Page 1


in association with

a supplement to

Introducing the new

COLLECTOR’S EDITION... Featuring iconic Steven Brown Art designs, Dean’s bring you a range of beautifully presented gift tins containing their melt in the mouth, all butter shortbread. Available from October. T: 01466 792086



Visit us on stand 2040f at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair, Olympia 2 – 4 September 2018



Editorial Director

Embracing heritage, competing on quality With some of the world’s best raw ingredients and a rich collection of signature products, Scotland has long traded on its national food heritage. But today’s producers are toning down the tartan-and-thistles symbolism to make quality their key message. IT SEEMS BIZARRE, but Scotland’s biggest fine food wholesaler is desperate to play down its national identity. “We spend an awful lot of money on marketing to try to shake off our Scottish image,” says Joe Wall, who set up The Cress Co in Fife back in 2004, with a 30 sq m lock-up and a second-hand van. His approach doesn’t just reflect The Cress Co’s own growth from regional to UK-wide operator. It sums up today’s über-competitive market, where Scottish products earn their shelf-space on merit, not on their place of origin. And that’s a challenge Scotland’s specialist producers are rising to. While some touristled outlets may resolutely stick to products

laden with tartan, thistles and Scottie dogs, in the premium food and drink market the more clichéd on-pack imagery is fast disappearing. And the products are changing too, with innovative brands springing up with some distinctly un-Caledonian offers, from biltong to macarons. In a world where ‘local’ now holds sway for many consumers, conveying the right message on provenance has become complex. The Cress Co now has depots in North Yorkshire and Milton Keynes as well as at its Dunfermline HQ and according to Joe Wall, it’s important to meet the expectations of trade buyers on their own patch. Scotland still revels in a reputation for both quality and authenticity, CONTINUED ON PAGE 4


9 10 12



14 17 19


20 22 22

IT’S NEARLY THREE DECADES since I made my first press trip to Scotland. I spent a day manning a trade magazine’s stand at the sadly long-gone Aberdeen Fish Festival, then headed north for a few days in a hired Ford Escort to visit factories in Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Buckie. I’ve been back many times, meeting producers at all points of the compass, from windswept, romantic Orkney in the far north-east to a soulless, industrial ‘food park’ in Bellshill, east of Glasgow. Yet none of those working tours revealed the breadth of product captured in this first Fine Food Digest guide to Food & Drink From Scotland. Twenty-five years ago, much Scottish food was about fabulous raw ingredients – chiefly seafood and red meat – and finding ways to get them to market as efficiently as possible. Now, as the 70-plus suppliers featured here demonstrate, there is virtually no avenue of speciality food & drink that is not being explored – and excelled at – by Scottish producers. We’re pleased to have joined forces with Opportunity North East and Highlands & Islands Enterprise to showcase this impressive and inspiring line-up.

EDITORIAL Editorial director: Mick Whitworth Editor: Michael Lane Assistant editor: Lauren Phillips Reporters: Lynda Searby, AJ Sharp Art Director: Mark Windsor ADVERTISING Sales director: Sally Coley Sales manager: Ruth Debnam Sales executive: Becky Stacey GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: +44 (0)1747 825200 Fax: +44 (0)1747 824065 ADDRESS Guild of Fine Food, Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB UK PUBLISHED BY The Guild of Fine Food Ltd © The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2018. Reproduction of whole or part of this magazine without the publisher’s prior permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. PRINTED BY Blackmore, Dorset



MARKET OVERVIEW but Scottishness alone may not cut it when retail customers are looking “local first, and quality UK after that”. “Scotland produces some great stuff, and it should be judged on its quality, not on where it comes from,” he says, adding: “I think a lot of Scottish producers feel the same.” At Opportunity North East, which aims to drive growth in alternative industrial sectors as Scotland’s oil and gas industry winds down, director of food, drink & agriculture Peter Cook backs up Wall’s view. “There’s a feeling in the industry as a whole that you can’t rely on sticking ‘Scottish’ on your product. “It has to be quality, well produced – and its story has to be well told.” Even iconic Perthshire retailer House of Bruar – often dubbed the “Harrods of the North” and a magnet for international tourists – makes its fellow countryfolk sweat for their listings. “Our policy is to represent the very best of Scottish produce, while providing customers with value for money,” says food hall manager Robert Thain. “We’ll always look within Scotland before going further afield. [But] if we feel there’s a higher quality product elsewhere, and better value for money for our customers, we’ll look at that.” Around 30% of House of Bruar’s food

Scotland produces some great stuff, and it should be judged on its quality, not on where it comes from

Joe Wall, The Cress Co 4




DIRECTOR OF FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE OPPORTUNITY NORTH EAST (ONE) At ONE, we’re all about growing the North East economy. To do that, it’s really important to have a culture of new business start-ups and a really broad food sector – not just for growth, but to make the sector interesting. You could say all we really need is big processors, and yes, we will help people that want to get bigger. But you cannot have one without the other because a lot of the ideas and inspiration come from a network of producers of all sizes. Developing that network has been part of the strategy in the North East of Scotland for many years. ONE now runs the North East Food & Drink Network – formerly the Grampian Food Forum – and that’s been going for more than 20 years now. We attracted more than 500 people to Forum events last year – things like meet-thebuyers, export workshops and dining events to facilitate introductions between primary producers, hoteliers and chefs. We also deliver the Food & Drink Business Growth Programme, which is in its second year now. It delivers workshops, mentoring support and best practice visits for producers with growth ambitions. Esker Gin, Rora Dairy and Castleton Farm Shop all took part last year. Encouraging high-growth businesses doesn’t preclude you from having artisan

producers too, and increasingly the two are collaborating. Sutherland’s of Portsoy are a good example. They are using sauces from Succulento, a new start-up, to produce a range of added-value seafood that has something really new and exciting about it. Duncan’s of Deesside are another. They’re one of our bigger shortbread producers, but they have a collaboration with Pulsetta, another small business, to make a range of gluten-free biscuits made with oats and pulses. The large-scale retail market is tough, and everyone’s looking for a niche, for new ideas, for new places to develop. So there are great

Everyone’s looking for a niche, for new ideas, for new places to develop

opportunities in collaboration. The bigger companies have the processing capacity; the smaller ones have the ideas.

hall stock currently comes from indigenous suppliers, suggesting there’s plenty more business for the Scots to compete for, and Thain says he gets emails from potential new Scottish suppliers every day. Newcomers who have impressed in the past two years include Kinrarra Gin (“an amazing product in stunning bottles”), Aberdeenshire sauce maker Succulento, and Lindors Abbey, which makes the ancient distilled spirit aqua vitae and has recently begun laying down barrels of single malt whisky. It’s no surprise craft spirits have dominated the new start-ups coming onto Thain’s radar lately. Scotland has led the UK’s gin revolution and even boasts its own tourist “gin trail”. Thain says he’d now like to see more micro, “cottage-style” food and drink producers of the kind that originally shaped the UK speciality sector. Chocolate is just one area with more potential for quality Scottish start-ups, he says – “but at a competitive price, with good profit opportunities for retailers”. Despite House of Bruar’s heavy tourist traffic, Thain is another who is glad to move beyond some of the traditional imagery of Scottish premium foods, which he describes as “too predictable”. “Twee tartan and thistles have their place, CONTINUED ON PAGE 6




