What are you most proud of?
Our proudest moment was in 2013 when our salami was awarded 3 gold stars at the Great Taste Awards, made it to the top 50 foods in the UK and then won the Best Charcuterie product at a glitzy ceremony in London. It was such a thrill for us to get the recognition from the food world. Many well-known chefs and food writers, who had been judges, were in the room and there we were, all the way from the Scottish Highlands getting this award.
There’s a lot of debate about the environmental impact of eating meat at the moment. You put a lot of thought and effort in sustainably sourcing your meat. What’s your view on this?
We use locally sourced wild venison for our venison charcuterie. We buy the meat from local estates who manage the wild deer population. There are no natural predators left for deer in Scotland and they have to be managed by man to keep them at sustainable levels. That’s very important to protect the landscape, forests and also to make sure there is enough food for the animals in very cold winters. Eating wild meat is a sustainable option and can’t be compared to highly intensive meat production.
You run the business with your husband Jan Jacob. Do you each have your own specific area within the business?
Jan Jacob is really the creative force behind the business and comes up with recipes, does product development and he oversees the production side. My role is marketing and sales, which works well. Unfortunately Jan Jacob has not been well for the last year as he is struggling with a chronic illness, so I have had to take on more of his role. This has been a real learning curve as we realised we did not really know what each of us was doing.
It’s often said that it’s difficult for couples that work together to maintain a healthy balance between working and living. How do you manage this?
It is not always easy to separate the two! We have our offices at home so work and home-life are hard to separate. We try not to talk business during mealtimes and I refuse to discuss any business in the bedroom… Our romantic get-aways tend to be trips to trade shows or tastings. Although they are work, we enjoy spending time together during the evenings and it’s the only time we spend together away from the kids and daily grind of business.