As the dust settles on this year’s Open, attention in the golfing world will undoubtedly turn to the 150th playing at St Andrews next summer.
That event has been in the forefront of one Fife couple’s business planning for some time.
Husband-and-wife team Michael and Fiona Audsley set up Pittenweem Preserves four years ago.
As a teenager, Fiona went fruit picking in the summer and then made jam, a hobby she’s enjoyed all her life.
The former business travel agent’s jams and preserves were in constant demand by colleagues and for craft and Christmas fairs.
Then Pittenweem Hub asked if she could supply home-made preserves.
There, the business was born.
‘A real honour’ for Pittenweem Preserves
Now the company has been commissioned to produce limited edition jams for next year’s Open Championship.
One marmalade is a Seville orange and the other is made with a malt whisky twist, Fiona said, aiming to target all audiences at the championships next summer.
Fiona said: “It’s a really great feather in our cap for a business like ours.
“It’s a real honour to be working with the R&A.”
She explained more about the products: “With jam, you tend to get people who are strawberry or raspberry lovers, and others who only like blackberry, whereas marmalade covers a broader range.
“I think golf is still a male-dominated sport, so I wanted to make something that is aimed at men.”
While she acknowledges the honour of being asked to make the produce for the historic championship, Fiona knows they need to perform.
That’s why she is keen to tap into the thousands of overseas visitors who are likely to descend on the Home of Golf next July.
She added: “The one with the malt whisky will appeal to tourists, particularly those coming from America and Canada.
“They love anything to do with malt whisky, so there’s a tourism element to it as well.
“I need to sell them.”
Calling time on another venture
Like many businesses, the couple have had difficult decisions to make due to Covid-19.
They closed their upholstery business, Feather Your Nest at the onset of the pandemic to focus on Pittenweem Preserves.
Unable to meet customers face-to-face because of Covid-19, the couple felt the time was right to concentrate on the preserves business.
Fiona said: “We were in and out of people’s houses all the time before and with Covid we weren’t able to do that.
“It was the right time to call it a day and I’ve not cried over it.
“Pittenweem Preserves has taken over and I love it.”
It has paid off, with the firm now targeting tripling its turnover this year.
“It has not been without challenges,” Fiona said. “But we have had great support.
“Now we are looking at £65,000 turnover for the year.”
Fiona said it has been “a joy” to be able to continue working – and doing something she loves – through the pandemic.
“It has been a joy to lock ourselves away and continue to make a living.
“It has just been paradise.”