MARKET OVERVIEW but you won’t find much of them in our store,” he says. “People look to us for something new and different.” Sales of Scottish food and drink are flourishing overseas, with exports the main focus for promotional bodies like the public/ private partnership Scotland Food & Drink (SF&D). But the nation has had a lower profile on the domestic front in recent years. That could soon be changing, however, with the creation this year of a new UK market development director role at SF&D. Lucy Husband, who took up the post in January 2018, will be working with individual companies, local food groups and regional development agencies to grow Scottish food and drink sales across all the home nations. Highlands & Islands Enterprise food chief Elaine Jamieson, who co-chairs SF&D’s UK market development group, describes Husband’s arrival as “really important”. Last year saw SF&D launch Ambition 2030, a strategy to double the worth of Scotland’s food & drink sector to £30bn by that date. Within that strategy, says Jamieson, there is “a much stronger focus now on building our home market”. And that certainly includes targeting the

speciality retail sector, she says. Premium stores present an ideal market for producers located in Scotland’s more far-flung regions, like Isle of Skye Sea Salt or Charles Macleod (Stornoway black pudding), who face high production and transport costs but are also offering a superior product that justifies a bigger price ticket. Jamieson says Highlands & Islands Enterprise and its counterparts at SF&D are working hard to identify the most viable markets for Scottish premium foods in the UK. “We’ll be looking at the demographics to see where premium products from our region perform well, what the customer trends are and what product characteristics consumers are looking for,” she says. “Then, when we understand who those people are, and where they are, we’ll be helping businesses build a route to those customers.” Some English counties – Cornwall, for example, and Yorkshire – may be less receptive because they have such as a strong regional food culture of their own. And in certain product categories, accreditation such as Red Tractor may be a more powerful sales tool than ‘made in Scotland’. There are also debates, says Jamieson,

about what constitutes ‘local’ or ‘regional’ and whether products from one part of Scotland have more appeal than another. “It’s always quite contextual,” she says. “If you go to overseas markets, where there’s limited understanding of the geography, it’s quite helpful to be ‘Scottish’. “In markets within Scotland, it can help to be more regional than that – say, Speyside or Moray. But it’s about contextualising your market position to the understanding of your customers.” Opportunity North East’s Peter Cook agrees. “In Glasgow, ‘regional’ means ‘Scottish’. but in the North-East it means the North-East. The more you go to the periphery, the more ‘regional’ actually means something. “The message for producers is: you have to understand each market - what rings people’s bells.” One intriguing possibility raised by Jamieson is of group promotions for Scottish regions – cheeses or speciality meats from the Highlands, for example – into retail elsewhere in the UK. Such tactics are regularly used here by overseas producer groups, from Spain to Sardinia – so why can’t Scotland too?


HEAD OF FOOD & DRINK HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS ENTERPRISE Food is the largest of all the key sectors we manage – around 20% of businesses we work with at Highlands & Islands Enterprise are in food & drink – and the speciality market is particularly strong for us. Whether you’re in Shetland or Argyll or the Moray Firth, to pick just a few parts of our region, food and drink isn’t just a key part of the economy, it’s part of the social fabric. And where we’re competitive is around the provenance and premium quality of our products. We’re also keen to support businesses in the area of innovation, whether that means innovating on their own, or collaborating with the academic community, or with other businesses to seize an opportuntity or overcome a challenge.

The mixture of tradition and innovation is our key strength in the speciality market



It’s that point of difference, the mixture of tradition and innovation, that’s our key strength in the premium speciality market. We’ve seen really strong growth over the past year, especially in our overseas markets. It tends to come from the more established businesses that we’ve worked with for a while. Of course, whisky and salmon – the UK’s two biggest food and drink exports – continue to perform amazingly. But if we take those out of the figures we’re also seeing positive growth stories from other sub-sectors. The portfolio of businesses we support or have engagement with covers everything from brewing to premium bakery, premium grocery and rapeseed oil.

Meatsnacks, who make beef and salmon jerky, are one of our rising stars. We’re also doing incredibly well with new gins thanks to brands like Rock Rose, made by Dunnet Bay Distillery. Ashers Bakery are seeing a lot of success, especially in export and the gifting market, with their fruit cakes in tins. And in premium grocery we have brands like Isle of Skye Sea Salt. They’re a little more expensive than the mainstream, but their credentials around environmental stewardship are huge. So across most food categories we’re seeing excellent products come forward. It’s a great sector to work in. A SUPPLEMENT TO FINE FOOD DIGEST

Sweet and sharp, rich and mellow... ...with beautifully deep full flavours. Our award winning range of Sweet Balsamic Dressings are handmade in small batches from pure, natural ingredients to give simply superb flavours!

For your sample pack, e-mail us at or phone 01259 763 890

Organic All Butter Biscuits




Red Pepper

Black Pepper

White Pepper

Great Taste Awards 2017

Delivering Seasoning Perfection with love from Kampot Cambodia

100% Organic : Hand Picked : Sun Dried Adored by Chefs and Gourmets the World Over









Natural Yoghurt

Contact us for our wholesale pricelist Tel: 01738 248288 Email:


Award-winning Smoked Salmon from the Outer Hebrides with a delicious succulent but firm flaky texture.

Isle of Mull Cheese Our Raw Milk Cheese is produced entirely from our own herd of Cows on the Family Farm. Using Wood for Heat and the Wind and Rain for Electricity

Isle of Mull Cheddar

Sourcing only the highest quality Atlantic salmon from Scottish salmon producers. Smoked in a unique and secret process over oak. To mark the 20th anniversary the new owners have commissioned a special edition embossed “biscuit tin� to present the award winning product, to celebrate the uniqueness of the product and the original concept.

Hebridean Blue

Telephone 01688 302627 | email

Tel: 01870 610324

www. Salar Smokehouse Ltd, The Pier, Lochcarnan, Isle of South Uist HS8 5PD




GUIDE TO SUPPLIERS Cum ex Cakes &es Biscuits expla

Explore Scotland, category by category Oatcakes, shortbread, smoked salmon... there are Scottish classics aplenty listed in this guide to some of the country’s best high-end producers. But dig deeper and you’ll find many surprises, from biltong and macarons to kimchi and nut butter, to make you look at food and drink from Scotland with new eyes.



NAIRN’S OATCAKES The UK’s biggest producer of oatcakes and second biggest gluten-free brand, Nairn’s has been baking with oats since 1896. Products emerging from its two Edinburgh bakeries these days also include flatbreads, crackers, sweet biscuits, snacks and cereals. With RRPs in the region of £1.00-1.79, the Nairn’s range features a number of Great Taste and FreeFrom Food Award winners.

MADEMOISELLE MACARON mademoisellemacaron. Edinburgh-based Mademoiselle Macaron makes award-winning hand-crafted macarons to an original recipe its founder says she brought back to Scotland from Paris. In flavours ranging from gin to traditional pistachio, these are fresh macarons suited to a deli operation. There is no minimum quantity on each variant, and bespoke flavour or colour combinations are available. The macarons can also be frozen for up to six months then served in packaging that can be bought separately.

LOVE SHORTIE Created with the aim of “reimagining and celebrating traditional shortbread”, Love Shortie has so far launched three variants of a traditional family recipe: dark chocolate chip & orange, all butter, and the Great Taste winning lavender & almond. The shortbread is handcut and baked in small batches in the Scottish Highlands, with quality ingredients including lavender flower-infused sugar, organic orange oil and Scottish butter. Cases of 12x180g cost £30 (trade) with RRPs starting at £3.99.

BORDER BISCUITS Border Biscuits is perhaps best-known for its dark chocolate ginger, which it claims is the best-selling ginger biscuit in UK independent stores. Its wide range of 175g packs also includes milk chocolate gingers and dark chocolate gingers & orange. Border also offers a sharing pack (400g) with six different flavours, which it describes as “perfect for sharing casually with friends and family or giving as a gift”.

Five of the best... Selected by JAQUI WILLIAMSON of Corner On The Square Deli, Inverness • Edinburgh Shortbread –original cheese sables • Your Piece Baking Co –Fife oatcakes • Stag Bakeries – seaweed water biscuits and seaweed shortbread • Highland Crackers – seeded original • Island Bakery – lemon melts

DEAN’S OF HUNTLY Founder Helen Dean first started baking her “melt in the mouth” shortbread in the 1970s and today the family-owned business says it still bakes its shortbread to her exacting standards. Autumn 2018 will see Dean’s launching a striking new range of shortbread tins aimed at the gift market, featuring the iconic, brightly coloured Highland cattle designs created by Ayrshirebased artist Steven Brown.





