I love living in the Outer Hebrides and feel so lucky to live in this incredibly beautiful and awe-inspiring part of Scotland! I am so proud of all that these uniquely traditional but also vibrantly innovative island communities offer to both residents and visitors, and am delighted to see so many authentic local artisan food businesses producing the absolute best flavours of these islands in such quality gourmet items. I hope to do all of my fabulous suppliers proud and represent their hard work and skill by sharing a taste of the Hebrides with as many Hebrideans – here and away - and visitors to our islands as possible.
My father’s family came originally from Lewis, and, after holidaying here for years, we moved to the island in 1973. We lived in Breanish, Uig, but while we kids attended school in Stornoway, we stayed in hostels or lodgings (with their own culinary delights and teenage escapades!) during the week - the bus service was into town on a Monday morning and home again on a Friday evening! Once we had all left home, our hard-working crofting and crafting parents moved to Melbost, Point, and continued to run their highly successful local businesses – Breanish Pottery and Breanish Tweed.
After leaving The Nicolson Institute in 1975, I worked and studied abroad, on mainland Scotland and in England, until eventually moving home with my own two children in 1989 to live in Stornoway.
I worked at Lewis Offshore for several years and then in various roles for the local authority over the last 30+ years – first at Lews Castle School for 11 years as School Secretary, then in the Education Department for six years as Principal Officer of Inclusion, and, most recently, at The Nicolson Institute as a teacher of English for 14 years. I took early retirement two years ago - but have not stopped working yet!
I am very excited about this hamper business and extremely pleased to see it proving to be a great success already, showcasing local producers, delivering a much-missed "taste of the Hebrides" alongside some innovative new food flavours for locals living away, and delighting new Hebridean visitors.
Over the years, as friends and family have moved away from the island, we let them know how much we were thinking about them and missing their company by sending them gift hampers of local items, and this is where the idea for this Hebridean Hamper business originated: the desire to share the most delicious and varied artisan food items being produced in these islands - bringing "a taste of the Hebrides" to loved ones, homesick islanders living away, and new friends of the Western Isles.
My fabulously talented children - daughter, Sophie, and son, Daniel – have, despite busy lives and families of their own, both encouraged and helped me to set up this Hebridean Hamper business; their encouragement, help and support has been invaluable and is extremely gratefully acknowledged.