An enterprising Angus teenager is cooking up his latest venture in the hope of moving his thriving business out of his mum’s kitchen and into purpose-built premises.
Owen Foster, 17, has stormed the market with his range of home-made preserves but production demands have outgrown the family home at Lunanhead.
He has now secured premises at Orchardbank in Forfar and has launched a crowdfunding page to raise £3,000 to help with the costs of machinery and storage.
Owen started out on his incredible entrepreneurial journey when he was 12, selling free range eggs round the village.
When the supply dried up he asked his grandma to teach him how to make jam and he has never looked back.
Owen’s Angus Jams has grown from strength to strength, producing a selection of preserves and fruit-infused gins.
He said: “I realised people are keen to buy local produce and are shying away from mass-produced products found in the supermarkets.
“I felt I had a product I could easily market due to the fact we strive to use locally grown fruit wherever possible.
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“Living in the middle of Scottish berry country, we have an abundance of first-class fresh produce on our doorstep.
“My products are 100% natural and I use traditional methods. Some of the recipes have been passed down four generations and others we have experimented with to bring something new to the market.”
Owen is a regular at local markets and charity events and has supported local charities from Foodbanks, Cash For Kids and Blairgowrie Stroke Club, where is his grandma volunteers.
As a result of publicity surrounding his Glamis Castle contract, he now supplies a local baker, restaurant, hotel as well as a farmhouse and coffee shop.
He continued: “I am in the process of negotiating to supply a small chain of other shops, but I need to increase my production facilities as at the moment I am still working from my mum’s kitchen.”
Using the family cooker, he can only produce 16 jars at a time and has to use seven freezers in different locations.
He added: “It takes more time to get the fruit than it does to make the jam.”
Owen, who won a special recognition prize in the NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2018, has had a lot of support from his family to get the business of the ground whilst I was still at school.
However, he stated: “Our house is now at full capacity, the jam has taken over.
“Everywhere you look is evidence the business is taking over the family home.”
Owen is now crowdfunding to renovate his new the premises and to purchase a cooker, freezers and dishwasher to allow him to seek out new markets.
He said: “I see the business expanding and becoming a major competitor to all the other bespoke jam manufacturers.
“I want to develop my production facility to enable me to supply volume to a wider range of clients.”
Anyone wishing to support Owen in his latest venture can do so via www.crowdfunder.co.uk.