The cream of crackers HIGHLAND CRACKERS

Highland Crackers founder Donna Peacock has built her recipes around an ingredient few people south of Inverness will have heard of. Beremeal, a barley that has been grown and milled on Orkney for thousands of years, provides the backbone to a product that celebrates Scottish produce. Flour from the ancient grain is bound with Scottish butter, rapeseed oil and sea salt and sprinkled with seeds, creating a cracker that stands up on its own or takes a topping. “I started out selling cordials at Christmas fairs in Inverness, but felt bakery was more my thing,” says Peacock. “There were too many good cakes already out there, so I set out to make something savoury that would sit alongside oatcakes on a cheeseboard.” Despite picking up Great Taste awards in 2015 for her original cracker and in 2016 for her chilli and gram flour-based gluten-free seeded variants, building a customer and consumer base has proved

STAG BAKERIES Sprouting Grains is the latest range from Stag Bakeries, a family-run business in the Outer Hebrides. The new line, described as having a “unique flavour and texture”, features four variants: oatcakes made with sprouted brown rice flour (125g), fig & walnut water biscuits made with sprouted oat flour (125g), cheese wafers made with sprouted red wheat flour (80g) and zesty biscuits made with sprouted sorghum flour (125g). RRP is £2.20.


“a slow burner”. In the last six months, though, enquiries and sample requests have started to build, and, with several new distributor agreements in place, Highland Crackers is expanding south of the Border. While volumes are steadily increasing, Peacock is still making her crackers by hand. But with a new gluten-free product currently in the pipeline, production will be oursourced so she can scale-up more easily. “I’m creating it, but not making it,” she says.

PULSETTA BY DUNCAN’S Aberdeenshire-based Pulsetta teamed up with shortbread bakery Duncan’s of Deeside to produce its gluten-free and dairy-free Oat Thins. Described as “a tasty source of nutrients, vegetable proteins and natural sweetness”, the biscuits combine Scottish oats with flour made from pulses such as peas. The Oat Thins range comprises lemon, mocha, vanilla, cracked black pepper, rosemary & thyme and sunflower seeded, all available in 150g packs, RRP £2.15.


WOOLEY’S OF ARRAN A new selection of biscuits has joined the line-up from oatcake producer Wooleys of Arran. All are made with rolled oats, which the producer says makes them a “healthier alternative”. Flavours include raspberryinfused cranberry, coconut and Punchy Ginger, which is made with real pieces of ginger. The oatcakes and the new biscuit range are available in both retail and foodservice packs.

CRAZY4COCOA With a focus on serving allergy sufferers, vegans and coeliacs, Crazy4Cocoa is a family business specialising in hand-crafted Belgian chocolate. All its 55% cocoa mass chocolates are free from milk, egg, nut, gluten and wheat. The range comprises soft filled ganaches and truffles along with plain and flavoured bars. RRPs for the bars range from £2 for 45g to £4.50 for a 100g bar, while the ganaches and truffles retail at £4.50 per 100g.

COCOA OOZE Describing itself as “The Creative Chocolatier”, Cocoa Ooze produces a selection of luxury handcrafted chocolates and gifts. Its liquorice & black pepper bar was crowned winner of the confectionery & snacking category at the 2018 Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards. The full range combines classics with unusual or experimental flavours to catch the eye of the consumer, wrapped in what Cocoa Ooze describes as “bright, stylish packaging”.

CAMPSIE VIEW KITCHEN campsieviewkitchen@ New on the scene, Campsie View Kitchen is an artisan maker of premium hand-cut Scottish tablet, made at the foot of the Campsie Fells. Its butter tablet is created traditionally in large copperbased pans, hand stirred and poured to produce what it describes as “a light buttery flavour”. The product is available in a variety of pack sizes, including 150g and 300g gift packs.

BONELLO CHOCOLATIER This artisanal and indulgent chocolate range is made by award-winning small-batch chocolatier Paulene Bonello, using fine grade Belgium chocolate and a blend of spices and seasonal ingredients. Available in boxes of six (RRP £7.00) and 12 (RRP £13.00) the chocolates – which are hand-tempered on a marble slab – have a shelf life of 12 months from the date of production.



On behalf of Opportunity North East

Food, drink and agriculture opportunity key to regional development agenda PATRICK MACHRAY OBE, Chairman, ONE Food, Drink & Agriculture THE NORTH EAST LEADS SCOTLAND in the quality of its land, fish landings, primary production, processing and brands, large and small. Most importantly, we have some of the country’s most enterprising farmers and businesspeople and this makes me optimistic for what we can achieve. Our ambition is to support the growth and reach of our food and drink businesses, to enable them to produce premium products that sell in high-value markets across the UK and internationally. Achieving sustainable growth across the region’s food, drink and agriculture sector is fundamental to our vision for a diversified and resilient economy. This vision is shaping the work at the UK’s only private sector led and funded economic development body, Opportunity North East (ONE). Food, drink, fishing and agriculture employ more than 22,000 people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and generate an economic output of more than £840 million a year. We have a significant share of national food, drink and agriculture activity and are home to major academic and research resources. We are capitalising on these assets. ONE’s food, drink and agriculture priorities include developing an innovative £20 million food hub as a driver of change for businesses across the supply chain, embedding market ambition and insights, research, digital and technology development, and product innovation in the sector to catalyse A SUPPLEMENT TO FINE FOOD DIGEST

growth and increase competitiveness and productivity. Accelerating the growth of startup and high-potential businesses of all sizes through specific support focussed on business growth, market development, innovation and digital technology transformation, and skills attraction, development and retention make up the second strand of activity. And thirdly, we focus on strengthening the supply chains from farm and fishery to consumer to build a competitive advantage for the North East through market insights and customer focus, digital transformation, better coordination and efficiency resulting in higher productivity. ONE will invest up to £1.3 million in the sector this year to support growth and is working with partners including Aberdeenshire Council, Scotland, Food & Drink, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Quality Meat Scotland. Two cohorts of owner managers from new and longer-established businesses have already completed ONE’s bespoke food and drink business growth programme, which gave them the confidence, support and guidance to develop ambitious and deliverable growth plans. These businesses say they are now far more aspirational and have reported increased sales, recruited new staff and are introducing new products. We’ll soon begin recruiting businesses for the 2019 programme. Our market development manager, a post that we created and co-fund with Scotland Food & Drink, is working with more than 100

companies in the region, from SMEs to major international brands, on growth and market development activities. On agriculture-specific areas, we’ve invested in supporting Scotland’s first agricultural shared apprenticeship scheme and in an ambitious and potentially transformational digital project for the beef sector, which will deliver efficiency gains and productivity from farm through to retailer and at all points in between. These are only some of the projects in delivery and there is new activity coming forward, including work to develop the region as a major food tourism destination. The quality of our produce is undisputed and world-renowned. We need to develop more in-region experiences around this to develop that growing sector of the visitor market where people are looking for authentic food and drink experiences, with great provenance and stories behind them. Food, drink and agriculture sits at the heart of this region’s economic renaissance and there’s a genuine commitment, locally and nationally, to invest in its growth. The ultimate aims of our activity are to see the value of employment within the sector increase and for the region to be internationally recognised for the quality of its produce and its progressive companies, large and small. That will be good for the consumer and ensure that our quality produce commands a premium. FOOD & DRINK FROM SCOTLAND 2018-19




Meat & Seafood

GARDINERS OF SCOTLAND Jim Beam Fudge is the newest addition to the range from traditional Scottish butter tablet and fudge maker Gardiners of Scotland. An established family business based in rural Lanarkshire, Gardiners’ range includes luxury gift options such as Christmasthemed tins and cartons.

