Online sales support the Edinburgh meat sector in the midst of coronavirus blackouts


Name: Anderson Susie.

Age: thirty-nine.

What is your company name?

East Coast Healed.

Where it’s positioned.

Leith. Leith.

What is it that makes?

East Coast Cured is a family-owned cured meat company specializing in the manufacture of sausages from Scottish products in the continental style. To obtain the best meat from species-appropriate sources, we work directly with local farms.

In the basement of a tenement building in Leith, our manufacturing plants are tucked away. We have the additional advantage of a small supermarket store at street level.

To whom is it sold?

We sell to customers as well as to a large range of wholesale customers directly. At our store in Leith, at farmers’ markets in Haddington and St. Monans, and online, retail clients will shop. In late 2019, we launched an online shop, not understanding at the time that it would cause our company to suffer a global pandemic!

We also work directly with a number of stores, hotels, bars and restaurants that exchange plates, pizzas and a variety of dishes using our items. Martin Wishart, who used our items on his menu at The Honours, was our very first retail client. For Gleneagles Hotel, we’re making a retail collection.

What is the turnover of theirs?

For pigs, we calculate sales! We made charcuterie out of half a pig when we started the company (about 45 kg). Over the years, this has risen to five pigs a week (about 450 kg). That’s about 250 pigs or 22,500 kg of raw pork per year if you include the occasional break in production.

How many workforce?

There are two general managers for the East Coast Healed Team: myself and my husband, Steven. Although I handle all else, Steven handles production and enforcement! We had two other full-time workers and one part-time worker before the Covid 19 coronavirus crisis.

We were extremely worried about our business when the crisis started, with at least 70 percent of our revenues directly going to the hospitality industry. In order to evaluate the situation, we shut down production for two weeks and tightened our belts, which meant laying off our part-time retail assistant. These decisions were utterly rash in retrospect, and it became obvious that we would be more busy than ever and that the team alone would not be able to accommodate the increased demand.

The balance of our company has shifted, and 70% of our revenues are now direct to consumers.

In the last six months, we employed four new workers (one full-time and three part-time) who were recruited locally, people whose livelihoods were affected by the coronavirus.

When was the firm founded?

After several years of research and development, East Coast Cured was founded in 2017. Recipes were produced in the eaves of our family home prior to the commercial launch, which had been transformed into an environmentally regulated “curing room.”

Why did the plunge take you?

A family company was something that I always thought would work for us. A couple of years ago, I had started my own company and thought it was something that I was good at. Steven and I have complementary skills, so I felt like our family might have a strong long-term choice for a company together. We have really enjoyed working on projects together. It’s been a hobby to make charcuterie, but we quickly thought we could turn it into something commercial.

In my life, food has always played a central role. The trip across Europe gave me a taste of authentic artisanal charcuterie. When I came home, I was constantly frustrated by the quality of charcuterie available, even though there is an abundance of high-quality products in Scotland. Starting East Coast Cured gave me the opportunity to raise the profile of Scottish products and turn a passion into a career.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I studied textile and fashion design at university, dabbled in design and manufacturing, opened and ran a store with my sister for a while, and worked in a few galleries and independent retail stores.

Until 2015 I ran a commercial gallery in Edinburgh on behalf of a local charity. The gallery was set up as a social enterprise to represent and train artists with disabilities and mental illness. When I was laid off in that job


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