Young Scottish food entrepreneur Douglas Stewart has launched a crowd-funding campaign to increase production capacity for his company’s range of fresh Scottish soups and sauces.

Douglas, a lobster fisherman’s son from the Isle of North Uist, founded the Hebridean Food Company in 2014, and is looking for investment of £60,000 with the funds raised to be invested in expanding production as well as being used for marketing and business development.

At the time of writing, 70 per cent of the £60k investment had already been raised with a single investment of £25k being announced yesterday.

Douglas’ passion for Hebridean produce started at an early age when his weekends were spent on fishing boats and sorting lobsters, he has now made his mission to ensure everyone in the UK is able to enjoy a true taste of the Hebrides.

The crowd-funding campaign will continue through until the 20th of August.

The Hebridean Food Company retails seafood, organic meat and organic lamb, all boasting Hebridean provenance, to consumers across the UK from their online shop. In 2015, the company began the development of a range of 12 soups and 4 sauces. These were launched in January this year.

In the same month the company secured its first nationwide supermarket listing of Mussel Chowder with Aldi. In addition, contracts for the soups have been secured with Selfridges, Whole Foods Market, Earthy food markets, House of Bruar and The Cress Company wholesale.

Currently the company’s factory has capacity to produce 900,000 tubs of 400g soups per annum with a £1.62m turnover. Post-investment the company plans to expand their production capacity to produce £3m worth of products annually.

Douglas commented: “I’m delighted we’ve raised over £42,000 since launching the campaign less than a week ago. If we reach an overfunded situation, we would be in a position to employ a more aggressive approach to our business and product development. With UK sales of fresh soups increasing, we spotted an opportunity to create a premium range of Scottish soups using quality ingredients with proper provenance.

“In addition to this, we have plans to target the health foods market by launching a range of fresh ready meals, as well as expanding our soup range to include health-focused varieties.”

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