Jackie MacIntyre runs Bourtree Jams and Preserves in Alyth.
How and why did you start in business?
I hadn’t initially planned to start a business.
I was taking a breather after leaving the family business.
I had always wanted to try making jams and chutneys, and with my newfound free time I took the opportunity to give it a go.
How did you get where you are today?
My business started from nothing more than a love of producing jams and marmalades.
To start with I was giving it all away but it didn’t take long until everyone had more than they could cope with.
That’s when a friend suggested that I should try selling them.
Who has helped you along the way?
I’m lucky to have great support from my husband and my mum.
A fellow producer introduced me to community-based enterprise support organisation GrowBiz a few months after I decided to make a business out of this and I took part in a two-day session with them, which really cemented my desire to turn my passion into a business.
What was your biggest mistake?
Poor time management.
Starting a business can become all-consuming, and it’s taken me a while to reach a point where I feel I am starting to get a bit of work-life balance back.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
I’m really chuffed with how far Bourtree Jams has come in just 18 months. I think that collaborating and working with others has been one of the things I have enjoyed most.
From teaming up with Pitlochry-based Badvo Gin to create Badvo Gin Marmalade, producing jam for McIntyre’s Fruit Farms seasonal shop, to creating own label Ivybank Lodge jam for a local guesthouse, I take great pride in working with other great local businesses and entrepreneurs in Perthshire and the surrounding area.
With no additives or preservatives, I use local berries and other ingredients as far as possible. Everything about my jams is local, from the produce I use to the people that I collaborate with and the markets where I sell it.
Hopes for the future?
I’m having so much fun doing what I’m doing. It’s still early days, having only started in June 2018, and I’m still learning a lot.
I’m at a stage in life that I want to find a balance between my family life and my business.
I’ve just started working with one of the enterprise facilitators at GrowBiz who is helping me to decide my priorities for this year and beyond, but I’m so excited about the future.
Do you want to recruit in the future?
Yes, I would love to find a like-minded person to help me grow my business.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
It can all feel a bit overwhelming at times. Doing it on your own means you are the producer, salesperson, bookkeeper, delivery driver and everything else on top.
Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
Just go for it, don’t look back or too far forward and don’t be afraid to ask for help and support.