Salt making business launches in north-east Fife

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Fife couple, Darren and Mhairi Pettie, fulfilled a dream when they created the St Monans based East Neuk Salt Co.

The idea came to mind in 2019 while walking in the coastal village’s historic salt pans.

There, the seed was planted for them to produce their own hand harvested sea salt.

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Over the last couple of years, Darren has sourced equipment from all over Europe from the Netherlands to Italy.

East Neuk Salt CompanyEast Neuk Salt Company
East Neuk Salt Company

By working closely with Business Gateway Fife, they were able to access expert help and assistance in addition to a Financial Support to Business Grant as well as a By Design grant which helped them with branding, marketing and packaging for the end product.

Since then, the business has flourished and grown exponentially and now they hope to become Scotland’s largest manufacturer of hand harvested sea salt.

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Darren said: “The processing system is now complete with the first batch of salt already in production.

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Darren PettyDarren Petty
Darren Petty

"We visited Achill Island Sea Salt in Ireland, as the process they use looked very similar and with the added bonus of some tweaks, we can improve efficiency.

"This process results in salt flakes which we sell in 150g pouches, 10g Pinch Tins and various bulk order quantities. The product lines will be extended to include smoked and flavoured salt as we progress the business.

"We may be biased, but it is without doubt the best sea salt we have ever tasted and we are receiving great feedback from local chefs and businesses to support that.”

Business Gateway advisers, Shona Morrison and Samir Rhazali, have been supporting Darren and Mhairi throughout their business journey.

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Samir said: “The company has a major emphasis on community spirit and brand heritage and have used local village tradesmen in all aspects of the renovation of the production unit.

"Darren and Mhairi have shown a real determination and commitment to this project with great plans for the future.”

At the heart of their business is the link with local heritage and collaboration with local communities and plans are now well underway to explore the reconstruction of one of the original and historic salt pans on the coastal path to create a visitor centre.

Darren added: “We are already engaged in productive talks with Historic Environment Scotland to rebuild the Pan House near the bathing pool at St Monans.

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"This is a very important project, not only to retain the historic heritage of the area, but to protect it from environmental erosion in the future.

"We wouldn’t want to see any of it lost to the ravages of time”

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