Fiona & Stuart, Aye Pickled
When Fiona and Stuart sold their first jar of pickles in December 2017, it was a far cry from her hectic career in financial services and his job working offshore. But they’d just had their second baby and were at the how-do-we-make-this-work crossroads. The couple were always foodies, Stuart’s a trained chef and when Fiona was young, her mum ran a café with some ladies selling healthy food, unusual at the time. The couple have always loved cooking together, trying new recipes, experimenting with new ingredients (trickier now they’ve a business to run and two small boys to look after). And they’d always loved a pickle. “We’d both been huge fans of pickled and fermented things, the tang, crunch, fizz and the sweet, sharp and sour flavours are all winners for us”, says Fiona. “But we couldn’t find anything locally that satisfied those cravings so we started making our own, at the kitchen table.”
Fast forward five years and they have a range of five core, award-winning products including the amazing Bread and Butter Pickles and Kimchi hot Sauce. They’re stocked across the UK and will soon be selling in the USA. Everything is made by hand using traditional techniques – hot brines, vinegars, and loads of herbs and spices. They’re a good partnership. Fiona’s background in communications and marketing puts her in the driving seat when it comes to all things brand, marketing and business development. Then Stuart looks after product development and everything that goes on in the kitchen. It makes for a full-on life, Fiona agrees but the one thing she’s learnt as a small business is to not get so overwhelmed that you forget to celebrate the wins. “We need to do more of that”, she says.