Red hot chilli Fifers
The Kingdom of Fife is soon to turn into a hot bed for chilli growers as an enterprising company uses university expertise to develop a chilli farm and a range of gourmet chilli products.
Chillilicious, a mother and daughter partnership, aims to establish a fully functioning chilli farm in the village of Ceres, which has the capacity to produce an exciting line of delicious chilli based foods.
Nicknamed the ‘chilli bitches’, mum, Patricia Galfskiy , and daughter, Stacey, set up Chillilicious in December 2010. Over the last year, the two chilli lovers have been juggling their own full-time jobs whilst also creating their unique fusion of chilli food and art. Having developed a small specialist selection of high quality chilli chutneys and oatcakes, they have been combining their food range with an innovative and practical line of fused glass chilli themed art for use around the house.
Currently Chillilicious operates as a sole trader, but the mother and daughter combo is determined to establish their chilli business as a fully registered company selling an exciting range of fiery gourmet products sure to delight chilli fans across Scotland. However, just like any young company, they need the right help to further expand their business.
Sheena Devlin, Innovation Manager at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, said: “In this current climate, entrepreneurs need all the specialist help they can get to develop their ideas into sustainable businesses. Many companies are unaware that a wealth of expertise exists within Scottish universities. But with the right academic, research and business support, universities can help young companies achieve their business goals.”
She continued: “As specialists in food, nutrition, and nutritional analysis, Queen Margaret University is well equipped to provide vital support to small and medium sized companies within the food and drink sector. With support from a university business development manager and academic and research experts, coupled with high tech laboratory facilities, Queen Margaret University can assist companies with many of their business development requirements.
“Often, the kind of knowledge and facilities that exist within the University, are just not available within a small company. It’s really important for the Scottish economy that small and medium sized companies (SMEs) begin to tap into University resources. Queen Margaret University can offer a broad spectrum of support to food businesses: from product development and analysis, and detailed information about the effects of food on health indicators such as blood pressure, through to food and drink marketing strategies.”
Researchers at the University will be assisting Chillilicious with the development of their chilli food product range. Sheena explained: “Queen Margaret University will be conducting nutritional analysis of the company’s existing product range. We will also be running focus groups with the aim of gaining valuable information which will help to inform the development of the company’s future product line.”
To fund this work, Chillilicious was awarded an innovation voucher from Scottish Funding Council via Interface, the knowledge connection service for business, to the tune of £4760. This will pay for the research and development work undertaken by the University’s experts.
Stacey Galfskiy, who currently also works as an artist, is keen to promote the benefits of using university expertise. She said: “It’s really challenging to get a new company off the ground when you have your foot in two camps – working at your current job whilst also trying to build a new business. You can’t be an expert in everything and there is so much to get to grips with when trying to grow a business. We were delighted to be matched with Queen Margaret University and to find out that specialist help and funding are available to support small business development. We are really excited about both working with the Queen Margaret team and about the next stage in development of our unique business.”
You can find out more about the foodie delights produced by Chillilicious by visiting http://www.chillilicious.co.uk/ . Or you can sample their wares at many of Fife’s festivals scheduled to take place during 2012. You can also find out more about Queen Margaret University’s commercial support at www.qmu.ac.uk/ and about innovation vouchers and other funding schemes at www.interface-online.o rg.uk .
For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Press and PR Officer, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, tel: 0131 474 0000, mob: 07711 011239, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org