COCO CHOCOLATIER “Chocolate Meets Art” is the tagline for the relaunch of Coco Chocolatier’s range of chocolate bars and drinking chocolate this autumn. The single origin, infused Colombian chocolate range now features packaging designed by independent artists. The bars (RRP £4.50), available in packs of 12, include haggis spice, hazelnut and Isle of Skye sea salt & artisan roast espresso. The drinking chocolate range (£9.95), in cases of 12 x 200g tubes, includes plain, Isle of Skye sea salted caramel, and gin & tonic.

CHARLES MACLEOD Charles Macleod’s multiaward-winning Stornoway black pudding is made with Scottish oatmeal and a finely balanced seasoning. The Hebridean family business stretches back over seven decades, and all meat used in its products is sourced from personally known suppliers and reared on island pastures. It describes this meat as “consistently of the highest order”.

CAITHNESS SMOKEHOUSE caithness-smokehouse. com Caithness Smokehouse offers an extensive range of locally sourced, traditionally smoked products, including salmon from West coast waters, white fish landed at nearby Scrabster and handdived scallops. Its cold-smoked salmon is priced at around £28/kilo (trade), hot smoked salmon £30/kilo and smoked butter £15/kilo. All can be sent overnight by courier throughout the UK.

GREAT GLEN CHARCUTERIE Looking to diversify from its much-fêted venison range, Great Glen Charcuterie has launched Scottish pork salami, announcing: “We wanted to offer a home-grown alternative to mainstream imported salamis.” The new addition, available whole or in sliced foodservice packs, is made using Scottish pork from local farmers, “delicately balanced with spices to bring out the best of flavours”. Trade price is £12.95/kg for a whole salami.

PACARI CHOCOLATES Ticking all boxes on Fairtrade, sustainable sourcing and social responsibility, premium organic brand Pacari Chocolates offers a wide choice of 60%-plus dark chocolates, with over 40 different bars and gift sets available. The range – free from dairy, gluten, refined sugars, nuts, palm oil and soy – is produced and packaged in Ecuador where the cacao beans grow, meaning that “more wealth stays in the developing country”.

KATY CLOUD MARSHMALLOWS After recent investment in specialised product testing, Katy Cloud Marshmallows can now offer its range with a shelf life of six months rather than six weeks – without adding any preservatives. Best known for its Great Taste 2-star award-winning gin & tonic marshmallows (RRP £4.75, trade £3.75) Katy Cloud’s marshmallows are available in bags of eight, with a minimum order of six bags of each flavour.

HIGHLAND CHARCUTERIE highlandcharcuterie The Highland Charcuterie & Smoke House range of smoked and cured meats is produced using locally sourced free-range pork, wild venison and pheasant. Its Great Taste awardwinning products include Highland pork rillettes (160g glass jar), hot smoked Highland venison sausage with elderberries & juniper (150g vac-pack) and Highland venison pastrami, hot smoked with beech wood (100g vac-pack).

EAST COAST CURED Launched in Spring 2017, East Coast Cured is a family charcuterie business based in Edinburgh, specialising in traditional, and contemporary slowcured Scottish meats and poultry. It combines locally reared, high welfare meats with methods from the best of European tradition, cutting, smoking and curing products by hand. It offers a range of nine salamis and a variety of whole muscles, with highlights including the porcini & truffle chorizo with bourbon, and venison & sloe gin salami.

BRAW BILTONG CO Braw Biltong wants to showcase the “taste, health benefits and versatility of quality meat snacks”. Its range is made from grass-fed Scottish beef and a marinade based on fresh spices and quality vinegar. Its award-winning flagship Proper Biltong and three flavoured biltongs (garlic, pepper, and chilli) are supplied in 40g and 70g retail packs. Larger foodservice packs are also available, along with recipe suggestions.




Hooked on halibut GIGHA HALIBUT The tiny Hebridean isle of Gigha is only seven miles long by a mile-and-a-half wide and surrounded by the Atlantic. Yet the island’s most prized export is a fish reared onshore in tanks.

Gigha Halibut has been farming the endangered species since 2006, when Alistair Barge established a farm that pumps water straight from the ocean, and the enterprise has

since become a source of fresh prime halibut for top chefs. Farming fresh halibut sustainably was just part of Barge’s vision. When Amanda Anderson met him seven years ago, he was looking for help to make smoked halibut “happen”. “He realised that the amazing quality of the base fish lent itself to a wonderful smoked delicacy,” says Anderson, who left the advertising industry to help launch the smoked halibut. Initially, chefs were dismissive, due to negative past experiences of smoked halibut. But in the end, the combination of the rich smoky fish and Anderson’s persistence won out: Le Manoir, The Peat Inn, Brasserie Prince at The Balmoral and Selfridges are all converts.


PIGGERY SMOKERY Showcased in 2018 on BBC2’s Top of the Shop with Tom Kerridge, Piggery Smokery’s artisan bacons promise “huge local provenance”. All are based on sustainably produced pigs from former Pig Farmer of the Year Mossies Farm, 25 miles north of Piggery Smokery’s home premises in Alford, Aberdeenshire. Modern recipes are combined with classic production methods in whackily named flavours such as Sweet Beaver, Dark Dubhloch, Toosh the Haroosh and PepperBack Finn.

INVERAWE SMOKEHOUSE Argyll’s Inverawe has been smoking fish since 1974 in the traditional way – in brick kilns over oak logs – earning an international following. Its smoked trout won the Great Taste Golden Fork for Scotland in 2017. Its process takes anywhere from 36 and 72 hours, dependent on weather conditions, with the fish allowed to rest for a further 24 hours before processing. Its core range of smoked salmon, trout, kippers and mackerel is supplemented with value-added lines such as pâtés and terrines.

MEATSNACKS GROUP Best known for biltong and jerky, Meatsnacks launched its innovative Speyside Smokehouse salmon jerky in 2017. Made from Scottish farmed salmon, it comes in three flavours – sea salt & black pepper, sweet chilli pepper, and teriyaki – with an RRP of £2.50 per 30g pack. Fresh salmon is marinated overnight using “store cupboard ingredients” such as soya sauce, apple cyder vinegar, black pepper and sea salt, then slow-cooked and smoked over beechwood to make jerky.

RAMSAY OF CARLUKE Traditional blood puddings, haggis, sausages and cooked hams are among the wide range of products from Ramsay of Carluke, all produced from outdoorbred pigs They include a Great Taste 3-star award-winning black pudding and an acclaimed haggis that has been served at 10 Downing Street by chef Tom Kitchin. For over 160 years the Ramsay family have also been producing traditionally cured Ayrshire bacon, including varieties naturally smoked over a mix of woods including apple and beech.

Five of the best ... Selected by ROBERT THAIN, House Of Bruar, Perthshire • Inverawe Smokehouse – smoked salmon • Argyll Smokery – smoked trout • Salar Smokehouse – flaky smoked salmon • Rannoch Smokery – roast smoked venison • Great Glen Charcuterie – smoked grouse breast

SALAR SMOKEHOUSE Best known for its pioneering hot-smoked Flaky Smoked Salmon, Salar Smokehouse was set up on the Hebridean island of South Uist in 1997 and relaunched by new owner Ian MacRury in 2015. Under his stewardship it was won the New Business award at 2017’s Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards. Products range from whole and sliced packs of its signature flaky salmon to cold smoked salmon in 100g and 300g sliced packs and1kg whole sides.





Oils, Vinegars & Sauces

THULE VENTUS A chilled salt cod paté described as “local, traditional, sustainable, contemporary and fully traceable” is the latest launch from Shetland’s Thule Ventus. Based on Provence’s Brandade de Morue, it uses MSC Shetland cod, cured for eight weeks then reconstituted and combined with Shetland ingredients and Scottish rapeseed. In 130g tubs (RRP £4.99), it has a 28-day shelf life. Thule Ventus was founded four years ago by David Polson, whose family have cured fish on Shetland for generations.

