We're on Kickstarter
We've got 'Thank-you' packages available from £25 thru to £2000 - if you value sustainable resilience, choice and diversity Please! back us. Thanks. Mark
Piggery-Smokery™ - Umamiliscious Bacons
Piggery-Smokery™ - we trade in awesome Bacons.
Meet our darling, Dark Dubhloch™ .
Mark Reynolds and, Top Baconeer Susan, are a Bacon making company called Piggery-Smokery™ from Aberdeenshire. They create a world class, multi-award winning, range of superior Bacons with known provenance & all from their family home kitchen! But this is their big issue, their facilities & equipment are totally overwhelmed, they need space & automation. With current production rates existing home Bacon making has become unsustainable.
Team P-S don't have the full investment required for entry level artisan equipment or for a production property with land. They have found a place near their current location and for which they have put in a note of interest. They need crowd fund help. Their target is £22,000 - the price of an entry level slicer. But, their turn key need, is....space which they can then use to expand, diversify & develop. They have £50k already. The site they've identified needs £200,000.
This investment plan gives them resilience and sustainability in a Post Brexit, COVID world & fully aligns with Scottish Governments’ Ambition to double Aberdeenshire’s food & drink output by 2030. Beyond simply increasing production Team P-S know it also offers more, it offers diversity & choice in an increasingly globalised sector. Piggery-Smokery think they can be Iconic for Aberdeenshire.
They make good food - it's called #epicbacon.
Want to be an icon, fire starter? We'd appreciate your support. Thank-you.
Mark Reynolds, Sept 2020.
Piggery-Smokery™ make a hugely popular range of quality Bacons & Salumi
• 13 Guild of Fine Foods - Great Taste Gold Stars awarded to 10 Bacons.
• Silver & Bronze medals - British Charcuterie Awards.
• 3 trademarks: Piggery-Smokery™, Dark Dubhloch™, Sweet Beaver™
• Repeated, food festival 'sell outs' - Taste of Grampian, Deeside Food Festival
• Customer focus & care is a priority.
• Community oriented and socially inclusive.
• Bright, fresh, passionate, energetic, proud, innovative & imaginative.
Here's Our Story:
If you want to read more here's our wee story but maybe have a look at our video.....[note to reader: we'd suggest you first go boil a kettle, get some of our awesomliscious bacon in a roll (we can help here), then settle back & let us take you on a journey.....]
We've 'borned' bacons for about 12 years now. I was fed up eating terrible quality rendtions from the supermarket; no taste, all salt, awful pan look, stringy, horrible, crunchy & terrible fat... you get the idea, right? Anyhow, I started curing my own with advice from John Dossett, my local butcher at the time, in Kintore. Over the last 3 years, we've steadily become a 'high demand brand' & production really shifted a gear after James Watt invited us to Brew Dogs' 2016 AGM. Selling 1 of our awesome bacon rolls every 2 minutes for 11 hours straight kind of took us by surprise. It was the fastest moving queue at the event. We knew our bacon was good but we never planned on becoming so popular. We're now....quite convincingly...... overwhelmed.
Last year, 2019, we cured just under 2 tonnes of locally sourced (Ellon), Mossies pork from our home kitchen. Post COVID, 2020, we're now curing 60kgs /week, a 3 fold increase in supply, almost overnight, and we're building considerable, traction. It's a word of mouth success story in those terms. Fundamentally we never dreamt we’d be as popular & consequently we’ve seriously outgrown ourselves. It's why we need help.
Crikey! Why's your product in demand?
Hand made techniques - through dry curing and pride - allow us to achieve great flavours.
Well, it's good stuff, even we're eating it like there's no tomorrow! Besides, we've independent taste verification from international panels of judges too & have proudly earned, 3 years running, 13 x Great Taste Award Gold Stars 2017 - 2019 & Silver and Bronze Medals from the 2019 British Charcuterie Awards. We have showcased on BBC2s' Top of the Shop with Tom Kerridge, BBC Albas' Talamah Torrach Scotlands' Food and Drink programme as well as Radio Scotlands' Out of Doors magazine. We've been mentored by Tony Singh MBE as part of Trans Pennine Express - Where Next Project and have attended numerous artisan food and drink courses from School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire to the Italian Culinary Instiute, Calabria, Italy. We've experimented (& failed) a lot too.
