Abernethy-based Clootie McToot was launched in 2017 after owner Michelle Maddox made the traditional pudding for a bake sale at her son’s school. She says she uses a secret recipe handed down through generations and appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars TV show.
After the pandemic limited options for targeting customers directly through festivals and markets, the businesswoman worked with Business Gateway to adapt to and target the wholesale market.
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The businesswoman said: “I worked with Business Gateway during the early stages of my business journey, but once the pandemic hit, I knew I needed a new strategy to reach customers. Working with the team, I adapted my business approach and started to target the wholesale market. This resulted in contracts with retail giants including Tesco and John Lewis, as well as others, and has been fundamental to my business growth.”
She was signed to funding by Business Gateway and was awarded more than £40,000 through a Scottish Enterprise Capex grant, enabling the business to buy more equipment to step up production. Consequently, it is now making more than 1,000 dumplings a week, with the capacity to increase this to 7,000 in December.
In addition, Ms Maddox engaged with DigitalBoost, Scotland’s national digital upskilling program delivered through Business Gateway, enabling her to develop the brand’s website and social media platforms.
The entrepreneur, who already exports to the US, is now looking to further growth by securing a contract with a global brand. She also has new products in development including a ready-to-eat Clootie Wedge, while the firm has its in-house Clootie McToot Bistro, a café where customers can also watch the activities in the kitchens from a viewing gallery. The firm also defended itself from criticism over taking part in a festive food and drink market at Downing Street last year.
Business Gateway adviser Andrew Webster said: “Clootie McToot is a really great example of how, with our support, a small business can scale up its operations and successfully enter the global market… we look forward to continuing to support [Ms Maddox] and her business’ expansion into the USA.”