Now that the Year of Food and Drink is in full swing, we caught up with Beth Edberg of Cranachan & Crowdie. Based on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Cranachan & Crowdie isn’t your average Scottish shop.
They boast an exciting range that includes eighteen different types of oatcakes alongside oodles of accompanying jams, marmalades and chutneys. Not to mention traditional Black Bun, award winning chocolates, ice cream year round, traditional and whisky tablet and even Scottish antler dog chews.
Tell us about why you decided to open a shop dedicated to Scottish produce?
We felt there was a gap, we felt there was no place in Edinburgh that you could walk into and know that everything in the shop was made in Scotland. It was as easy as that!
Edinburgh is a great tourist city and there was no place where this was available – tourists deserved the authenticity of knowing that everything, except me an American native, in our shop has been made in Scottish.
What is your best selling product?
Shortbread. Yes it’s a stereotype but it’s a stereotype for a reason, we are actually the largest stockist of Shortbread House of Edinburgh in Edinburgh. When people come into our shop, they are looking for haggis, shortbread, whisky, bagpipes, Loch Ness and tartan, yes the list is clichéd but these things are what is best known about Scotland.
The Scottish food and drink industry is growing rapidly, have you discovered any stand out new products?
We have a wide range of chilli sauces, all of which are fantastic. One in particular that stands out is Ooft!, it’s vatted for a year so it’s like a fine wine and Tony from Ooft! will be coming along to one of our Year of Food and Drink events (find out more about these events here).
Scottish gin is growing rapidly! Rock Rose Gin is a stand out, the bottle it is presented in and the branding is beautiful. Crossbill is special as it uses 100% Scottish juniper berries. We also sell a lot of Edinburgh Gin as it has a good reputation.
We are actually working with Arbikie on a Science Festival event at Summerhall called ‘Lethal Lassies’. It is a literary event about female killers and Arbikie have teamed up with Summerhouse Drinks to create a killer cocktail. Find out more about this event by signing up to C&C’s newsletter here.
Which Scottish producers inspire you?
We love all our producers, they all inspire us and they all have a story to tell. Take Charlotte Flower Chocolates for example, she forages for local wild plants to create unique flavours that work well with cocoa beans. Charlotte actually took me foraging so I saw for myself how she comes at her chocolate from a totally different angle.
What really excites me is when producers take the time to write unique recipes. We are introducing people to new products so a recipe to accompany it really adds value to the customer and helps the product shine.
Tell us about the events you have planned for the Year of Food and Drink?
Every week, throughout the Year of Food and Drink we are hosting free evening events. This is a chance for us to invite our producers into the shop to meet our customers. We are aiming this not only at visitors but at our local residents, we want to show them what a great selection we have and that we are not only for visitors.
We are concentrating on the producers we stock, they will be in the store for three hours allowing the customers to engage with the producer and put a face to the product. There is no need to register, just pop into the shop and say hi.
If you are interested in finding out more about which events are happening when, sign up to Cranachan & Crowdie’s newsletter here (right hand side of the page).
Follow them on twitter @cranachancrowd to keep up to date with what they are up to.