A young couple starting a food production business have risen to the challenge of providing the very best in home-cooked food using locally sourced ingredients delivered frozen direct to your door.
And they believe the meals are so good that people will subscribe to their ‘bundles’ to keep repeat orders coming in.
From their farm kitchen in Rafford, Gulli Skatun and Axel Zwaans are cooking, freezing and packaging their home-cooked ready meals using locally-sourced ingredients, and then delivering them to your door.
Marcassie Farm Kitchen operates from the farm of the same name where sustainability and local produce are already high on the agenda.
Axel said: “Similar to a veg box scheme, we sell our meals in a ‘bundle’ format, which means creating a virtual box of 4 to 8 single or double portion meals, plus extras if you want them, including soups, desserts and kombucha made by Hannah Taylor from ‘Gut Feelings’, another small local business owner and friend.”
As a small operation, the duo are are keen to build on ‘subscriptions’ to their meal delivery service that will allow them to create a steady revenue stream that will allow them to focus on developing new recipes and adding more options to their menus.
Subscriptions allow customers to choose a delivery schedule which suits their lifestyle (weekly, biweekly, monthly).
Axel adds: “Subscribers save 15 per cent on each order, and can be edited, paused or cancelled whenever. There are many advantages to this type of selling and those who have subscribed with us have expressed that it has added a degree of simplicity to their lives. People can also order one off, and we are hoping to be able to cater to self-catering holiday makers who would like to sample locally sourced produce without any of the hassle or food waste. We are also about to stock some of our dishes in Logie Steading Farm and Garden Shop.”
Gulli grew up in Moray, and had been living in London and abroad for 15 years. Axel was living and working on boats in the Mediterranean. During the first lockdown, they decided it was time for a change and took the plunge to head north to Gulli’s family farm.
She had the idea to create a weekly fresh three-course menu for people to heat at home, delivered locally throughout lockdown, to bring some cheer and see what evolved from it.”
She said: “Axel wasn’t even supposed to be involved at this stage, as he was looking at yacht related jobs elsewhere. However we quickly realised that even on a small scale, it would be impossible to manage alone, so we had a long chat and decided to go all in together to try and create a proper business that would align with our values, be of service to the community and also financially viable for us both.
“As far as our food goes, we love the local food scene here, there are lots of great cafes and restaurants, as well as amazing food producers. There is also plenty of choice for ready meals in supermarkets, but there are a lot of processed ingredients and often not much emphasis on flavour and quality of produce.
“We’re trying to mix it up and offer the best of both worlds – chef-made, comforting and balanced restaurant style food disguised as a simple frozen ready meal, delivered straight to your door.”
“We are only a two-person operation, so we’re in direct contact with our customers all the time. This is nice because it means we get feedback on our products on a regular basis, allowing us to fine-tune our menu to the local market’s demands. It’s definitely nice being able to offer that personal touch.
“We think its massively important to support growers and those who rear our animals for meat, and there are so many hard-working skilled people in the near vicinity doing such valuable service.
“All our meat is locally sourced and free-range or organic, and our menu changes seasonally so that we can use as much local Scottish produce as possible. Of course there are certain things that are imported as we have all become so used to an abundance of choice! But we are doing the best we can in the current climate to minimise our environmental footprint and build more connection with suppliers and local businesses all the time.
“Locally grown food creates important economic opportunities, provides health benefits and helps to reduce environmental impact. It also helps bring the community together and gives people the opportunity to make a difference.
“Many people also feel that local food tastes better and lasts longer. They also find peace of mind knowing exactly where their food came from and how it was grown or reared. For others, supporting community economics and building relationships with local food producers is incredibly important, as is protecting the environment.”
Some of the local providers include: Elchies Estate (Boer goat meat), Thorabella Buffalo, Logie Estate, Marcassie Farm, Macleod Organics, The Bakehouse, Gut Feelings Kombucha, Williamson Food Service, Macbeth’s Butchers, The Real Thing Local Beef, Connage Dairy and Wester Lawrenceton Farm.
More information and ordering details are available at marcassiefarmkitchen.co.uk