A Stirling giftware company has made its first venture into the US market – creating glass angels filled with Bourbon for whiskey-lovers in Kentucky.
Angels’ Share Glass has joined forces with family firm A Taste of Kentucky who are selling the distinctive Bourbon Angels in their gift shops.
The move follows a successful trade trip to the American Midwest organised by Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise.
Angels’ Share Glass Managing Director Karen Somerville and Sales Manager Jen Kidd were among 10 companies selected for the four-day visit which focused on the states of Illinois and Kentucky.
Mrs Somerville said: “It was a fantastic trip and we organised meetings with representatives of different companies where we could showcase our products and see if they were interested in partnering with us.
“We actually met the owner of A Taste of Kentucky, John Hassmann, quite by chance after popping into his shop in Louisville to buy some souvenirs just before we flew home.
“Jen and I got chatting to the shop assistant and told her about our signature product, glass angels filled with Scotch whisky, and she said her boss would love to see them.”
She organised a meeting with Mr Hassmann where Mrs Somerville outlined the idea of creating handmade Bourbon Angels for the Kentucky market given the state’s reputation as the home of Bourbon.
She said: “Since 95% of US Bourbon is distilled in Kentucky, we thought it would be ideal to swap Scotch for Bourbon to create Bourbon Angels and John loved the concept.
“It was a serendipitous meeting and we’re delighted it led to our first American partnership.”
A Taste of Kentucky was established by Mr Hassmann and his wife Sherry more than 30 years ago.
The couple sell products made locally or `in the spirit of Kentucky’ at their three Louisville-based stores and online shop.
Mr Hassmann said: “We love it when we find unique high-quality items to offer to our customers across the country and were delighted to meet Karen and Jen and hear all about the Scottish glass angels.
“Like us, Angels’ Share Glass are a small family-owned company and we appreciate the work ethic of other similar companies.
“We were impressed by the unique nature of the Bourbon Angels and, of course, the distinct Kentucky connection plus the fact our customers can buy products which are not available everywhere.
“We’re pleased with the response to the Angels so far with lots of customers telling us how beautiful and unique they are.
“It’s a positive start and we’re looking forward to a great ongoing partnership with our new Scottish friends.”
Angels’ Share Glass is expecting to make further inroads into the US market following the multi-sector trade visit as discussions continue with American firms including Brown-Forman who own best-selling whiskey Jack Daniels.
Mrs Somerville said: “The American whiskey market is booming with new distilleries opening every month.
“We’re confident we’ll be able to finalise further partnership agreements with several companies who are interesting in selling our unique whisky-related gifts.”
Angels’ Share Glass is based in Bridge of Allan, near Stirling and was established by Master Glassmaker Tom Young MBE and his daughter Karen Somerville in 2013.
For more details, visit www.angelsshareglass.com/collections/angels/products/angels-share-bourbon-whiskey-angel