Director, Highland Fine Cheeses
What does the company do?
Attempts to break through the glass ceiling of mediocrity by producing edible artisan, specialist cheese
Where is it based?
On the southern shores of the Dornoch Firth at Tain
A touch shy of £2 million
Briefly outline your working day
5am wake up, I will have been looking at the clock from around 4. Mild hangover, make a coffee go to the loo. Dairy for 5:30, make up cultures, clean some vessels and start the pasteuriser. Then bolt for a dog walk and some breakfast. Make cheese – look at my emails and hope they go away – make cheese. Afternoon: a little catch up in the office and watch the clock until it’s time to enjoy a cold beverage
What are the biggest challenges facing your business right now?
It would be easier to list the bits that weren’t challenging! Energy, raw material costs, transport, packaging, staff – it’s all very tight.
What should be done to overcome these challenges?
Is this where I try and blame those in power? Head down, bum up, get on with it – tough times come and go.
Has the Scottish Government called it right on taxes?
I think it’s time for a new approach, this whole “tax the rich” thing isn’t working, Let’s try taxing the poor and giving the exhausted, troubled, over-anxious business owners a break for a year or two.
Has Brexit impacted on your business?
Yes, we find that French people are choosing to buy British brie instead.
Do you use public transport?
I’d prefer to crawl over broken glass.
Do you think this is the right time to call an independence referendum?
It depends what you want to call it.
What do you drive? Is it petrol, diesel or electric? What would make you switch?
I have a diesel van. I have to work hard at driving slowly because I have a history of court appearances owing to excessive exuberance on the roads. Last time I was given a year off and made to re-sit my driving test. That wasn’t fun! But in an effort to reduce fuel use and pollution I’ve bought an enormous motorbike – it’s a lot of fun.
What are your short and long term goals
Staying upright on the bike. Attempting conversation with my teenage brats. Remembering corks can go back in. A quick end, perhaps shot by a jealous lover when I’m 95.
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