SUTHERLAND’S OF PORTSOY Family-owned Sutherland’s of Portsoy has captured a five-generation history of fish smoking in the packaging of its recently launched retail range, aimed at delis and other independents. The packs “tell the story of the business and bring to the fore the tradition, heritage and provenance widely sought after in today’s marketplace”, says MD Elaine Sutherland. The line-up from this Aberdeenshire firm includes smoked salmon, kippers, smoked haddock, and hot roasted smoked salmon.

WESTFIELD FARMS Westfield Farms has marked a decade in business by relaunching its Ola Oils brand of extra virgin coldpressed rapeseed oil, made from rape grown on its farm in Aberdeenshire. Retailing at £4.95 for 500ml the oil also comes in 250ml infused options: basil, chilli, rosemary, garlic, and lemon. Also available from the family firm is Westfield spelt, a high protein, nutrientrich flour from spelt grown on the farm and milled in Golspie. It is offered in 25kg bulk sacks or 8x1kg bags for retail.

SIMPLE SIMON’S PERFECT PIES A packaging revamp by small Scottish bakery Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies has seen it ditch plastic wrappings in favour of smart new recyclable cardboard cartons. Focused on baking pies using fresh local produce, Simple Simon’s sell 12 flavours in a 250g meal-ina-pie format (RRP £4.95), along with a new range of snack slices (4x100g, RRP £10) for on-the-go consumption. All can be eaten cold or heated through. They have a two-week shelf life or can be frozen for up to six months.

THE ARGYLL SMOKERY Selling to chefs, delis, foodhalls and farm shops throughout the UK, The Argyll Smokery focuses on small-scale, artisan production using Grade A farmed fish. Its packaged retail range includes smoked salmon and trout in 100g (RRP £4.60) and 200g (RRP £8.95) formats, smoked mussels (200g, RRP £4.60) , smoked prawns (125g, RRP £5.60) and handmade fish patés (125g, RRP £4.45). It also offers kiln roasted salmon and hot smoked trout.

SUPERNATURE OILS Selling solely to independent outlets, Supernature offer a multi award-winning range of plain and infused coldpressed rapeseed oils, all made on a family farm in the Lothians of Scotland. Its 15-strong line-up of infused oils is claimed to be the broadest range in Europe. Products include white and black truffle oils in 100ml bottles, and 4x100ml gift packs of infused oils (RRPs £10.95-12.95) in three flavour profiles: classic, Thai and herb.


Location, location...


In the seven years since the Mackenzie family founded cold-pressed rapeseed oil brand Cullisse, the category has become crowded. But as the UK’s most northerly oil, Cullisse has a “grassy, buttery” taste profile that sets it apart. “I keep being told by chefs and customers that our oil tastes different – that it is grassier, with hints of fresh pea and asparagus,” says Robert Mackenzie. “Our production process is no different, so that must come from the climate and soil conditions here in Easter Ross.” A qualified lawyer, Mackenzie started producing rapeseed oil after seeing a cold press

LITTLE DOONE Sweet balsamic dressings are the focus of Little Doone, a family-run business based just outside Stirling. Natural ingredients are used across the range, with flavours as diverse as raspberry & chilli extra, ginger, orange zest, and whisky. Standard 250ml bottles comes in boxes of 12 (trade prices £2.48-2.65 per bottle) with the option of split boxes for smaller outlets. A newly launched gift pack combines four of the best-selling flavours in 100ml bottles (trade £6.35, RRP £9.99) in outers of six.

in action on a project for charity Farm Africa. “At the time, there were just a handful of UK rapeseed oil producers, and I decided I was going to kick myself if I didn’t give it a try,” he says. Cullisse now produces 40,000 litres per year, with 20 pence from every litre sold donated to Farm Africa.

G & SONS Not the usual “blow your head off” chilli sauces, but a “warm, gentle touch of heat that can be enjoyed by everyone”. That’s how Gennaro Donofrio describes his brace of G & Sons hot and mild sauces, with spicing influenced by flavours from the Mediterranean and Asia. The products, made near Edinburgh, are supplied in cases of 6x250ml bottles, RRP £3 per bottle, and have recently been joined by two types of mayonnaise: Scotch Bonnet & lime and Aglio & Olio, both selling at around £2 for 170ml.


St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Co ST ANDREWS FARMHOUSE – Aged for 12 months to give a creamy, medium strength cheese with a well-rounded, lingering finish. ANSTER – This cheese has a crumbly texture, which dissolves in the mouth to give a full flavour and a lemony tang on the finish. RED ANSTER – Flavour-added ‘sister’ cheese to Anster. Fresh tasting and crumbly, with added annatto, fresh chives and fresh garlic. For more details, or to place an order, · 01333 312580 · Falside Farm, Pittenweem, Fife KY10 2RT

01851 702 445 | St Andrews Farmhouse


Gardiners of Scotland Ltd are manufacturers of “quality handmade confectionery”. They are delighted to announce the addition of delicious Jim Beam to their range of products. This comes packaged in beautifully designed cartons and embossed tins, the ideal gift for that someone special!

Brand new for 2018, a purpose built distillery & visitor centre experience located on the seafront of Kirkwall.

Unmistakably Orcadian




The Sprouting Grains Range We are proud to present our Sprouting Grains range. The range comprises four variants, three savoury and one sweet, each one pairing the unique flavour and texture of sprouted flour with one of our heritage recipes. Available now from speciality distributors.

Made by skilled craft bakers in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland Tel: 01851 702733 Stag Bakeries


’ e t s a t d l u o h s t i ‘The way AWARD-WINNING BUTCHERS SINCE 1857 Tel: 01555 772277

Gsauce cares about your taste buds Gsauce hits the spot

All stockists will be given 1 FREE cookbook in every case to kick start sales with an in-store promotion. • 100% natural premium spice blends • No gluten, salt or sugar • Each 40g pot contains 8 servings • 12 months shelf life, from date of production

• 60 + quick and easy recipes • Produced in a BRC accredited facility • 1 free cookbook in each mixed case of 6* • Presented in retro style tins

*Mixed cases of 6 includes a mix of the 5 types of blends and 1 Free Cookbook in each case 16


email: or call us on: 01620 842765

Expect the unexpected, Gsauce is seriously tasty, infused with Mediterranean and Asian ingredients. Totally moreish 07533 081828 · A SUPPLEMENT TO FINE FOOD DIGEST

GUIDE TO SUPPLIERS Confectionery Oils, Vinegars & Sauces

Jams, Preserves & Pickles

From Africa to Aberdeen

Fruit in many forms


When, in 2013, Nigerian expat Dami Odugbemi was made redundant from his job in oil & gas, he took the opportunity for a career change. Together with wife Ify, who shares his passion for food, he set about developing “fresh, tasty and healthy” sauces based on fresh vegetables, herbs and spices. “We identified that most of the sauces out there were bland or high in sugar and salt and contained unhealthy preservatives, so we decided to have a go at making our own,” says Odugbemi. While trading on their West African heritage would have been an obvious theme, instead the couple have developed a range that is internationally-inspired and eschews canned tomatoes, added sugar and preservatives. Tomato salsa, savoury tomato curry and minty avocado are three of its vegan, dairy- and gluten-free creations. A catering venture supplying ‘Shawarma’ wraps to Aberdeen’s workplaces gave the duo a platform to test and tweak their sauces. Then in 2016, they started selling at farmers’ markets. The next step was scaling up to approach the retail and foodservice markets, but realising that this would require accreditations such as SALSA, the Odugbemis chose to go down the contract manufacturing route. As it turns out, this was a wise move – a 12-month shelf life coupled with decent capacity have made Succulento a viable supplier to the likes of JG Ross, which uses the sauces in wraps and sandwiches sold in its chain of 18 bakeries, and House of Bruar. In addition, a collaboration with Sutherland’s of Portsoy has seen Succulento’s sweet & spicy tomato and green tomato curry sauces used as marinades for hot smoked mackerel. There is plenty more to come from this dynamic start-up. Succulento is looking to start exporting, is on the cusp of signing distribution deals and has a new beetroot-based sauce in the pipeline.



