Rosie Jack is the Markets and Events Manager at Bowhouse, a food collective based on the Balcaskie Estate in the East Neuk of Fife. Bowhouse opened as a makers’ hub for local food and drink producers in July 2017, working to provide the missing link between field and fork for producer and consumer. Its Market Weekends welcome thousands of visitors each month. An increasing number of producers are based at Bowhouse from Scotland the Bread’s organic mill to shellfish specialist, Langoustine the Box. Last year saw the launch of the Mill House café at Bowhouse as well as the opening of the tap room at the Futtle Organic Brewery. Bowhouse is shortlisted for the Rural Business Diversification Award at the Scottish Rural Awards 2020.
What do you do on a typical day?
Every day is different, and yes, I realise that everyone says that! It really is true with Bowhouse though, we have a very varied range of events, meetings and markets taking place each month. Day to day I am based at the Balcaskie Estate Office, where a typical day may include meeting with our branding team, having discussions with local clubs and organising charity events as well as working closely with our market traders. We have a number of food and drinks based at Bowhouse too, so I may be meeting Tom and Connie at East Neuk Market Garden to talk about their harvest and plans for a pot your own event at the next market weekend, or meeting with Andrew Whitley to chat about volunteers for the charity Real Bread Campaign giving a talk about heritage grains. There’s always lots going on, but we have a beautiful office with views across the fields and down to the sea, a great team and I do try to take my dog, Rhu, a Labrador, for a walk at lunch-time too!
What is your favourite part of your job?
There are a few highlights for me, so it’s difficult to choose just one aspect. I get to meet and work with so many different people from across many sectors, who are all united as passionate about wanting to create a sustainable supply chain for people to be able to enjoy great food and drink, whilst preserving the landscape and supporting local businesses. I also enjoy how hands on and creative working at Bowhouse can be – I am known to jump into a forklift if some tattie boxes need shifted before a market weekend or bake gingerbread people for hanging on our Christmas trees during the festive period. It’s fantastic to be part of such an exciting and pioneering team and project in our community. Coming from a farming background myself, it’s so rewarding to see children visit Bowhouse and learn about rural life, with farming and food production.
What is unusual about your business?
We have so many different customers and people to appeal to. From our Bowhouse visitors, our market traders to our business that are based at Bowhouse full time, they all have different needs and wants so steering to their needs can be conflicting and unusual sometimes.
What will you tell the world if you win this award?
To win the Rural Business Diversification Award would be a great recognition of the hard work of so many. By supporting us at Bowhouse you are also supporting many local businesses, the local and wider community, charities and families, Bowhouse is just where it starts. Thank you for seeing our vision for a fairer, local and seasonal food chain.