A NEW Scottish business is venturing into European-style charcuterie, produced using meats from the crofts and wild animals of the Outer Hebrides.

Stornoway-based Hebridean Charcuterie from Croft No.9, launched by Brian and Melinda Whitington, is believed to be the first business in the region daring to prepare products such as salami and cured meats.

During a romantic trip to Paris at the start of their relationship, the couple enjoyed a cornucopia of cured, fermented and artisanal products, which rekindled their enthusiasm for all things charcuterie – and also prompted the question: “What if we could make these products ourselves in the Outer Hebrides?”

The idea quickly grew from a hobby producing cured and fermented meats for themselves, friends and family, to a business idea offering unique products generated from animals reared or roaming nearby.

The Whitingtons started selling their first product ‘Wild & Free Salami’ in March this year, made with local free-range pork produced on crofts, plus local venison and goose meat – in their own small way helping in the control of deer and geese numbers on the islands.

The couple have also trialled an aromatically spiced sheep meat salami which they hope to formally launch later in the year.

Brian said: “I always wanted to start my own business, and I felt that I had the skills and expertise to launch the first charcuterie in the Outer Hebrides, using meats from crofters and wild animals.”

Talking about their journey to launch the business Melinda explained: “We had to overcome a number of hurdles including converting what was once an unused garage at the back of our house into a salami kitchen at the height of the Covid crisis. Business Gateway has been vital to us with their on-tap advice, as well as financial support.”

Business Gateway helped the couple develop their business plan and supported investment in a mincer, slicer, sausage stuffer and fridges so that the enterprise could meet professional requirements.

Brian added: “As the first charcuterie business of our kind in the Outer Hebrides we aim to stock up to 50 local businesses with our locally produced Wild and Free salami. We are also proud of our no plastic packaging, electric vehicle transport and ultra energy efficient equipment, ensuring our impact on the environment is minimal.”