‘Farm to fork’ has to be one of the most mis-used phrases in food today. But amid all the marketing puff, Castleton Farm in south Aberdeenshire is a genuine example of this vertically integrated approach. The Mitchell family set up shop in 2004 to provide a direct-to-public route for the soft fruit grown on their 400-acre farm and supplied to major multiples. “We ran it seasonally for four years until we had the confidence to build a year-round farm shop and café,” says Anna Mitchell, who runs the business with husband Ross. The café has since doubled in size, but Mitchell says the biggest growth area is on-site production. What started as a few jars of strawberry jam has become a thriving food production business, with listings in 11 Scotmid stores and nationwide distribution with The Cress Co. Jam, syrups, vinegars and preserves are all in steady demand. But it is the

HUNGRY SQUIRREL Just a year on from start-up, Hungry Squirrel has already picked up a Healthy Choice Award at the 2018 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards for its 100% natural, artisan nut butters. Made in Deeside, Aberdeen, the seven flavour variants are described as “a great natural source of essential fats, fibre, protein and a multitude of micronutrients” and are all suitable for vegans. They come in 40g taster jars (RRP £2.50) and 150g jars £5-£6) as well as gift packs of 4 x 40g tasters (RRP £10.00).

farm’s strawberry tart jelly, which won Best New Retail Product at the 2017 North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards, that has made Castleton’s name. “We were buying in a jelly to glaze our own tarts, then we realised it was full of artificial ingredients, so, with the support of Scotland’s Rural College, we developed our own,” says Mitchell. Castleton is also building a loyal customer following for its ready-meals, which include Scottish specialities such as Balmoral chicken and mince & tatties.

EDINBURGH FERMENTARIUM edinburghfermentarium. A growing range of “colourful, tasty and uniquely textured” handmade sauerkrauts and kimchis is being offered by Edinburgh Fermentarium. The vegetables are fermented naturally using a mix of traditional techniques and modern recipes to create products with an RRP of £6 for 220ml. “Many of my product names are inspired by local Scottish colloquialisms, such as Stoatin’ Sauerkraut, Braw Slaw, Oohyabeauty Onions and Cracking Kimchi,” says founder Ruth Munro.

SHETLANDELI Proud to be part of social enterprise COPE, which provides employment and skills development on Shetland for adults with learning difficulties, Shetlandeli makes a range of award-winning chutneys and relishes. Flavours including Valhalla ale chutney, Spiggie courgette relish and Muckle Flugga piccalilli are available in two different jar sizes – 140g (RRP £3.50) and 260g (£4.75) – as well as two-jar and three-jar gift packs.



Caithness Smokehouse is an award-winning cottage industry run by John and Christine. Together we are committed to the production of an excellent range of gourmet-smoked products. We use only the highest quality fish, meat, cheese and seafood, locally sourced from sustainable supplies. Our aim is to provide only the finest quality smoked food for today’s discerning market. We offer an extensive range of smoked products, including hot and cold smoked salmon, haddock, trout, seafood, and dairy produce.

01847 635 007 |

Hot Smoked Trout

Smoked Butter

Kiln Smoked Salmon

Smoked Mussels

From our ground to your glass



SCOTTISH POTATO VODKA Ogilvy’s potatoes grow a short tractor ride from where they’re transformed into vodka. Our smooth spirit is a great option for cocktails or delicious served neat over ice. For the perfect serve garnish with a slice of ripe pear. Or try our range of naturally flavoured artisan cocktails.





GUIDE TO SUPPLIERS Seasoning & Spices SPICE POTS All new Spice Pots stockists receive a free cookbook to help kick-start sales of its spice blends, which are designed to make cooking “healthy Indian-inspired food” quick and easy. There are four savoury blends in the range, plus a sweet variant for baking and puddings, all presented in “retro, paint pot style tins” (40g, RRP £3.95) with a 12-month shelf life. The Goan blend topped the Savouries & Accompaniments category at the 2018 Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards.

SMOKY BRAE Great Taste award-winning rubs, a signature smoked sugar and ingredients such as smoked sea salt, smoked fennel pepper, smoked chilli flakes and smoked gravlax cure are among the ingredients produced by Smoky Brae. “We also have a range of gift sets which prove popular in the lead-up to Christmas and other occasions,” says Graham Johnston, owner of this traditional Scottish smokehouse. All products are smoked over locally-sourced oak, in small batches, then blended and packaged by hand.

BOTREE Seasoning producer BoTree has expanded its range beyond PGI-status Kampot pepper and Fleur de Sel into blended products. Work with mixologist Christian Buchot has delivered Herb de Kampot (150g, RRP £8.95): Kampot black, red and white peppers mixed with Kampot Fleur de Sel and a blend of herbs and spices. BoTree has also added white Pipali pearls (100g, RRP £12). The sun-dried seeds of the long pepper, delivers a “warm, peppery, spicy sweetness bursting with aniseed, nutmeg, and cinnamon flavour”.

ZING ORGANICS A new ‘fish lover’s seasoning hamper’ is the latest addition to the Aromacheferey Gourmet Collection from Zing Organics. Based in Tarbert on Loch Fyne, Argyll, and run by perfumer Kirsty Morrison, Zing produces artisan seasonings flavoured with essential oils alongside a wide range of skincare products, fragrances and more. The fish hamper comprises three 2og pouches of infused sea salt concentrates – lemon, black pepper and rosemary – and seasoning suggestions.

HAWKHEAD WHISKY SMOKED Whisky barrel staves sourced from Lowland Distilleries provide the trademark flavour for Hawkhead’s smoked cashews and salts, which it describes as “uniquely Scottish products”. Its rock salt infusions come in rosemary, chilli, lemon and orange varieties, and it also produces smoked sea salt flake. All are available for retail in outers of 12. Hawkhead Whisky Smoked cashews are supplied in 30g, 75g and 1kg catering packs.

Super natural power ISLE OF SKYE SEA SALT Recent years have seen salt transformed from commodity to gourmet ingredient. Isle of Skye Sea Salt Co, which in 2011 resurrected the island’s producing tradition, is one of the companies at the forefront of this revolution. “We knew salt was produced

in Skye around the 1700s,” says co-founder Robert Muir. “This, and the fact that the water around the Isle of Skye has been awarded the highest quality classification achievable in the United Kingdom, led us to investigate production of sea salt through an


environmentally friendly process.” This involves harnessing sun and wind power to evaporate sea water in polytunnels. Isle of Skye Sea Salt is the only UK company producing salt in this way – most use a more industrial process to extract the salt, such as boiling sea water – and Muir says the quality and taste of their salt is evidence that taking this ‘principled’ approach was the right choice. “The chemical composition of our product is different,” he says. “It has less sodium chloride and retains other minerals such as magnesium sulphate, and around 60 trace elements. Nor is anything added to the salt, such as anti-

caking agents, so our product is essentially unrefined.” He concedes their chosen method means volumes are limited and they are at the mercy of the climate. “Our output is seasonal, from April to October, and the weather determines the length of each harvest, which can range from seven to 21 days. We currently have three salt houses, and with a fair wind, each should yield 100kgs of salt per harvest.” But being a niche producer also carries a certain cachet – top end chefs and restaurants on Skye use the salt, including The Three Chimneys, Kinloch Lodge and Michael Smith at Loch Bay.



GUIDE TO SUPPLIERS Drinks LOST LOCH DISTILLERY Located on Royal Deeside, the Lost Loch Distillery was started by Peter Dignan and Richard Pierce in 2017. It currently produces eeNoo, a fruity gin produced with Royal Deeside honey; Murmichan, Scotland’s first absinthe; and Haroosh, a whisky, honey & bramble liqueur. Fitted with a modern, 500 litre iStill and a smaller, traditional copper alembic still, Lost Loch is selfsufficient, with distilling, bottling and packaging all taking place on site. Products are available nationwide via premium drinks distributor Huffmans.

