Manly Spirits Co-founder Vanessa Wilton’s Incredible Journey

Manly Spirits Co-founder Vanessa Wilton's Journey
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Oct 02, 2018

Vanessa Wilton and David Whittaker started Manly Spirits Co. when they were inspired by the success the craft beer scene. They thought ‘why should this industry be filled with mainly imported products?’ Incredibly, the spirit industry is 95% imported in Australia.

Since then, the married couple have produced a range of spirits at their beautifully designed Manly Spirits Co. Distillery which is situated near the famous Manly beach.

“Every day is a new day for us in the business,” says Vanessa. “From our humble beginnings of an idea between my husband and I during a trip sampling whiskey in Tasmania to where we are now, it’s been a whirlwind. And all in just three years.”

Manly Spirits Company

“Everything was done in-house from designing our stills, product development and venue to creating our brand, bottles and digital footprint. To say it has been busy is an understatement.”

In just three years, Manly Spirits now has over 600 trade accounts nationally and plenty of export markets including the States, UK and Japan.

“We wanted to capture in both our products and business culture what it is to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world as Sydney’s Northern Beaches, with its clean oceans, unique flora and environmental conscious casual way of living,” adds mother of two Vanessa.

Her partner David Whittaker said the crowning glory was winning the Telstra business award. “It validates the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into transforming an idea into a breathing business,” says David. “The team at Manly Spirits have worked hard to build a business with a solid foundation to allow us to grow and thrive into the future.”

Manly Spirits

Aside from bagging the Telstra Award, Manly Spirits Co. also won the ‘DOUBLE GOLD’ medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for their Australian Dry Gin with silver medals for the rest of their range.

So now they can also claim the prize of creating the most highly regarded and the finest spirits in the world, too.


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