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Industry stalwart Jeremy Rockett co-founds distribution venture

Published:  09 March, 2018

Jeremy Rockett, former Marblehead MD and marketing director for González Byass UK, has joined forces with a trio of drinks experts to launch a distribution agency.

Launched this week, Craftwork is a sales, marketing and distribution company set up to provide coverage of the entire UK market, from independent free-trade bars to the largest groups to on-line retailers and multiple grocers.

The aim of the start-up was to develop distribution in the UK as well as selected export markets for a range of spirit, mixer and beer brands, said Rockett, adding Craftwork’s portfolio would include a combination of “carefully selected” third-party brands.

“We have a fantastic proposition, which began gathering momentum as soon as discussions began. The board has more than 75 years collective experience in the drinks trade and the team we have in place already covers all the key UK cities in the on-trade,” he said.

Craftwork would be taking on a handful of complementary agency brands in the UK and selected export markets, as well as delivering some “exciting new products” of its own as the year progressed, he added.

In addition to Rockett, the founders comprise Mark Dawkins (commercial director) who’s experience includes stints with Pernod Ricard, William Grants and González Byass; Mark Crump (finance director), who brings more than 25 years of financial and operational experience with him and, bringing more than 15 years of experience in managing on-trade groups, Jonathan Zammit Tabona (head of on-trade & marketing).

Craftwork’s focussed business model alongside the founders combined experience would allow it to “recognise and quickly react” to opportunities for brands, said Rockett.

“We plan to bring a fresh, dynamic and agile approach to the business, particularly to the way we collaborate with brand owner partners,” he said.

Babička Original Wormwood Vodka is one of the first brands to have appointed Craftwork as exclusive distributors, with Craftwork in "advanced discussions" with other brand owners. It was hoping to announce further partnerships in the next few months, said Rockett.

Babička owner, Alex Clarke, said: “The Babička distillery will be 500 years old this year, it’s a great moment to take a fresh approach to the brand and I know Craftwork has the capability to orchestrate this.”