ANGELS’ NECTAR With a name inspired by the fabled “angels’ share” – the whisky lost to evaporation during maturation – Angels’ Nectar blended malt Scotch whiskies are “vibrant and fresh, and bottled at natural colour”. Combining Speyside and Highland malts, its First Edition (70cl, RRP £36, 40% abv) is “smooth and sweet with hints of apple pie on the nose, followed by heather honey and lemon on the taste”. It is also offered in 200ml (RRP £19) for hampers and gifts. The 46% Rich Peat Edition is created from only Highland malts. 20

LINDORES ABBEY DISTILLERY lindoresabbeydistillery. com Drew McKenzie Smith was following in ancient footsteps when he began building his distillery on Lindores Abbey Farm in Fife, a site owned by his family since 1913. The Abbey is considered the “spiritual home” of Scotch whisky, thanks to written references to ‘aqua vitae’ – the forerunner of Scotch – dating back to 1494. McKenzie Smith’s first product is also aqua vitae, a 40% spirit (70cl, RRP £40) sweetened with dates and raisins, and Lindores Abbey began filling its first whisky casks in December 2017.

Five of the best ...

Selected by SARAH CRAWFORD, regional director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, CAMRA • Fyne Ales – Jarl • Swannay Brewery – Orkney IPA • Inveralmond Brewery – Ossian • Loch Lomond Brewery – Silkie Stout • Stewart Brewing – First World Problems


EDINBURGH GIN Inspired by the gin-making heritage of the Scottish capital, small-batch distiller Edinburgh Gin is also innovating, with spirits like the newly launched, London Drystyle 1670 – a collaboration with the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). The garden’s head botanist worked with the distiller to create a spirit using botanicals from the RBGE. The result is an “enticingly aromatic gin with lively herbaceous, floral notes with added peppery spice”. Also new is a light, fragrant pomegranate & rose liqueur, “evocative of sugardusted Turkish Delight”.

DAFFY’S GIN Lebanese mint and Italian lemon peel botanicals are said to give the London Dry-style Daffy’s Gin (43% abv) its “amazing freshness on the nose and palate” while a special distillation technique, involving preageing of the botanicals, delivers Daffy’s signature smoothness. Summer 2018 saw Daffy’s move to the new Strathmashie Distillery in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park, where it also offers foraging and gin-making experiences with master distiller Chris Molyneaux.

CAIRN O MOHR WINERY Winner of Craft Drinks Producer of the Year at the 2018 Menu Awards, Cairn o Mohr Winery has always produced its wines, ciders and premium soft drinks from fresh local fruits, leaves and flowers. The Perthshire business has now re-packaged its sparkling and flower wines to emphasise their foraged elderflower content and vegan-friendly credentials. A change to clear glass has also highlighted the wine colours, making the drinks look fresher and more attractive on-shelf.

BELLFIELD BREWERY Certified by Coeliac UK and registered with the Vegan Society, Bellfield Brewery says its mission is to brew “exclusively gluten-free beer that tastes great”. Its Bohemian Pilsner (4.5%) is a classic, pale, light-bodied Czech pilsner brewed with Saaz hops, while Lawless Village IPA (4.5%) is a traditional American IPA with a modern, citrusy finish. RRP for both is £1.85 for a 330ml bottle. Canned options are coming soon, along with a craft lager and a session ale.

GREAT BRITISH VERMOUTH Handcrafted on the Dalmeny Estate near Edinburgh, Wermod Dry Vermouth brings together 24 locally grown or foraged herbs, roots and flowers, infused in British wine and spirit, for a “dry, complex and harmonious aperitif”. Described as a floral, citrus, freshly herbal vermouth with the warm, bitter notes of wormwood, hyssop and yarrow, it won gold at the 2018 World Vermouth Awards. Wermod Dry Vermouth is available in 75cl bottles at an RRP of £26.99 (trade £15.74 plus VAT and delivery, minimum six bottles).

BREW TOON Loose Cannon, a 6% abv American IPA, and Weekend Hooker, a 5% lager, are among the craft beers emerging from Brew Toon. Based in Peterhead – the most easterly point of mainland Scotland – Brew Toon was set up 2017 to create “a new wave of unique craft beers – loaded with quality flavours and vibrant character”. They are available in 330ml bottles via distributor EeBria Trade.



Entrepreneurial spirit ESKER SPIRITS

While celebrities quaff birch water for its health and beauty benefits, fans of Esker’s gin with silver birch sap are more motivated by taste. The use of sap in this awardwinning spirit isn’t a gimmick. It’s the key botanical out of more than a dozen, helping balance all the other flavours, according to Steven Duthie, who founded Esker with wife Lynne in 2015. “Birch sap adds a slight sweet earthiness,” he says. “Distilling is a temperamental process and if something isn’t adding to the recipe, it is probably detracting from it.” A garden shed converted into a micro-distillery was where the story started. A few months on, Esker started a search for premises that fortuitiously ended up at the Kincardine Estate on Royal Deeside. “They allow us to tap their trees for sap every year, so locating on the estate was perfect,” says Duthie. While Esker’s copper stills provide capacity to produce 75,000 bottles per year, monthly production is presently still in the hundreds. “Our plan over the next few years is simply to grow,” says Duthie. “We have recently started exporting to China and are in talks with other territories.”

WOOHA BREWING Porter, lager, wheat, IPA and Blonde are among the beers produced by WooHa Brewing in Kinloss, Moray. All WooHa craft beers are unfined and bottleconditioned, to retain the mouthfeel and flavour from the hop oils and give the beers a natural effervescence. They are available in 12 packs of 330ml and 500ml bottles.

WINDSWEPT BREWING COMPANY Brewing in Lossiemouth since 2012, Windswept has a range that spans every style, from light summery ales to premium barrel-aged beers (typical RRP £2 for 330ml). New products for 2018 include Grisette, a light saison, and Hurricane, an IPA developed to celebrate the centenary year of the RAF. A new tea beer is due in the autumn, and there will be winter seasonals too. All Windswept Brewing Co beers are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.


SUMMERHOUSE DRINKS Answering the call for more premium tonics to accompany scores of new British gins, Walter Gregor Tonic Waters is one of two soft drinks brands produced by Summerhouse Drinks on the Rennie family farm in Aberdeenshire. Several Walter Gregor variants are available in 200ml bottles, including new Scottish raspberry and apple & cinnamon flavoured tonics. Then, under the Summerhouse Drinks brand, comes a range of lemonades, including the award-winning St Clements, sold to the trade is 12 x 250ml (RRP £1.79) and 6 x 750ml formats.

BON ACCORD A fondly remembered Scottish soft drinks brand, relaunched and “reimagined” by the original founder’s great-great-granddaughter, Karen Knowles, Bon Accord’s line-up comprises cloudy lemonade, rhubarb soda, ginger beer, tonic water and a new salted pink grapefruit soda. They are made in a small-batch operation with emphasis on natural, healthier ingredients including honey, coconut nectar and fruit juice. Trade prices are £12.00/ case (12 x 275ml, RRP £1.75) for the soft drinks and £14.40/case (24 x 200ml, RRP £1.10) for the tonic water.

TEASMITH Scotland’s historical links to the tea trade lend colour to the story of the only Scottish spirit distilled with handpicked tea. Teasmith has been set up by Nick and Emma Smalley in Aberdeenshire – birth county of British Ceylon’s first tea planter. Emma Smalley says tea provides “fabulous citrus notes of blood orange along with a minty sweetness” which it pairs with classic botanicals such as juniper, coriander seed, dried orange peel, angelica and orris root to make Teasmith Gin (70cl, RRP £38.95).

