Taste of Grampian 2019
A few days have passed since we had a stall at Taste of Grampian 2019. Now we’ve had some sleep, it’s time to have a think about what it all meant for Singularity Sauce Co.
Taste of Grampian was a little out of our reach this year and up until 2 weeks before the event itself, we weren’t going to be there. Enter Society Magazine and a competition to win a stall. Late one Saturday evening, we entered the competition and and some days later, we were invited to pitch our business against two other finalists in front of a panel of judges. Finding out we were to pitch against Wee Hemp Spirits and AVO was daunting. Mark turned up and gave it his best shot anyway, he loves any opportunity to talk about Hot Sauce and much to our surprise, we only bloody won!
That left us 2 weeks to make as much sauce as we could and to figure out everything we'd need to run a stall. There was a lot to do and a lot more we didn't know so we called on some of our friends and family to help us. We accepted that the next fortnight was going to be hell and we got on with it. We also took the opportunity to roll out some plans we'd been making for a while. We moved from 100ml bottles to 150ml bottles, launched our re-designed labels, re-designed our website and had new t-shirts made.
Special mentions go to Stacey Barr for sorting our banner design out, Jamie Laird for having the banner made and turning up on the day to fit it in place, our daughter Iona for stamping 300 bags twice, both sets of parents for childcare duties and other hands on help and of course to Carol Fowler for calmly dealing with the calls and emails from a stressed out Mark. We got there in the end. We do everything by hand in our kitchen at home and making, bottling, sealing and labelling over 400 bottles of sauce nearly broke us. We were done by the Friday afternoon before and we spent the next few hours boxing everything up and double checking we'd done everything we could have. We were ready for the big day.
Pause for Dinner with John Torode and Spencer Matthews
On the Friday evening, we were invited to attend the sponsors dinner at Porterhouse at Thainstone. We got a chance to properly meet AVO and Wee Spirits Company at our table. John Torode and Spencer Matthews were attending as guests also. Shortly after Mark finished trying to destroy Spencer with "Reapers & Ghosts" and "Reapers & Blackberries" (Spencer couldn't be defeated…this time), Mark had to say a few words in front of the room. Due to having less than 3 hours sleep the night before, he has no idea what he said but he doesn't think he offended anyone too much.
The day itself
We arrived at Taste of Grampian on Saturday 1st June 2019 after a big sleep.
We were ready for action and that’s exactly what we got. From 9am, we manned our stall and brought some proper heat to Taste of Grampian. We paused several times to have photos and video interviews done. A few familiar faces popped by to say hello and kudos goes to Scott Couper for bringing Mark beer :). It was incredible meeting so many new people, talking about our products, our processes and our brand as a whole. We met food & drink producers, chefs, businesses who support and promote food & drink and lots of people ready to see if they could handle the hot sauce. 5pm and the close of the show came fast, the whole day seemed to pass really quickly and we had the most extraordinary time!
So what did the event itself do for our business?
It's still too early to tell but here's what we do know. We spoke with a number of businesses who would like to stock our sauces and so in terms of exposure, this event was a huge success for us. In terms of sales, this was our greatest single day yet. In terms of products, featuring our “mild” sauce definitely worked in making our brand more accessible. Many who tried the "Het Sass" went on to try their nerve against the two super hot sauces we brought along too. We sold out of "Reapers & Blackberries" early in the day and came home with only 6 bottles of "Habaneros & Carrots". Sales were constant throughout the day and all the efforts of making the sauce in the days prior to the event were completely justified. Having the opportunity to talk about our brand to such a large audience gave us the feedback we need to develop. And that is where the real win came for us. We hope to be back next year with even more super hot sauces for you.
Huge thanks to Society Magazine, Quality Meat Scotland, Prime Events, Elevator and Taste of Grampian for an unbelievable opportunity and for giving us the ultimate platform for our little sauce co.
Ps If ever you find yourself wondering whether you should enter a competition. You should.