Jun, a new craft gin distillery, opened its doors last June in Rechmaya, a village in Mount Lebanon. Maya Khattar, together with her husband Chady, have been working on it since last year.
The distillery is capable of producing around 3,000 bottles of gin (750 ml each) per month.
The founder picked her hometown to kick-off her business. “I grew up looking at my dad taking care of the garden and nature is my weak point. After Dubai, I decided with Chady, to go back to basics and stay in Rechmaya, taking care of the land that we have, host people and create something that will make Rechmaya proud. We picked gin as a first spirit to launch since we like it and it’s a trend and obviously it’s a creative spirit that has a lot of potential and growth especially in Lebanon but we are planning hopefully to expand our portfolio later on,” she told HN.
According to Khattar, gin is a trend everywhere and it is continuously growing. “People tend to choose organic or craft products because of the passion, the story, and the quality behind them. So based on that, artisanal spirits attract a clientele that is aware of all this and that’s what we want anyway,” she said.
She explained that many factors make their gin stand out. “The botanicals used are well balanced and all sourced from Lebanon. Plus and the most important thing, it’s authentic and artisanal from the bottle design to the process, the story and the marketing.”
To reach the desired gin flavor, the duo study botanicals a lot, and try to experiment with flavors and techniques. Afterward, they do tasting with experts. “Before going into all this business, Chady took courses in distilling to craft the best gin recipe and we will still keep experimenting… It won’t be the only recipe!”
When it comes to the investment, Khattar mentioned it hovers around USD 100,000, and it was entirely bootstrapped.
The brand is sold online through Rechmaya Distillery website, as well as in-house at the distillery. “We have really cool stockists that support us and sell Jun in their liquor shops (the list is on the site). We are the ones who distribute personally since we are still new and it’s always better to share the story and to meet the owner of the brand to seal the deal,” she explained.
Jun founders have intentions to partner with local restaurants and hotels to further promote the brand. “Some pubs are already serving Jun and we will look for more,” she said. The brand has also plans to expand beyond Lebanon in the future.