Business Diversification Finalists 2018

Mackie’s of Scotland

Rothienorman, Aberdeenshire

Mackie’s is a pioneering fourth generation family, vertically integrated food and farming business -making dairy ice cream and chocolate on the farm in Aberdeenshire. The family have been farming there since 1912 and making ice cream in a ‘sky to scoop design chain’ since 1986. We started making ice cream with surplus cream – left over when people began to drink more semi-skimmed milk. The 1,500-acre arable farm supports the business – growing crops to feed the dairy herd, supplying fresh cream and milk to make the ice cream. Some other ingredients, like honeycomb and all packaging is also made on site. The business is powered by renewable energy from Mackie’s mix of solar, biomass and wind.


Luss Estates

Arnburn, Arden, Argyll

Luss Estates is a diversified rural business set on the banks of Loch Lomond. They bring sustainable, modern approaches to green energy generation, farming, forestry, nature conservation and game management. They have growing interests in hospitality, events, leisure and retail businesses, generating substantial employment in their communities. Luss employ over 120 local people in roles as diverse as Game Keeper, Hotel Kitchen Porter, Holiday Park Receptionist, Farm Manager, Head Gardener and Retail Assistant.


Ledard Farm Ltd

Kionlochard, Stirling

Ledard Farm are a sheep farm in the Trossachs who decided to diversify in 2001 beyond stock farming in 2001 as a result of the Foot and Mouth outbreak. They are a family business involving father, mother, eldest son, and daughter. They provide facilities for outdoor activities -clay pigeon shooting, sheepdog displays, fishing, waterborne events and corporate hospitality facilities for lunches, dinners and ceilidhs – they are a family of professional musicians! Customers are mostly foreign tourists in groups who want to get ‘under the skin of Scotland’ and companies interested in leadership development of staff. Their ambition is to grow the business with UK companies and extend the season.


Horn Imports t/a Art Animals


Horn Imports t/a Art Animals essentially started off as a bit of fun when they went looking for a life size model cow to put on top of the family restaurant at The Horn Milk Bar between Perth  and Dundee. Horn Imports evolved as a spin-off from the main restaurant business. After searching for life size model bovines; they finally discovered models which closely resembled real dairy bovines in Europe. From a plastic farmer`s perspective, anything less lacks credibility!


Hoods Honey

Ormiston, East Lothian

Hoods Honey are professional beekeepers and have been using their bees to help pollinate crops and produce honey in East Lothian, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders since 1950. The business began when George Hood was given a beehive by his uncle, and his love of bees saw him slowly develop and increase his stock until, at its peak, they were caring for more than 700 hives. It also saw them  recognised by the National Records of Scotland, and their beeswax has been used to seal every act of the Scottish Parliament since it was reinstated.


Glen Tanar Estate

Aboyne, Aberdeenshire

Glen Tanar is a traditional sporting estate situated on the eastern edge of the Cairngorms National Park and covering 25,000 acres of mostly high ground. The land includes 11,000 acres of heather moorland, 10,000 acres of woodland, 3,000 acres of upland farmland, as well as 8 miles of fishing rights on the River Dee. The business activities include nine 9 luxury, four-star graded, self-catering holiday cottages, an award-winning wedding venue with the historic Victorian ballroom, corporate and commercial events, commercial and residential property, forestry, estate safaris, wildlife photography and sporting activities such as deer stalking, grouse shooting, salmon fishing and trout fishing.


Errichel Farm (Budge-Reid Partnership)

Aberfeldy, Perthshire

In 1998 Errichel Farm owners Alastair and Iris Budge-Reid bought Errichel Farm and have worked tirelessly to make it into what it is today. Over the years they have redeveloped the outbuildings to provide quality holiday accommodation, extended and refurbished Errichel House to provide luxury guest accommodation, a professional kitchen and a stunning dining room for Thyme at Errichel Restaurant. They are dedicated to promoting all the great attractions, facilities and locations available in our area and Scotland for guests to enjoy Scotland’s natural bounty in all its forms.


Down on the Farm

Rosehearty, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire

Carole and Matthew Short and their two young children Isobel and Thomas, along with Matthews parents Janet and John,  have a 200-acre farm overlooking the rugged Buchan coast in Aberdeenshire. It is dedicated to a herd of beef cows and a sprinkling of sheep, peacocks, hens, ferrets and dogs. It is a real retreat for anyone wanting to escape busy urban life. Down on the Farm offers four luxury camping options – Harvest Hut, an off-grid shabby chic revamp of a former farm workers accommodation and the Coastal Carriage, a tastefully remodelled vintage railway carriage. Both are beautifully decorated and come with log burners.


Craighead Country Nursery School

Mauchline, Ayrshire

Craighead Country Nursery school opened in July 2016 as a diversification of Craighead farm. They are a private children’s nursery offering full and part time early learning and childcare for children aged six months to five years. They are located in a unique countryside setting and provide children with daily access to the outdoors, whatever the weather. Children are encouraged to climb on fallen trees, jump in muddy puddles and make assault courses from tyres and pallets. The value of learning with a little freedom is immense and parents are extremely interested in the innovative service they are offering.


Bespoke Blooms By Maybury

Sandwick, Stornoway, Western Isles

In 21 months they have built a business from one favour to now having three staff, purchasing a delivery van to cater for same-day deliveries, a full order book for weddings in 2018, sending orders all over the island, the north of Scotland and the UK. The beautiful archipelago has 25000 potential customer spread over a vast area of some 250 miles by 50 miles so they realised that they had to broaden their customer base to include both local customers but to also reach a bigger market.