CASE STUDY

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Blackthorn Salt

Blackthorn Salt was co-founded in Ayr by Whirly and Gregorie Marshall. Although the brand officially launched during lockdown, this followed 12 years of committed research and development to perfect the Blackthorn ‘Scottish sea salt flakes’, which are made entirely from west coast seawater.

South Ayrshire Council’s AMBITION programme has been supporting Whirly and Gregorie as they seek to grow their business.

Whirly explains:

“We were allocated a Business Advisor through Business Gateway who has been brilliant, making us aware of grants, supporting us with funding applications and generally being there for us whenever we need help or advice.

“One of the biggest impacts on our business was being told about and awarded a Digital Boost grant. Prior to this, we didn’t have digital marketing expertise and had to resort to expensive outsourcing. Now we’ve got the technical know-how - as well as lots of ideas - for confidently managing our marketing inhouse.

“Our Advisor also connected us to Destination South Ayrshire and we received a tourism grant supporting a ‘Blackthorn Big Day Out’ event in April 2023. We invited other local artisan food and drink businesses to join us, the event was incredibly popular, with over 1,400 people enjoying some tasting, learning, music and fun. As well as providing something for the community, the event allowed us to spread the word on sustainability and artisan food production in a positive way and put this area of Ayrshire on the map."

“We’re so grateful to have an ongoing relationship with Business Gateway and are excited about exploring other opportunities available to contribute to future projects for growth, sales and exporting.”

Blackthorn Salt is supplied to retailers and wholesalers, as well as the hospitality and manufacturing sectors.


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