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Job boost as fish firm thrives

By Fiona Reid
Job boost as fish firm thrives

THERE’S something fishy going on in Lochmaben - in a good way!

Father and son team Ronnie and Alasdair Graham are at the helm of Barony Country Foods.

The company started in 1998, before moving to Lochmaben five years ago and recently the duo took over smoked produce company, Lochengower Smokehouse.

Alasdair said: “We had been supplying Lochengower for many years and the lady who was from Edinburgh was looking to sell the company so we bought it from her last year and chose to run things as normal last year from the office in Edinburgh.

“We have now closed that office and opened a new office in Lochmaben, as well as a production area where the products will be packed and despatched.”

He added: “All our current employees are local. The main season for Lochengower starts in October and finishes after Christmas but we do currently despatch all year round, it’s just more geared towards the Christmas time period.”

Nearly ten seasonal staff will now be taken on annually to help the business during their busiest period.

Alasdair said: “At present this is a Christmas time business but in the next year we plan to expand the company so we operate all year round, hopefully employing more people locally.”

And even more jobs could be on the horizon, thanks to a new online ordering system.

Alasdair said: “All the orders were previously on an outdated system and had to be manually processed, which limited us to the amount we can process.

“We have now installed a new system which allows the customer to place the order online, over the phone or through our order form system. This makes the process much faster and more efficient.”

Looking to the future, he added: “We plan to grow the Lochengower brand so we can supply smoked produce through mail order for our customers all year round.

“The plan for Barony Country Foods is to grow our smoked produce range and expand our customer base by growing our online business dispatching fresh wild game, smoked produce from our smokehouse in Lochmaben and fish and shellfish all over the UK with a local next day delivery service.”

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