We have a brilliant, empowered team and, crucially, LOADS of happy baconeaters
But....beyond that our bacon sells itself. Folks write and tell us of 'OMG' moments up & down the country (our Facebook page is good for that). It's....spine tingling. We get great feedback for our brioche bacon rolls, and from Bacon packs we sell from our house and at producers markets too. It looks & smells great, has beautiful, healthy colours, helped mostly by the fresh spices we use, it holds its' shape, cooks off in seconds without 'gunge' leaking out, doesn't shrink & is hugely, versatile transforming almost any dish into something even more wonderful. It's plain a& simple noshable. Don't we know it! Check this out, PepperBack Finn made with black pepper & bay:
PepperBack Finn - awesome.
Soups, pastas, fish, burgers, even eaten without cooking, our product is phenomenol & dead easy to use too. It's genuinely difficult to tell the difference between the meat & the fat once it's cooked - very creamy, crisps up wonderfully & incredibly tasteful. Folks who try it for the first time tend to go kind of quiet at first & whilst they try to figure what they've just eaten - they develop this blank kind of look & then a huge smile waves over them, they glow a bit, you can feel them tingle & 'kahboom', it hits them like a hog train from Hogsville: "Man, that's awesome ,what a product!" - check out our Facebook recommendations if you find that hard to swallow (ha ha no pun!). I guess that's why we routinely 'sell out' at Taste of Grampian where we normally tag up with John Davidson, the award winnning Inverurie butcher and also Deeside Food Festival where folks evidently have us on their wish list of 'go sees'. We're honoured of course. We enjoy selling our hand made, quality products. But, I'll be honest, it kind of sells itself; the colour, the feel, folks know it's something very real, they know it's good because it shines, it reaches them. It's locally made from local stock, it has to be awesome. Besides, we love the craic & we give the folks wee deals here & there. We're customer engaged, we're respectful, a wee bit cheeky and playful too. We tell them what they can do with it...like this:
Our Intelligent Chef Range is hugely versatile - it's got loads of Umaminess.
Ok, beyond a great product what else is your idea offering?
Well, we know we have responsibilities to the pigs, the customers, and us. We want to sell something superior & something folks will enjoy and talk about. And they do we've over 10,500 customers, UK wide. And now these people are starting to ask for 'Piggery-Smokery' by name at Dossetts Butchers in Kintore & at John Coopers hang out at Formartines in Ellon and when they phone in an order. Our flavours are recognised in their own right - it's why I trademarked them. Mind you with names like these it's hard for folks to forget them: Sweet Beaver™ (Maple), Dark Dubhloch™ (Treacle, Fennel and Ale), Grizzly Adams' Downfall (ale & Sweet Beaver™ of course), PepperBack Finn (Bay & Peppercorn), Naked Toad (butt naked as the day was borne), Panannich Sprite (made with post processing Murmichan Absynthe ingredients from our friend Pete down at Lost Loch Spirits, Aboyne)....and it goes on, it's fresh, new, Piggery-Smokerys' redefining Bacon.....I mean Pondicherry Pi? - an awesome Vindaloo flavour ( & one step too far for Great Taste Award panelists 2017! - who cares, it makes our mouths water with Pilau rice), Hanse Panda - Char Sui, YumNumNom - Thai...you get it right? It's free, no bars hold, unrestrictive, it's us.
Maynard Davies, one of our Baconeering heros from the 60s and 70s, said in his book Adventures of a Bacon Curer - "Invest in yourself, eat good food". We have to agree with him & we're very lucky that we can of course, but it's because:
• We use local Aberdonian farmers to supply our sustainable quality pork.
• We've been out to see the pigs and think, on balance, we have a great source herd.
• Low delivery mileages throughout the production process.
• We use the best ingredients, often using home grown seeds like Fennel & local honey, great quality sugars......nice stuff yeah?
• &, crucially we take time, time is the making of our bacon, tick, tock, tick, tock....
• We like to think we have phenomenal customer care too & second to none interaction. We're so proud we've got a large Facebook following with 87+ 5/5 approval rating from independent customers.
Our CCVincent chilli bacon is MMmmmmmm -
we use quality spices and fabulous pieces of pork.
We experiment. We're imaginative. We have innovative tendencies; we've worked out how to smoke water for smoky cocktails & we're selling 'Kulinary Kryptonite', our own Celtic N'Duja (spelt N'Dubhya) - & something even an Italian may blush over. Kulinary Kryptonite man it'll transform your piquant cooking - pizzas maybe?
We have proud environmental credentials too. Our packaging is deliberately minimal. We hand stamp our own packaging to reduce needless use of inks, it's as much paper & the least plastic we can realistically achieve. We even actively manage a native deciduous woodland for biodiversity & carbon capture. It's small beer yeah, but it does make us actively respectful of the environment &, we reckon, gives us some depth, at least, as far as we can be.
