Visitors to the Secret Herb Garden in Midlothian have tripled in a year to 21,000 as turnover grew to an estimated £1.75 million.
The success has created 15 jobs, increasing the workforce to 28 at the 100-seater café and outdoor glasshouse, botanical gardens, gin distillery, beehouse, vintage furniture, event and education space and new rose garden.
Hamish Martin and his wife Liberty founded the 7.5-acre venue in October 2012 at the foot of the Pentland Hills where Hamish grew up. It employs gardeners, distillers, bottlers and customer service staff.
Customers can pick up unusual plants and herbs including lemon verbena and over 50 different mints, vintage furniture and local food produce.
Its Old Curiosity Gin distillery is the only gin botanical garden with a distillery in the UK. Its own herbs and plants are used to make gins flavoured with Lemon Verbena, Cornflower and Chamomile, Apothecary Rose, Lavender and Echinacea, Geranium and Mallow, and Pink Elderflower and Jasmine.
The range is available in the USA, Switzerland, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan and in stores including Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum and Masons and M&S.
It has been supported by Business Gateway Midlothian with strategy and marketing development and provides apprenticeships for young people.
Hamish said: “We are delighted with the growing success of The Secret Herb Garden and to be able to welcome even more visitors than ever before.
“We have something for everyone from being free to walk in the glasshouse and botanical gardens, smell the flowers and learn more in workshops to a great award winning café and gin tours, all making for a great day out.
“The support we’ve received from organisations like Business Gateway Midlothian has really helped us along the way in so many different areas, including planning and exporting which we are hugely grateful for.”
The Secret Herb Garden can be hired for private events, including small weddings, and hosts workshops and courses including herb and gardening, bee keeping and floral wreath making.
Ann Marie Macaskill, head of Business Gateway Midlothian, said: “The Secret Herb Garden is a fantastic local business that puts sustainability and nature at the heart of its offer.
“It has been fantastic learning and working with the team as they continue to educate, preserve and grow in Midlothian and create even more local jobs.”