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Day in the Life: Mark McAulay, owner of Singularity Sauce Co

It’s a long day for this Aberdeenshire sauce maker

Published: February 11, 2022
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7am

Time to get in the shower. If I'm heading out for meetings, I'll dress a bit smarter than if I was spending the whole day in the kitchen. I might go comfier if I'm driving south to pick up Scotland’s berries. I deal with as many messages as possible while our wee boy smashes down his breakfast. I also make a cup of tea for my wife Kathryn. Sometimes I even make her toast. I'm a real catch.

8.45am

I walk our wee boy to school before my breakfast. Recently I've been adding our chipotle infused maple syrup to porridge. It was suggested by one of our customers on social media and I've never looked back. Other than that, I'm pouring tea into my face from this point until lunchtime.

10am

My general plan can quickly go out the window. I could spend the morning shipping orders, planning the production schedule or ordering ingredients. I might work on our website, sort out some new labels, spend time on social media or sort, wash, chop and blend a fearsome amount of chillies, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, calculating ratios of salt for lacto-fermentation. Occasionally my daughter will work part time to help with the mountain of ingredients and other times the whole family will chip in to label/box. I run most things alone but we all support and promote it.

1pm

Lunch could be a sandwich or some soup. I have a sweet tooth and I'll definitely be looking for some kind of cake or doughnut too. My favourite place is The Coffee Apothecary in Ellon who makes the best coffee and cinnamon French toast rolls with bacon. I return to the lab to finish my day shift.

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3.10pm

Time to collect the wee man from school, then it’s admin time. If you've been waiting for me to reply, it'll usually happen in the next hour and a half.

5.30pm

Dinner. I've got a new habanero-infused oil coming soon which goes on every noodle dish I make. On the best days ever, Kathryn will make mac 'n cheese or cauliflower cheese. I always ask the kids if they want hot sauce and every day they kill my vibe. 

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7.30pm

The wee man goes to bed. I’ll finish up anything from earlier but I'm most looking forward to spending this time working on new ideas. Testing flavour combos, heat levels, new processes, methods and, sometimes, unadvisable ideas. I once made a fermented banana, rum and Scotch bonnet ketchup. It was horrific.

10.30pm

I'll have been dipping in and out of Instagram and TikTok throughout the day and now I'll have some ideas about what to post. I'm building a library of McAulay vs various chilli types and people seem to enjoy seeing me in discomfort. 

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11.30pm

Time for me to watch food shows or knife making shows on YouTube while I try to fall asleep. Current favourites are Matty Matheson, Brad Leone and UK Bladeshow. Typically I can't sleep because there's too much going on in my head. I fill my ears with physics podcasts until I fall asleep. I will lose an AirPod but one day I'll wake up smarter.

www.singularitysauce.co

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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