Environmental respect: our branding is simple and hand stamped minimising ink
Lastly, we’re community focused & socially inclusive. I’m hoping you find us genuinely passionate. Pre COVID we'd support local artists & routinely have international & UK local acoustic musicians & artists round to our existing HQ. It's home gigs, Piggery-Smokery stylee......we'd really like to keep this going...in a new place - it's creative.
We're community orientated, social interactive & support cultural diversity - we also do music
Ok, so that's how 'brilliant' we are. Remember all this is from our home kitchen! We like to think we've achieved an enormous amount so far & we don't think we've really been trying that hard....BUT we need space, & tools to keep this going.
Ok, sounds pretty cool. So what's your issue?
Well, we're getting seriously busy & it's obvious to us we need to develop & make a more permanent mark on the bustling food scene here.... with Bacon as our USP of course. Add into the mix some original thought & we can make Piggery-smokery something awesome, iconic. It's a niche market obviously & very hard work but most everyone loves bacon right, it's just some haven't actually tried real Bacon yet.
So, we're targeting 5 times current output - that's a whopping 10 - tonnes of hand cured, artisan Bacon per year! Not industrial, but sustainable. And, to become sustainable, fundamentally, we need bigger premises. We have £50k but don't have sufficient backing to buy anywhere. A move to bigger place will be a turnkey development for Piggery-Smokery™. It'll put us more on the map, we can establish.
Now, we have identified an ideal location. It's not far from here in Alford, but, of course, it's on a time limit, we've been given 50 days. We've put in a noted interest, an amazing crowdfund victory of £200,000 would give possibilities for all of us:
We work real hard, we've ideas, we're go getters.
Additionally, our small capacity production equipment is slow, hand cranked and over worked. We never bought it for 'mass production' of course, bumbling along selling stupid wee packets of bacon to work mates in zip lock bags... I mean what were we thinking? Even back then our stuff was dynamite, it was going to take us places, only.... we didn't really know these places existed, do you know what I mean? Like... making a real impact with it, and we seem to be doing just that... So, of course, we’re now suffering curing, slicing & packing bottlenecks at home with over demand.
Hand slicing, weighing each packet and individually putting them into vacuum pockets with a 2 minute wait to 'vacuum&seal' is inefficient for the volume of orders we're now getting & a waste of humanity. Let's face it, there are loads of better things to stare at for that long in the world eh? We waited, once, on 600 packets, one day at Xmas time - that's 5 hours....waiiting, staring at a perspex bubble. So, you can see, it's a hobby that's out grown itself & we reckon we're worthy of help, do you think we are?
Counting for equipment & some building works - like a slicer that can sort our bacon slices (called shingleling) comes in at a hefty £21,000, a 20 packet vacuum slicer at £12,000 & you can see we're rapidly mounting up costs, We've calculated £250,000 would get us started & we simply don't have all that cash, only some of it.
We bought a delivery van last week, she identifies as 'Maynard'. She'll give us enhanced opportunity meantime, whislt we get our act together. She still needs to have refrigeration conversion at approx £5,500. We just need that wee help to get us into the right, Bacony trajectory.
From our side we have £50k we're putting into the project ourselves - we are serious. We tried 2 banks, but, post COVID, there is significant apprehension in funding folks who have been running a hobby, from a home, and with limited accounting on their side. They even refused to eat our bacon as we attempted to show them this stuff is worth funding....stuff 'em. Still, in stages, we can do this.
Ok, in summary then....?
Flitches at their best - a 3 week manufacturing cycle to 'borne' quality, artisan products is hard work - we need space to hang these babies in - our drying hanger is full.
• We make great quality, consistent, high end and in demand bacon products - back streaky, ultrathin, lardons & pastes.
• We sell UK wide & turned over just under £25k 2019/2020.
• Our current location & equipment are too small to remain sustainable.
• We need purposeful space, ideally with some land, to help us achieve maximum potential.
• We need more efficient, bigger, but not industrial, throughput equipment.
• We need £200,000 backing from folks who; like us, can see our commitment and who reckon we have determination to give Piggery-Smokery the injection it needs. We are go getters. We're practical.
This will facilitate:
• Product line diversification - we also make - but are unable to sell because of our home production - Smoked salmons, nuts, dry cured sausage, water (for smokey cocktails). We make Rowanberry jellies, Elderflower chamagnes and transform olives - we're creative.
