Scottish independent retailers need our support as they recover from the impact of Covid-19 and the worldwide pandemic. Each July we celebrate these small businesses during Independent Retailer Month. As a tour guide, I travel extensively around Scotland and come across many of the best independent businesses. I am delighted to be supporting them by shining a small spotlight on a few of them during July.

A guaranteed mark of quality

The team at the Scottish Bee Company are celebrating the award of the BSI Kitemark for food assurance. They are the first food company anywhere in the UK to win this industry seal of approval. It guarantees that when you buy a jar of their yummy Scottish Heather Honey that is exactly what you are getting when you pop the lid off the jar. According to Interpol honey is one of the most adulterated and fraudulent foodstuffs around the world.

The company has 500 hives located across the Scottish countryside – with an amazing 25 million bees buzzing around. Iain and Suzie Millar who launched the company in 2017 are working with expert bee farmers across our heather-clad hills. And they aim to increase the country’s bee population by 20% over the next three years. I love their commitment to working with small producers and care for the environment.

Scottish mountain with heather in bloom
Scottish mountains clad in heather are a magnet for bees

Heather honey is often described as the “champagne” of honey for its distinctive floral flavour. You can grab a jar from the online shop, where they suggest you stir a spoonful into a steaming bowl of porridge. Now that sounds like the perfect breakfast to start the day. And if you would like to try a recipe using some Scottish honey then their recipe for ‘Grilled Peach and Burnt Heather Honey Ice Cream’ sounds extremely tempting. Who knows you could enjoy it on that elusive thing in Scotland – a hot summers day!

Grilled peach and burnt heather honey ice cream

Grilled peach & burnt heather honey ice cream is a delicious way to cool you down as the warmer weather begins. We are delighted that Michael from Hot Buttered Crumpets has created this bespoke recipe using our honey. (You will need an electric whisk, blender or ice-cream maker to make this!)