holds an MBA and Master of Engineering degrees and worked at Dresdner Kleinwort Investment Bank for almost five years.
Moreover, John Burke studied MBA (Business) and BA (Political Science) before co-founding his startup. The entrepreneur has a vast experience in several industries. He worked as Deputy Director and Editor-in-Chief at WAN-IFRA and was appointed the Head of PR and Business Development by Lookingo. Additionally, he served Consultant at Innovation Media Consulting for almost four years. Currently, John is the Director and Co-Founder of the Craft Gin Club.
Journey of Craft Gin Club at Dragons’ Den
In 2016, John Burke and Jon Hulme pitched their innovative business idea on the famous BBC show Dragons’ Den. Interestingly, all five dragons were impressed by the duo’s gin subscription company and offered investment to them. Dragon Touker Souleyman, Sarah Willingham, Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones made offers.
However, after a fiery argument and tough negotiation, Hulme and Burke accepted Sarah Willingham’s offer as she was already a customer of the gin brand. Sarah invested £75k in Craft Gin Club for a 12.5% equity.
In an interview, Sarah stated about Craft Gin Club, “When someone enters the Den, we don’t know what to expect. However, after hearing Craft Gin Club’s pitch, I was sure about investing in the business. I still think that Jon and John’s innovation is one of the most successful businesses to pitch on the Den. Apart from having a shared passion for the business aspect of things, we also find great enjoyment in a delicious gin and tonic. Combining great tonic and gin with our serious discussions adds an element of fun to our board meetings.”
From Rags to Riches: John Burke and Jon Hulme Share Their Inspirational Journey on Dragons’ Den
In an interview, John stated, “I was interested in knowing the Dragons’ response to the Craft Gin Club itself. We never pitched our business to anyone, so while presenting at Dragons’ Den, we didn’t know how the Dragons would react. Any positive or negative feedback from investors, customers or other entrepreneurs can help you improve your business. The best moment on the show was meeting Willingham backstage after the deal. We had an excellent conversation and immediately established a good connection. We were completely relieved because we knew it was the right decision to choose Sarah.”
Jon Hulme also shared his experience in the Dragons’ Den. He said, “We entered that lift (which was not a real elevator) and hoped the doors would open soon. I knew that once the doors opened, we were in, with no room for mistakes in The Den. Appearing on Dragons’ Den and getting an investment increased our confidence in our company. Moreover, after the show, more people started recognising and valuing us, becoming Craft Gin’s loyal members.”
Hulme also mentioned, “Additionally, working with Willingham has been a great experience, as she is an excellent businesswoman and a good human. I would love to go to the Den again.”
Burke added, “As I waited in the lift, I applied some powder to my face to reduce the glare of the lights! When we got our fourth and final offer and saw four Dragons making offers, I was sure about getting an investment. We knew the tables had turned, and we did a great job.”
John added, “Craft Gin Club’s popularity boosted after appearing on the BBC show. Moreover, pitching in front of the Dragons in a stressful environment boosted our confidence, giving us the self-assurance to achieve it again.”
Where is Dragons’ Den Craft Gin Club Now?
According to Jon and John, Whillingham’s guidance and involvement accelerated the growth of the Craft Gin Club and created an outstanding gin-loving community. She still works closely for the development of the company.
According to NationalWorld, Craft Gin Club is “the most ingenious business” in Dragons’ Den. The brand has grown massively by building a community of over 130k gin lovers and delivering more than 2.7m gin boxes. In 2016, the company introduced Bubble Club, another subscription service that offers sparkling wines instead of gins. In a year, the company’s members generally discover six gins from Britain and six from the rest of the globe.
Today, Bubble Club and Craft Gin Club have a combined 25,000 active consumers, 400k social media followers and over 150k email subscribers. The company has achieved rapid growth since its launch. In 2021, the annual turnover of the gin company was £33.58m. Moreover, according to reports, the compound average sales growth (CAGR) of Craft Gin Club is 112.7%, making the innovation a big success. Undoubtedly, Craft Gin Club offers the world’s finest small-batch gins, evolving as the largest club for gin fans.