The Game Changer
“His Gin Distillery not only produced high-quality spirits, but also became a hub for gin enthusiasts to gather and enjoy their shared love for the drink.”
East Chase Distillers, members of Coventry & Warwickshire Chambers of Commerce, is an independent artisan distillery based on the outskirts of rural Kenilworth, Warwickshire.
Co-founded by Richie Bartle, his journey from serving in the Special Forces to becoming a successful entrepreneur, showcases his ability to identify and connect with his target audience, while leveraging his unique background and passions. After leaving the Special Forces, Richie founded HMG Clothing, a clothing company that catered specifically to ex-military personnel and army enthusiasts. By understanding the needs and preferences of his target audience, Richie was able to build a brand that resonated with them. His clothing line not only provided stylish and high-quality apparel, but also created a sense of camaraderie and pride among its customers.
To amplify his brand’s reach, Richie utilised social media platforms effectively, building a substantial following of over 60,000 followers. By curating engaging content, that highlighted military-inspired designs, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and inspirational stories, he fostered a strong online community. This community further amplified the brand’s visibility and served as a platform for like-minded individuals to connect and share their experiences.
Once HMG Clothing gained momentum, and established a solid foundation, Richie ventured into the world of spirits by co-founding East Chase Distillers, a gin distillery based in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. Drawing on his knowledge of craft spirits, and his passion for creating unique experiences, Richie was able to capture the attention and support of locals in Coventry and Warwickshire. His Gin Distillery not only produced high-quality spirits, but also became a hub for gin enthusiasts to gather and enjoy their shared love for the drink.
With both HMG Clothing and East Chase Distillers running smoothly, this year Richie recognised the value of personal connection and storytelling. He devised a series of events where guests could indulge in a memorable evening of food, gin, and engaging conversations about his experiences in the Special Forces. By offering an intimate setting, and the opportunity to interact directly with Richie, these events provided a unique experience that appealed to his target audience.
The success of Richie’s events can be attributed to the compelling combination of his military background, entrepreneurship, and passion for storytelling. As an ex-Special Forces member, Richie’s first-hand experiences and insights into the military world captivated attendees, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the sacrifices made by service personnel. This personalised approach, and the exclusivity of the events, created a strong demand, resulting in the instant sell-out of the first two gatherings.
In summary, Richie Bartle’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to his ability to understand and connect with his target audience. By starting with HMG Clothing and targeting ex-military personnel and army lovers, he built a solid business and a loyal following through social media. Expanding into the gin distillery business, Richie captured the local market’s attention and appreciation. Finally, by hosting exclusive events that combined his military background, entrepreneurial success, and passion for storytelling, Richie created an unforgettable experience for attendees. Through his strategic vision and dedication to his craft, Richie Bartle has successfully transformed his background and interests into a thriving business empire, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of his customers and fans.
On the back of the success of the brewery site and events, Dal then set his sights on expanding both the range of products on offer and the footprint of the business. In December 2021, Dal agreed a 20-year lease on Christchurch Spire in Coventry city centre. The unique venue serves Dhillon’s beers and ales on tap, as well as offering hot drinks and food, to create a family friendly environment.
Dhillon’s next venture was the Sky Blue Tavern, a brand-new sports bar in the city centre, in partnership with Coventry City Football Club. The Tavern is a hub for Sky Blues fans to meet and enjoy a drink, whether on matchdays or non-matchdays, and helps to generate revenue and support for the club. As one of the only dedicated sports bars in Coventry, football and sports fans can watch the latest action on big screens and in individual booths.
Dhillon’s Brewery have now also secured several catering contracts, including with Historic Coventry Trust, where they provide food and beverage operations at the historic Drapers’ Hall, as well as at other Trust locations.
The company’s vision and long-term growth plan continues to be focused on its close association with Coventry whilst securing further locations and contracts, to build a sustainable, profitable business model whilst continuing Dal’s original passion for brewing beautifully crafted beer.
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