Anyone who has visited Islay will know just how much passion there is for the whisky produced, the people of Islay are extremely passionate about the product and not many show their passion more then Mary McGregor of the Bruichladdich distillery. Mary is one of the iconic people working on Islay, she oozes passion and entertains many of the visitors to the distillery. Mary was also “Highly Commended” in the Whisky Magazine ‘Icons of Whisky Scotland 2014’ award, according to the magazine the Icons celebrate the people and places behind the greatest whiskies.”
So over to Mary..
” I am the Laddie Shop Manager at Bruichladdich Distillery. Annually we welcome over 25,000 guests from all over the world, showing and telling everyone of the magic and wonders of our beautiful distillery and wonderful island. I was born and raised on a farm one mile from the distillery, it has been part of my life since I was a child, always joining my Dad when he was in collecting draff from the distillery. I have been on my amazing Laddie journey from the re-opening in 2001. My day starts at 9am and involves taking guests on tour, sharing my stories and passion for the island and passing on my local and historic knowledge. I am proud of my island’s heritage and will continue to provide the finest Islay welcome for many years to come”.
Not only does Mary take many of the thousands of visitors around the distillery but she also runs a very friendly distillery shop which is not always a straight forward job, and I am sure she is probably the one who keeps all the staff on their toes, after all there are plenty of characters working in this well loved distillery. Having spoken to a good few people who have visited the distillery the main thing you realise about Mary is the dedication and spirit she portraits.. No one I spoke to had anything but the utmost respect for Mary.. For those who have not met Mary check out the link.. About 1 hour in.. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sNa1ez91UnE
Bruichladdich CEO Simon Coughlin says: About the icon award.. “We are delighted that Mary has gained this recognition for all the hard work that she has put in. It is through Mary and her staff that the Laddieshop has become such a great place to visit – relaxed, friendly and informal.”
Carl Revey comments..
It is my privilege to have known Mary McGregor for most of the 22 years that I have lived and worked on this beautiful Hebridean island. When we first met Mary was working at the Museum of Islay Life, which as you can imagine is a very important institution to the local community. The archives are stored in an old converted church in the village of Port Charlotte just two miles south of Bruichladdich. All sorts of treasures are on display depicting a way of life which has now largely disappeared. I am sure that many of Mary’s famous stories will have come both from her life on the family farm and then her time at the Museum.
“From the museum Mary moved to the village store in her home village of Bruichladdich, which again you can imagine is a very important part of social life here. However, when Bruichladdich distillery re-opened there was no doubt about where she wanted to be. Mary had found her true vocation and she has embraced it with such enthusiasm.
“Mary has now been at this great distillery since its renaissance back in 2001 and witnessed all the excitements and good times and some difficult ones too. She is an inspiration to the young team she works with in the famous ‘Laddieshop’ and always has a smile and a tale to tell for everyone who comes to visit.”
My thanks go out to Mary for agreeing to be featured and to Carl for his thoughts about Mary.. And to all who work at Bruichladdich..