"Eggs-tremely" successful snacks

Grant funding helps micro business to develop new Scotch egg recipes

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The Company

Noni's Family Kitchen, Boughton Astley, Leicestershire

What they do

Noni's Family Kitchen was set up by Jackie Williamson after she left a job that was not suiting her health. In the process of getting herself back to full strength Jackie embarked on a specific diet and wanted to find snacks that were filling but low fat and healthy. This proved to be quite difficult, and since eggs were allowed on her diet, Jackie started making her own Scotch eggs in her kitchen, sourcing low fat meat for the surround and making her own breadcrumbs for the outer.

Selection of Scotch eggs

The Scotch eggs are baked rather than fried and incorporate herbs and spices to make them interesting and tasty. Jackie uses free range eggs and locally sourced lean meat. In addition, Jackie's Scotch eggs use 85% meat in the sausage meat, compared to much smaller amounts in commercially produced products.

The Scotch eggs became very popular and Jackie decided to try selling them to the public at craft fairs. She sold 80 at the first fair and received enquiries from micro pubs who felt the Scotch eggs suited their clientele as a substantial snack to offer with craft beers. When she approached The iNet Jackie was supplying 20 businesses and was receiving a steady stream of enquiries from others.

The Challenge

Jackie was fully aware that in order to grow her company and maintain demand she needed to keep developing new flavours of Scotch egg. She also recognised the benefits of producing Scotch eggs for people with specific dietary needs, such as gluten free, other food intolerances, and vegan preferences. As her recipes cannot be protected, Jackie understood that she must aim to produce the best quality possible to build her brand and keep innovating.

Jackie needed to be able to continue production of her existing products whilst developing new and interesting flavour alternatives. For gluten free and vegan products especially, she needed to use different equipment to avoid contamination. In addition, every new flavour of Scotch egg required food regulation testing and shelf life testing.

The Solution

Jackie approached The iNet and applied for grant funding from the ERDF SING (Smart Innovation and Networking for Growth) programme to help with the costs of developing her new products. Her application was successful and Jackie was able to purchase some new equipment to use to develop the new products, have shelf life testing carried out for each new product and purchase a new laptop and software to ensure she can keep detailed records, and maintain traceability of her products.

Jackie and her daughter

The Outcome

As a result of the support from The iNet and hard work, Noni's Family Kitchen has gone from strength to strength. Jackie has now brought her daughter into the business, and recently the business were runners up in Women in Business awards in the category of New Small Business.

Production has ramped up from just a couple of days a week to almost full-time, and they are now supplying a wider range of businesses and are being asked to supply their products outside of Leicestershire.

The financial support that I received from The iNet has been invaluable. It has enabled me to undertake essential testing to bring my product to market, confirming extended shelf life and giving my customers confidence to stock my product. I was also able to buy equipment that makes the production of the scotch eggs not only quicker but also confirms that in the case of the blast chiller the product is bought to the correct temperature in the allocated time.

Jackie Williamson, Owner
About the client

Noni's Family Kitchen

Noni's Family Kitchen
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