Edinburgh Gin entrepreneur takes stake in UK food and drink agency

Alex Nicol, co-founder of Edinburgh Gin, has invested a six-figure sum in LUX, the UK’s first dedicated food and drink agency 

Co-founder of Edinburgh Gin Alex Nicol has invested a six-figure sum in LUX, the UK’s first and only brand development agency dedicated to food and drink.
Nicol will become a non-executive director while his investment will enable LUX to grow its senior team and finance the opening of its second UK office in London.
Mhairi MacLeod, Alice Will and Alex Nicol
Nicol, who has enjoyed a career working for some of the biggest global drinks brands in the world, including Glenmorangie, Scottish & Newcastle and Whyte & Mackay, as well as co-founding Edinburgh Gin, has taken a minority stake in LUX, which claims it has just ended its financial year with its best month ever.
LUX, which was established in 2012 by Mhairi MacLeod and Alice Will, has an annual turnover of £1.6 million, and has built up a strong portfolio of clients ranging from Brew Dog, Edinburgh Gin, Gaucho, Dishoom, Mackays to Zero Waste Scotland.
Earlier this year, LUX opened its own purpose-built head office and is Scotland’s first agency with its own dedicated food and drink creative studio and new product development kitchen, establishing itself as a centre of excellence.
Nicol said: “The food and drink industry is booming in the UK and particularly in Scotland. Alice, Mhairi and the team at LUX were instrumental to the success of Edinburgh Gin in terms of developing the brand and driving the launch to market. As a result, I could see the vision and talent they have to grow this business.
“They are not only experts in food and drink but they can offer clients a full-range of brand development services – that I haven’t seen from any other agency. I am looking forward to supporting Mhairi and Alice to build the business throughout the UK.”
Employing a team of 18 food and drink specialists, the investment has enabled the agency to bolster the senior team with three new appointments, including Katy Stollery, Communications Account Director, who has 15 years’ experience in PR, including seven with Edrington overseeing PR for The Famous Grouse; Leah Silverlock, Senior Social Media Manager, who previously led digital and social media activity for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Chris Knox, Senior Project Manager who has eight years experience managing projects, including five as Head of Account Management with The List, Scotland’s leading arts and entertainment guide.
Alice Will, co-founder of LUX, said: “Given the background Alex has working with some of the biggest drinks brands in the world, his experience will be invaluable. We have ambitious plans for the business and this investment will enable us to continue to expand the team as well as open our second office in London. Having just recorded our best ever month we are in a great position to grow the business further.”
The agency offers a full range of brand development services including new product development, brand strategy, packaging design to launching into new markets via communications.
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