That’s the spirit: Virginia distillery taking the industry by storm

The Stretton team worked with Virginia based distillery 36 Short to apply for the Small Business Development Fund- with a successful result! We caught up with siblings Jon, Con and Helen Lioulios to chat about the story behind their business.

With their sleek branding and several awards under their belt, 36 Short is rising to prominence in the beverage industry.

Jon speaks fondly of 36 Short’s origins. “The business was our dad’s dream. He used to make the white and gold Rakia from a recipe he got from his father; it’s a Macedonian recipe passed down through generations. So we started the business with Rakia, and then decided to give gin a go.”

Jon and his siblings take pride in bringing their father’s idea to life. “It’s our homage to our father,” says Helen. As for the story behind the name, their father Pando’s suit size was a 36 Short.

Their current product offering includes Golden Rakia and White Rakia- the first Rakia to be licensed and sold in Australia. They’ve also introduced Original Gin, and Blood Orange Gin.

The recent 2018 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards proved super successful for 36 Short, winning 5 medals for their beverages. It’s also great for the profile of the business as they continue to make a name for themselves in the industry.

Virginia distillery 36 Short's range of products and their awards.

36 Short cleaned up at the 2018 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards!

When talking about Virginia, Jon said “Our family has been living here for 49 years, it’s our hometown and we love it.”

Helen also speaks highly of the region. “It’s nice and close to the city, plus we have great support from the Stretton Centre.”

Many local businesses, 36 Short included, are raising the profile of Virginia and the wider Northern Adelaide Plains with their high quality products and produce. This growth is also creating plenty of opportunities for local people.

With this in mind, we asked the team to give some advice to prospective business owners. Jon says it’s important to be prepared. “Do your homework and get your costing sorted. Also, make sure you’ve got plenty of time on your hands!”

Another pearl of wisdom comes from Helen. “Don’t be scared to ask for expert advice and see how different people or organizations can help you.”

We’re excited to watch 36 Short flourish in the coming years, so check out their website, Instagram, or Facebook page and follow their journey.

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