OGILVY SPIRITS Forget field-to-fork – Ogilvy Scottish potato vodka is based on a ‘ground-to-glass’ ideology, with everything produced from home-grown Maris Piper tatties on familyowned Hatton of Ogilvy Farm in Angus. The vodka (6 x 70cl bottle case, RRP £35) has won many awards, including the IWSC 2015 Vodka Trophy and a Platinum at the 2017 Sip awards. Pre-mixed cocktails are also now available (12 x 50cl bottle case, RRP £20) made with Ogilvy vodka and naturally pressed fruit juices.

GLASGOW DISTILLERY Original Dry, Oak-Aged, traditional Old Tom and cask-matured Mulberry Aged Gin form the Makar range from The Glasgow Distillery Co – the first single malt distillery established in the city since 1902. Its spirits are crafted in three unique copper stills – Annie, Mhairi and Tara – each named after family members of the three founding partners. Set up in 2014, the company will this year release its first single malt.

ORKNEY DISTILLING Two years after launch, Orkney Distilling is impressing the critics, with both its gins commended by The Gin Guide. Its flagship Kirkjuvagr (43%) achieved the highest UK score in the guide’s ‘best distilled gin’ category, while the 57% abv ‘storm strength’ sub-brand Arkh Angell, was ‘best navy strength gin’. Produced in a new distillery in Kirkwall, both gins reflect their Orcadian heritage, notably with use of Orkney bere barley and the prominent flavour of angelica – a herb reputedly brought to the islands by Norsemen.



GUIDE TO SUPPLIERS Cum ex es expla Dairy


AN ADVERT FOR ABERDEENSHIRE RORA DAIRY Former ad agency executive Jane Mackie is probably over-qualified for the task of selling her live yoghurt to farm shops and delis, but that doesn’t mean it is plain sailing. Housed in a purpose-built facility on the Mackies’ farm in Peterhead, Rora Dairy currently turns 1,000 of a possible 7,000 litres of milk per week into yoghurt, and Mackie has ambitious – but not bullish – growth aspirations. “One would hope we can grow that – there is plenty of room for expansion – but I say this with trepidation as I have learned a lot in the last year,” she says. “I have an MBA, a background in advertising and a great product, but I have to sell whatever I make, and when you’re making and selling it, that takes time.” So far, with distribution in place with The Cress Co, Williamson Foodservice and Mark Murphy, and a local listing with Morrisons, Mackie doesn’t appear to be doing too badly at this multi-tasking challenge. The yoghurts are also “heavily listed” by independents in Aberdeenshire. A strong provenance story no doubt helps sell the yoghurt locally – Rora uses fruit from Castleton Farm and honey from Heather Hills – but the yoghurt’s natural

ST ANDREWS FARMHOUSE CHEESE Jane Stewart’s family has been farming at Falside Farm, Fife, in the 1930s, but she only began cheesemaking in 2008. But this relative late-starter has become a consistent award winner, including topping the dairy category at this year’s Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards and taking “best British territorial” at Melton Mowbray. Stewart is now a key figure in the Scottish artisan cheese revival. St Andrews cheeses include a 10-month-plus mature cheddar, the crumbly, tangy Anster and its flavouradded sister Red Anster. 22

Five of the best ... Selected by BILL DE LA HEY, Mainstreet Trading Co, St Boswells • Isle of Mull Cheese – cheddar (cows’ milk) • Errington Cheese – Lanark Blue (raw ewes’ milk) • Dunlop Dairy – Bonnet (hard goats’ milk) • Errington Cheese – Corra Linn (raw ewes’ milk) • Barwheys Dairy – cheddar (cows’ milk)


credentials ensure appeal beyond its heartland. “Even though yoghurt can be made simply from milk and cultures, a lot of brands contain additives. We only use whole, non-homogenised milk and Scottish fruit and honey for our flavoured yoghurts.” When developing her fruit yoghurts, Mackie also set out to deliver a high fruit content and low sugar content (less than 10g per pot). This balance came naturally with raspberry and strawberry, but presented a challenge when working with blueberries. “I had to reduce the fruit to get the sugar level down. I was determined it had to be a healthy yoghurt,” says Mackie, adding: “There’s nothing more satisfying than producing a beautiful product. I am thrilled I can do it.”

KATY RODGER’S ARTISAN DAIRY Breakfast yoghurts, crème fraiche and Crowdie soft cheese are the main products from Katy Rodger’s artisan dairy at Knockraich Farm in Stirlingshire, owned by her family since the 1950s. Breeding and milking its own closed herd of British Friesians, the farm supplies whole, unhomogenised milk for Rodger’s rich, creamy yoghurts and a crème fraiche that has proved popular with chefs for its stability in cooking. Katy Rodger’s has been a multiple award winner in both the Scotland Food & Drink and Great Taste award schemes.

ISLE OF MULL CHEESE The Reade family of Somerset dairy farmers moved to Mull in the early 1980s and supplied fresh milk to Mull and its surrounding islands for almost 20 years. Cheese-making began as a winter sideline but as sales increased it became the sole focus, and a new cheese dairy was built. Now, with the third generation of Reades working the farm, the family milks around 150 cows to produce its cloth-bound Isle of Mull cheddar – usually sold by Neal’s Yard Dairy at 13-15 months – and Hebridean Blue.

NUDIE SNACKS Spring 2018 was a busy time for Paisley’s Nudie Snacks, with the launch of a raft of vegan roasted pulses to meet demand for healthier products. Joining a better-for-you nibbles range that includes coconut chips and protein balls, the newcomers include roasted lentils, chickpeas, split peas and broad beans in flavours such as chilli & lime and sour cream & chive. “We’ve used simple ingredients that consumers understand and know well, such as lentils and chickpeas, that were never available in this format,” says MD Ross Currie.


THE GOOD GRANOLA CO At its small bakery in Aberdeenshire, The Good Granola Company hand bakes granola to ‘fuel your daily adventure’. It offers four varieties in 400g retail packs (RRP £4.99), each combining honeytoasted jumbo oats with an abundance of dried fruit, nuts and seeds. It also offers a simpler oat & honey variety in 1kg catering packs for making up breakfast pots or serving on a buffet.


Sarah Gray’s is a husband and wife team who make jams, marmalades, curds, and chutneys, they have as much fun making their range as they do eating them with their family.

01241 860221 | |

Join the Guild of Fine Food...

Associate Partners

ALL MEMBERS RECEIVE: RETAILER-SPECIFIC BENEFITS: • Unlimited usage of the • FREE mystery shop report members’ Directory from Insight6 • Expert advice through the • DeliHelp: email service for any online interactive forum retailer concerns • Engaging and useful • Access to new products: PRODUCER industry articles source new lines and find & RETAILER products • Fine Food Digest ANNUAL delivered to • Free Assured Advice MEMBERSHIP your door Guidance from ACS FROM £150 • Special rates for • Codes of Practice: +VAT staff training coming soon • Competitive insurance PRODUCER-SPECIFIC packages BENEFITS: • Affordable legal advice • Early and reduced entry into the • Useful contact numbers to help you annual Great Taste awards solve business problems • Editorial opportunities in Fine Food • Monthly Guild bulletin with key Digest and related publications articles and advice • List of Retail members: online • FREE HR advice 365 days per year directory launching later in 2018

…and have exclusive access to the Guild’s online hub Join today: +44 (0)1747 825 200 | |





BRINGING WORLD-CLASS PRODUCE TO THE TABLE Highlands and Islands Enterprise is helping food and drink businesses across the region taste success in UK and global markets. INVESTMENT Transforming investment into trade

INTERNATIONAL TRADE Capitalising on worldwide opportunities

INNOVATION Turning ideas into sustainable growth

INCLUSIVE GROWTH Creating opportunities across the region

For more information:




FFD Food & Drink Scotland 2018  
FFD Food & Drink Scotland 2018