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East Neuk enterprise

Fund raiser under way to revive sea salt mission

Darren Peattie: ‘we have worked extremely hard’

A former care worker has returned to his home patch with an ambition to develop his fledgling sea salt business which is already supplying Michelin star chefs and chocolatiers.

Darren Peattie spent 18 years working in a variety of jobs around the UK and has returned to East Neuk to bring sea salt harvesting back to the area.

St Monan’s local Darren Peattie, whose family has lived in the area for more than 200 years, established the East Neuk Salt Company 14 months ago and has launched a crowdfunding bid to raise £28,450.

Initial batches of the hand-harvested salt have been used by Michelin star chef Billy Boyter of The Cellar in Anstruther, the Federation of Scottish Chefs, and Sophie Latinis of the Pittenweem Chocolate Company.

Ms Latinis said: “Not only is the quality of product from the East Neuk Salt Company extremely good, it is also produced just up the road from us and supporting local producers and suppliers is one of our core values.

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“We used the salt in our dark chocolate shards and are excited about the prospect of using it more widely in our bars when they go into full production.”

Mr Peattie has already raised £6,175 and hopes to raise the remainder by 12 October which will allow the business to acquire the final pieces of equipment needed to produce salt at scale, including a 2,500 litre Vacuum Evaporator and Crystalliser beds.

The business will be the only hand-harvested producer of gourmet sea salt on mainland Scotland and will produce up to two tonnes of hand harvested salt per month when production is up and running.

Mr Peattie said; “It was on a family walk at the Salt pans one day that the idea came to me to bring back salt harvesting to the East Neuk. Since that day we have worked extremely hard, with the support of many people in our community, to realise this idea.  

“The heritage we once had in salt harvesting is as important as the future we can create by bringing salt harvesting back to the shores of the East Neuk.

“Our vision is to be one of the most innovative sea salt harvesting companies in Scotland, with sustainability and zero waste at the heart of our operation.  The by-products of salt harvesting can be used to make drinking water and ice, as well as being used in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.”

He continued; “The success of our funding bid – fittingly taking place in the Year of Coast and Waters 2020 –  will allow us to purchase the pieces of equipment which are fundamental to getting us to the scale where local employment and development can occur.

“That’s what we want to achieve; a level of growth which creates local jobs and delivers a sustainable contribution to the local community.”

The East Neuk Salt Company is projected to have a six figure turnover by the end of year one and growth plans include a cook school and education programme alongside salt harvesting, creating around 20 jobs.

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