Suzanne Mulholland.



What is your business called?

The Batch Lady.

Where is it based?

Selkirk, Scottish Borders.

What does it produce, what services does it offer?

Online educational advice (videos from my farmhouse kitchen) as well as live events and speaker events, on saving time when cooking. I create videos in my kitchen showing clients, and my social media followers, how they can make one week’s worth of family meals in only one hour by following my simple method.

To whom does it sell?

Predominantly women aged 25-60, but it’s open to everyone.

What is its turnover?

£10,000 and growing.

How many employees?


When was it formed?

In my farmhouse kitchen in September 2017. We live on my husband’s family farm, which we run.

Why did you take the plunge?

I got started when the children were small and we were busy working. Other generations of the family live on the farm, so we seemed to have a constant flow of relatives who ate with us various evenings. I used to find it hard to come up with ideas that kept toddlers, grown-ups and older generations all happy. That’s when I started watching various American batch cooking YouTubers and decided to adapt their approach to more British fare. Once I started doing that I realised that I could simply add some time management skills gained while doing a degree at Aberdeen university and began to deconstruct recipes and reconstruct them using the principle of saving time. From there I started to look at how to make similar recipes that use the same core ingredients, so that you ended up with a variety of meals, instead of one pot of the same thing.

People then got wind of the fact that I did a lot of batch cooking to save myself time and kept coming to me to ask me if I could show them my cooking method!

I had so many requests to share some tips that I organised a small fundraising event in my kitchen to show 20 ladies. They loved it and said I should put videos online. I did and the response has been phenomenal, the business has grown from there.

My top videos currently are ' How to cook 10 chicken meals in 1 hr’ and ‘2 fish pies in 6 minutes’ – simple but tasty!

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

Running our farm holiday cottages and general farm paperwork.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

I had some private savings and started doing some small ticketed events. I keep the costs very low and have tended to do most of the work myself. 2019 will see The Batch Lady start a larger expansion as we get more and more business offers in.

What was your biggest break?

Being asked to join Scotland’s Live Cookery Theatre at The Highland Show this June (I’m so excited!) and also selling out my latest live event at 170 tickets, with people driving long distances to see me.

What was your worst moment?

Being inexperienced at computer-related business and realising when my hard drive corrupted, I had lost two month’s worth of work that was not backed up.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

Seeing the numbers of interactive followers grow, as we now reach 60,000 across our social media platforms; the amazing positive feedback I get from my clients asking me for more and more work and realising that this cooking concept does help people become less stressed, waste less food, be more organised and ultimately buy back time in their lives.

What do you least enjoy?

Watching myself on playback during the editing of the videos! My business is called The Batch Lady and I am The Batch Lady but watching yourself on video and hearing yourself speak never gets any easier.

What is your biggest bugbear?

People thinking that because you vlog and have an online business, it’s not really a business. It’s hard for some people to realise that online start-ups can grow into successful businesses so quickly.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

To build a successful brand from scratch and have The Batch Lady as a household name.

What are your five top priorities?

Learn more about my customers’ needs and abilities.

Increase my social media presence.

Expand the business, by increasing employees so we can fulfil all new commitments and idea expansions.

Launch my new batching website, enabling customers to decide how many people they are cooking for and having the ingredients and shopping lists change to accommodate that portion size.

Finish setting up The Batch Lady e-commerce shop, so we can offer specific useful products to our customers.

What single thing would most help?

Greater investment and more employees! I’m working on that…

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish governments do that would help?

Increase remote rural high-speed broadband, we have had to use a private company to install fixed wireless in order to be able to upload and download. This is critical to my business and many others throughout Scotland and by not having high-speed broadband, innovation is being held back.

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

Back everything up, learn to have a thick skin when needed and, most importantly, listen to your customers and allow them to help drive your business.

How do you relax?

I love to find quirky kitchen antiques for my farmhouse kitchen, whether online or at antique markets. I also have two young children, so family time is a fabulous way to relax and unwind.