Name:Steven Mitchell.


What is your business called?

The Buffalo Farm

Where is it based?

Kirkcaldy, Fife

What does it produce?

From our herd of water buffalo, we produce meat products, offering a full retail and wholesale butchery service. Our main site at Boglily Steading Kirkcaldy is the home to our coffee shop and mini farm.

We also cater at events of all sizes, from The Royal Highland Show, down to local galas and we provide private catering for a range of occasions.

We recently raised over £800,000 via crowdfunding to enable us to build a milking parlour and production facility to enable us to produce Scotland’s first ever buffalo mozzarella and hope to be in production by late summer.

To whom does it sell?

We have retail customers from all over the UK and sell through our website and a portfolio of around 120 wholesale customers.

What is its turnover?

£3.5 million.

How many employees?

52 (including 10 seasonal staff).

When was it formed?


Why did you take the plunge?

Farming was in my blood from a very young age and looking after livestock is something that I was naturally drawn to, particularly rearing cattle.

I was very inspired by my aunt and uncle’s business, Puddledub Pork, which demonstrated to me that customers appreciate good, local produce.

Having studied agriculture in Edinburgh, I was all too aware how important it was to have a unique selling point. That’s where my idea to farm buffalo came from. They look a little different but are actually not that far removed from my beloved cattle.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I was a student, spent some time in Australia travelling and had a spell selling websites, but I always gravitated back to the farm.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

It was very difficult to borrow money to set up a buffalo farming business, but thanks to Business Gateway we were asked to be part of a Channel 4 programme called Tricky Business – which can still be found on You Tube!

This exposure then made it quite difficult for the bank to say no! I was also very fortunate to have some inheritance money which I was very keen to spend wisely and in a manner that I was confident would make my parents proud.

More recently, I have been humbled and honoured to have had so many people support us through our crowdfunding campaign to make our buffalo mozzarella dreams come true.

What was your worst moment?

The realisation that the investment needed for building our factory and parlour had fallen through in 2018 and having to sell off the animals that we had bought and planned to be the foundation of our milking enterprise. Hence the subsequent crowdfunding campaign! This time we are making it happen.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

I love the challenge, I also enjoy the diversity of what I do, from farming to helping cater at events, no two days are ever the same.

Positive customer feedback provides satifaction and I take a great deal of pride in being able to provide a great amount of jobs, but with that comes quite a big sense of pressure and responsibility.

What do you least enjoy?

I am not the best at being in the office – so any admin duties I try and delegate, I would much rather spend my time on the farm or out talking with customers.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

My main priority is to establish a good healthy business that can support myself and my family. I would love my son Harry (I became a father for the first time a few months ago) to have the same opportunities to work with livestock and outdoors, and hopefully one day have a farm he can call his own.

My biggest goal to be Scotland’s first ever producer of Buffalo Mozzarella, is something I am so excited about.

What are your five top priorities?

Putting our animals’ welfare first.

Bridging the gap between the public and where their food comes from – we are trying to do this by holding open days and building on our mini farm at Boglily Steading where they can visit our animals for free seven days a week.

Recognising and constantly trying to improve our environmental impact and sustainability.

Becoming debt free!

For the business to get to a stage where we could afford our staff to have a share holding within it. As the business grows, we are only as good as our staff – I would love to give them the opportunity to really benefit from its growth.

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

I would like them to help us get some normality back. It has been a very unsettled period, which is not helpful to any business one way or another. Politicians of all persuasions need to move past referenda and get back to running the country.

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

Nothing comes easy.

How do you relax?

Playing rugby when time and the body permits. Spending time with my son Harry is very enjoyable, and becoming a father has been the proudest moment of my life.