Introducing Dora Grace

01 August 2020

To celebrate Yorkshire Day, we are taking a look at some of our great Yorkshire businesses. In the midst of lockdown Whitby Distillery welcomed a new member to the family… Dora-Grace. As things return to some sense of normality, they wanted to share their exciting news.

Whitby Distillery, which started in a utility room 3 years ago has seen rapid growth. Jessica Slater and Luke Pentith (Co-Founders) embarked on a journey to purchase a new Still to help them meet demand and develop new spirits. They fell in love with one manufacturer in particular on a visit to Frankfurt in January 2020. Their small team has been producing Stills by hand and hammer since 1811.

At the same time, Whitby Distillery started working with the team at the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub to seek financial advice and went on to secure the Product and Process Innovation (PAPI) grant to help fund the purchase. PAPI helps small businesses in Yorkshire to develop innovative new products by providing grants towards equipment. The Growths Hub customer service has been exceptional, and Whitby Distillery can’t thank them enough for their support.

Dora-Grace is impeccably designed and manufactured to the highest standard. Every element of her copper body has been hand crafted making her truly one of a kind. The manufacturer only builds a few Stills per year and so it is unlikely you will see another Still like her. She is currently hidden from view in Whitby Distillery’s temporary premises whilst they work on their new site, where she will take centre stage.

How things have changed! The picture (below) shows Jess with Whitby Distillery’s first 25L Still ‘Stockwell’. This little Still was their workhorse and allowed them to get their gin out to many people on a very small budget when starting out 3 years ago.

Within 3 months they bought his twin brother ‘Scripps’. Then just 9 months after that they purchased Stanley a 200L Column Still from Colorado. These chaps will soon be getting some well-earned rest and instead be used for experiments, developing new flavours and products.


Naming a Still that is designed to last a lifetime is not a decision Whitby Distillery took lightly.

She is named after two incredible ladies from the Yorkshire coast.

Dora Walker is an unsung hero of Whitby. Dora made Whitby her home after caring for troops on the front line in the 1st World War. With a desire to skipper her own Whitby Cobble she fulfilled her dream and won respect from the Whitby crews who came to admire her capabilities and determination.

As the only female skipper in the North Sea during WW2, Dora acted as a pilot for boats through the minefields. In her later years she ran a fish company, often selling at a loss to support the local community.

Grace is a personal tribute to a lady who was like a grandma to Jess. Big, bubbly and bringing joy and magic to every occasion, it just had to be.

The future

Dora- Grace has been working hard over the past few weeks getting spirit ready for a new exciting release at the start of August.

Head over to to follow their story and find out more.

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