How it all started.
Hello, my name is Byam Trotter and I am the Founder of Trotter’s Independent Condiments ltd. I started the company back in November 2009 after I had finished university. I graduated in event management the same year but job hunting was not successful. The recession had hit the industry, and more people were being made redundant than hired.
Meanwhile, Mum and Dad had been on holiday in Italy where they came across a delicious condiment that they loved called Mostarda. Mum tried but failed to find a manufacturer in Scotland, so instead she found a recipe online and whipped up a batch in the family kitchen.
I had wanted to start my own business and work for myself from a very young age and it was at this point in my life I decided to just go for it. So mum taught me the recipe and I began manufacturing from my parents kitchen In Fife, selling it at the local Fife farmers’ markets, Farm shops and Delicatessens. Trotter’s Independent Condiments was born.
Years of growth.
As the years went by the business grew, the Products range increased and I started stocking a much larger number of shops in a wider area.
In the summer of 2010 demand outgrew the capacity of my parents kitchen, so I moved out into my own kitchen, this was great news as it allowed me to produce much larger quantities in less time and thus allowing me to focus on growing the business even more. At this stage I was also able to take on a part time member of staff to assist with the manufacturing of the products.
Today we are still using the same kitchen but I have two chefs who do all the manufacturing leaving me to handle everything else.
Onwards and upwards
Over 7 years into business now and we are stocking over 300 shops, restaurants and catering companies, we have a larger range of products under the Trotter’s brand and we also do some contract manufacturing for other brands including The balmoral Homeland Gleneagles Hotel.
Looking forward we intent to continue our progressive growth within the UK and even start to export.
A bit about me and my past...
I can still remember one of my first business ideas. I was at primary school, at the age of buying The Beano. The Beano often came with ‘Special Offers’ for fun kid’s games and toys, one of which was a device called ‘Snappers’, two pieces of cardboard held together by an elastic band, when folded back on its self would snap back making a load cracking nose, great fun for me and my mates. It did not take me long however, to realize that I could make these things myself. So I cut up old cereal boxes and painted them with different funky designs and sold them onto my mates for a fraction of the Beano’s price but still making me a wee profit. I almost sold them at one of the schools fairs but got cold feet at the last minute.
When I was about 15, my dad owned a restaurant just beside our house, called Scotland’s Larder. It got very busy during the summer, lots of cars would drive down the drive and would be parked in the restaurant car park while the customers were having their lunch.
My Brother and I had the idea of offering a car washing service. Only charging about £2 per car, working as a team we could get through about 15 to 20 cars on a busy Saturday lunchtime. At that age, £20 each was a lot of money. I remember using some of the money to buy new car washing attachments for the hose. I still have and use the attachments today.
A bit about me and my past, continued...
“If you can’t find a job, employ your self” I adopted this as one of my many catchphrases when I was studying in Manchester. As part of the course I was on, we had to find a work based placement within the events industry. I could not find anyone who was willing to take me on as a student, so my mate and I started up our own events company organizing bar night for students. We would approach a bar telling them that if they paid for advertising and gave us some good drinks deals we would fill out their bar for a night. Not only was this great fun it also completed our course work, we would write each others reports under a false name and hand it in to be market. The company was not officially registered nor did we organize many events or make any money but we did enough to pass the course and had a good laugh at the same time.
At the age of 22, I was the proud owner of my first legitimate business, Trotter’s Independent Condiments. In my mind it is the first of many businesses I would like to own and run but who knows what’s next, maybe I will take advantage of my event management degree after all.