ButeKitchen is a collaboration of food and drink businesses on the Isle of Bute and is one of Scotland’s Regional Food Groups. A growing membership scheme with 30+ members established in 2020. The brand aims to bring together the fantastic food and drink products grown and created on the island, creating opportunities for Bute's farmers and growers, bakers, smokers and butchers, distillers, brewers and ice cream makers.
The funding has been used to part fund two part-time coordinator posts; one on island looking after our members and the other a marketing coordinator looking after social media and all things digital marketing. We have been working on our website and e-commerce platform, due to launch shortly. Our social media platforms have been promoting food and drink activity on island and raising awareness of ButeKitchen as well as the array of products available on island.
Our biggest success to date has been the Christmas hamper initiative. We were worried about being late to market with this and launched our marketing campaign late October 2020 with a target of 100 hampers to sell. Amazingly we sold 170 altogether, reaching homes across the UK, mainly as Christmas gifts. Ten of our members contributed to these hampers, offering a selection from cheeses to chutney and tablet to gin.
Due to the pandemic, we were unable to capitalise on the expertise and creativity of island businesses to promote and sell island food and drink products to locals, visitors and off-island customers during 2020. After consulting with members earlier this year, we understand their needs are:
This year we are planning with a focus on collaborative and digital activity encouraging and growing sales of island product. We hope to deliver:
One of the biggest challenges we see on island is that there are amazing producers and a really high standard of product but there is a lack of venues on Bute selling those products. While we can promote the benefits of using and promoting island beef, lamb, dairy etc., it would be great to be able to monetise this for producer businesses and ensure that there is a more joined up approach taken to the visitor experience on the island.
Find out more about ButeKitchen by visiting their Facebook here.