Orkney Isles Preserves is a small family run business based on the Orkney island of Shapinsay. In a converted cottage we specialise in producing fine quality Jams, Marmalades and Chutneys using traditional recipes that have been handed down through the generations of our farming family. We pride ourselves on using only the finest quality ingredients and wherever possible we source these from the Orkney Islands. Since 2009 the electricity used to power our factory is generated by our own Wind Turbine, so our products are now manufactured using green energy.
We started with just 3 products back in 1986 when I used my recycled baby food jars to sell Rhubarb Jam, Strawberry Jam and Beetroot Chutney in the local Craft Shop - All using my Granny’s recipes which were then handed on to my Mum. 10 years on when the children were bigger I decided to try making the products on a more commercial scale, seeing that there was a gap in the market for “Home-made” preserves that were packaged attractively to make nice gifts. The business expanded and soon outgrew my farm kitchen. We were lucky to have a disused bothy we could convert into a small factory. This was done in 2001 with the help of Rural Development Grant. In the same year I was approached by Bob Nelson, who has a Market Garden in Birsay, to take over his Tomato Chutney business. This is now a large part of the business and I still use the recipes he developed. Spicy Tomato and Onion Chutney is one of the most popular along with a Really Garlicky Relish.
We now produce over 30 different kinds amounting to in excess of 3 tonnes per annum. The traditional preserves like Beetroot Chutney and Rhubarb Jam are always in demand along with some more unusual kinds like Blueberry flavoured with Orkney Black Portent Wine . We also do Marmalades some flavoured with Old Orkney Whisky and Highland Park. Our Chilli Jam has also proved to be popular.
We supply the local Wholesale Company (Wilsons in Stromness) who then distribute throughout Orkney and Judith Glue who has shops in Kirkwall and Inverness and sends her hampers all over the country.