• A retail space will help us up sell & increase Bacon sales, facilitate creation of value added products like pies & provide a pretty cool eatery for folks like you.
• With land we can develop farmer's type market & become involved with being an active contributor to enhancing local, community life and....
• Provide post COVID environment distanced eating...using a wood fired oven….and…it’s bang on a main road.
• Something quirky & unique within the Scottish countryside. Who wants generic?
• With these things in place we could provide some great youth, confidence building, empowering, real wage jobs and.....
• Set ourselves up to become maybe even an iconic, Scottish brand.
Yeah, well I’m not in Aberdeenshire &.... I'm a Vegetarian?
Ok, there’s a bigger picture here too. Obviously we make Bacon, I can't deny that, we eat meat too, all sorts, but there's something more than that at stake here. At our core is dynamic thrivability. We got oodles of imagination too it comes through in our food, our ideas, the way we think. These are essential, economic kickstarter traits. These elements create National diversity, choice & independence which is good for everyone & veers us away from corporate multi-national chains. We're experimental with our cures, on plant based products like Quorn and Tofus and Haloumis, we make awesome pickles, falafels, pakoras, we're organic gardeners - the simple beauty and variety in even simple lettuces like Lollo Rosso, Webbs Wonderful, Chards, Frisee, Blushed Oak leaf, Butterheads & red and golden Beetroots delights us. Our plan crucally also gives you folks a choice too. Come visit, talk with us, you’ll be made most welcome no matter what you identify as &.... we do great vege based foods too - ever had Makai Palak - man it whoops!
Lastly, this plan gives us resilience and sustainability in a Post Brexit, COVID world. This is '2 thumbs good' for the Scottish Governments’ Food & Drink Ambition to double Aberdeenshire’s food & drink output by 2030. We really, really, really want to be a part of this and truly believe we can create a proud iconic brand for Aberdeenshire.
We make good food.
Well, that sounds reasonable, thanks Piggery-Smokery.
Wait! Can you help us? We need funds, obviously, but we can trade too. Our fund target is around £22,000, for a slicing machine we reckon we can achieve this..but, if we can go above & beyond, we'd be on fire, £200,000+ is a big, warm, glowy fire.
The Piggery-Smokery smoker doesn't smoke much smoke, smoking smmmmmoak at night, sm..ok?
We’re offering ‘rewards’ of course, but beyond that, way beyond that, come out to see us, once we open, we’ll show you that we are actually offering something unique and real. Alternatively, get in touch: I’m firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading our story of hope. Take care & wear a mask.
Come on, get in touch & discuss any support you could offer - we can do this.
Risks and Challenges if you want to Crowdfund us
With any project there are risks. We are determined to make a go of this idea - it may not take shape exactly as we have laid out here, but we're going ot target it as best we can. There are things out of our control like the space that's for sale now.....if you can help us we'd really appreciate that and we'd be endebted.
We reckon these are the top risks:
1 - The site we want is sold to A-N-Other whilst we are crowdfunding - We've placed a note of interest on the property. Site owner is aware we're trying to raise funding. The owner loves our proposal and our product and community based ideas but selling it to us is not guaranteed. We have set a funding time scale by which time we'd hope to understand where we were heading with funding - we'll either soar or bomb. We have another site locally which we would develop with any funding raised. We absolutely want to increase bacon production as a minimum and we need space to do this.
2 - We don't achieve our iniital target & fall short in the alloted time scale - In ths case we'd get none of any pledged funding. Funders will not be charged for their support. We think we've set an achievable target it's not 'do or die' if we fail to rech 22k (we'll just sack eachother and sob).
3 - We exceed our intial target but fall short of our secondary target of £200,000 - we are selling our house, Brunec, and we have savings of £50,000. We will add these to the pot as required. We may still not be able to achieve our space goal and in which case we would work on an alternative location.
4 - It's a reasonably big project, how you going to manage it? - We have a phased strategy in place to develop the plan. We are resourceful and go getters. We need to keep making bacon so we are focsed on this. We'll get bacon making up and running first and foremost c/w improved equipment which can be acquired in stages. Once we have revenue from this we'll expand it to offering enhanced retail offerings, and use of USP bacon in an eatery. A kitchen garden will then be developed. Once these are established we can concentrate of embellishing the existing set up and get it to how we want it. Producers market and community offerings will then be initiated. We think we can be at a good trading level within a year from now. 2 years will see us well established. By year 3 we'll be tweaking and polishing our offering.