By Ian McConnell

A COMPANY founded by an entrepreneur from North Uist is celebrating the sale of more than 10,000 of its pre-prepared meals through a supply deal with retailer Co-op launched less than three months ago.

The Hebridean Food Company, which operates from Blantyre Industrial Estate in Lanarkshire and has nine employees, hopes by the end of the year to have monthly turnover equivalent to an annual figure of at least £1 million.

The business, which is wholly owned by Douglas Stewart from North Uist, has enjoyed rapid growth, having recorded turnover of around £200,000 in 2019.

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Its handmade dishes, which are sold under the Stewart’s Kitchen brand, include chicken Braemar. This features chicken wrapped in streaky bacon and filled with Stornoway black pudding, and buttery mashed potato and a rich peppercorn sauce.

The Stewart’s Kitchen range also includes Ayrshire cured pulled ham with a potato gratin, topped with a cheddar crumb, as well as Scottish beef olive slow-cooked in a rich onion gravy with creamy mashed potato.

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The pre-prepared meals are supplied to 69 Co-op stores across Scotland.

Mr Stewart’s business, which he founded in 2013, also makes soups, which it supplies to Lidl, Sainsbury and Co-op.

The 29-year-old entrepreneur, who is the son of a lobster fisherman, said: “This achievement shows the demand for our produce and it’s fitting we can mark this occasion during Scottish food and drink fortnight. Our primary aim is to encourage more people to enjoy fresh Scottish produce and it’s fantastic that our range in the Co-op has been well-received.”

A spokeswoman for the company said it was exploring other supply deals for the Stewart’s Kitchen range.

She noted that the firm had recently taken on new staff and there were no plans at the moment to increase employee numbers further but added that this was “continuously reviewed”.