Egglicious Eggs

• Jim & Hilary Strathern, Chicken farmers, based in Whins of Milton, 3 miles away from Stirling Food Assembly.

• Egglicious eggs are a family run business.

• They started the business 4 years ago as a hobby for their daughter.

• “We started with 10 chickens and have gradually increased due to demand and currently have 900 hens and looking to expand again soon. Our Free Range Hens are allowed to roam and enjoy the country life overlooking 3 landmarks: Stirling castle ,Wallace Monument, and The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre . Our hens produce lovely orange Yolkers for our customers to enjoy.”

• Jim and Hilary regularly donate trays of eggs to the nearby Strathcarron Hospice.

Contact details:

Jim and Hilary Strathern, 07802 830756

Started out with an honesty box at the farm, they were building their business at the same time as the food assembly was launched, looked like an excellent opporutnity, as they needed new outlets.

Found the process very easy to get involved in, initial paperwork done, they were off.

Get an email on wednesday at around 1am to let them know what they have to box up for the Thursday evening pick up at Stirling. Also do Milngavie food assembly, which is Friday, but don't have to attend as food moved from Stirlng to milngavie for them.

Assembly takes 17% of total.

Highlights: meeting their customers, speak to them, get feedback. Also if there are any issues, you can talk to them and sort them out, retaining their customer. Unlikely to happen when working third party through a shop.

Has boosted profits, initially had 900 hens, now up to 1800 hens with another 1000 on the way. Not all going through food assembly, have other shops too, which is essential. Turnover is up. opened their business up to a new customer base that woudn't have come to the farm -

Kate Sankey, West Moss-side Organic Farm

• Cattle farmer, based in Thornhill, 10 miles away from Stirling Food Assembly.

• Sells Organic Shetland Beef.

• West Moss-side Organic Farm and location of the award winning Trossachs Yurts is set in the farming landscape of the Carse of Stirling just on the edge of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Part of the farm is on the ancient peat lands of Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve - the remnants of a vast expanse of raised bogs which extended along the Forth valley. It is here that in the summer the Shetland cattle graze - keeping the rough grasses, heathers and birch regeneration at bay.

• The beef is a product of home conservation grazing with a tiny percentage of their feed being organic concentrate. In the winter they eat hay and haylage made from the West Moss-side fields. The hay fields are biodiversity rich with a mixture of grasses, wildflowers and clover. No food miles for the cattle! The farm is certified organic so there are no artificial fertilizers, insecticides or chemicals whatsoever.

• The cattle are kept as a family grouping with just 7 breeding cows so the amount of beef (from the bullocks) is very limited. The abattoir is local and the beef is hung for 3 weeks and butchered by a specialist butcher in Perth. It is sold direct from the farm freezer.

• Small producer, beef is only available in limited quantities. Attends the market at least once a month.

Contact details:

Kate Sankey, 01786 850428

Kate joined the Food Assembly as a way to reduce waste from her small business of producing beef which is a product of home conservation grazing. An organic farm, she was selling her beef to the customers of her yurt business. The burgers, sausages and steaks would be snapped up by the customers for their on-site BBQs, however, she was often left with mince and stewing steak. The FA offered a perfect option to widen her audience and sell to people outwith her circle of family and friends. Kate loves meeting the customers and she says boring them about her cattle and the work they do maintaining Flanders Moss nature reserve. She feels the distribution model is very effective for her, every efficient model. Get lots of feedback and return customers, doesn't have to go to all assemblies, just puts on what she has available. Have improved her profits but more importantly she gets an important message out to her customers, educates them on her way of producing beef.