Saturday, 07 September 2021 12:02

David Lawson, Speyside Specialities

David Lawson, Speyside Specialities

Your Name - David Lawson

Company Name - Speyside Specialities


When did you start (with) the company?

In 1996 I started work at Stewart of Buckie and towards the end of 1997 myself and my father had acquired the business. I became managing director with my father as a silent partner, it was at this point Speyside Specialities was formed.


In 50 words or less what does your company do?

We produce traditional specialised Scottish products including white pudding, black pudding, haggis, oatmeal stuffing, sausages and burgers made to old family recipes stemming back from when Robert Lawson produced ‘puddings’ from his outhouse in Dunfermline in 1898 and set out on foot selling them by hand barrow along the Fife coast.


What part of the business do you like best?

Ensuring our customers are satisfied and knowing we are producing high quality products and gaining new customers in the knowledge that what they are receiving is of the highest quality.

If you had to start again from scratch what would you do differently?

If I had my time again I might have opted to go into a different sector. Getting into the food industry wasn’t the route I originally intended to go down but it was an opportunity that was presented to me when I was younger and I’ve never really looked back since.

What is unique about what the company does?
We produce quality, Scottish produce using local suppliers wherever possible and strive to ensure that every customer that buys our products is completely satisfied.

Has there been a key moment or turning point?
Yes, we were presented with major challenges during the mid 2000s due to the BSE and e.coli scares and the decision was taken to rationalise the business. It was decided we would focus on what we do best and what would make us the most profit moving forward and we haven’t looked back since.

How do you intend to grow the company?
It’s always been our philosophy to educate our consumers with good quality products that don’t demand extravagant prices.

We are hoping to expand into further fields including England, Europe, Russia and Canada to really promote the high quality food we produce.

It’s also important to embrace the digital era and we are continually looking at ways to be more pro-active on our social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and through our weekly blog. There’s no better way to gauge what your target market wants and is looking for than to get direct feedback from your customers.

Do you have any non-executive directors, mentors or key advisors? Who are they?

What will the next 12 months hold?
There’s always that unknown factor, we have a lot of things that are pending or up in the air. If they come to fruition then it will be an extremely positive year ahead, if they don’t then we will continually be looking at new avenues and new opportunities which we are consistently doing at the moment.


If you were given £100,000 to invest in the company, how would you use it?
The £100,000 would disappear very quickly if it went towards some new machinery. But at this moment in time I would use the money in advertising and marketing to really promote various parts of the business.

What's the best part of running a business?
Knowing your customers are satisfied with what they are getting. We pride ourselves on having next to no customer complaints and it’s always gratifying to get positive comments about our products.


What do you do to relax?

The best thing to do after a hard day at work is spend quality time with the family.

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