Andrew and Lauren Houstoun

Glenkilrie Farm, Glenkilrie Larder

Sponsored by: CLA

For Andrew and Lauren Houstoun, it would have been easy to have been disheartened by the Covid-19 pandemic having only been established for three months prior. Instead they persevered with their marketing and business development, expanded their customer base and now deliver meat boxes within an extensive area of Scotland, also with the ability to send orders nationwide via courier.

The 1,012-hectare (2,500-acre) working hill farm manages 160 spring-calving Aberdeen-Angus cross suckler cows and 1,100 breeding ewes supplying into Marks & Spencer and Glenkilrie Larder.

In 2018, red deer were introduced and 55 hinds now feature, which are finished on-farm and supplied directly to customers ranging from consumers, local hotels and restaurant/ taproom chain Innis and Gunn.

The couple carried out all work on the conversion of a small outbuilding on the farm into a basic farm shop. This provided them with a space, for the fridges and freezers they had bought allowing them to store both fresh and frozen meat. Initially this was all that was required as they work with an external butcher.

Andrew also sourced a company which designed a cool box for the pick-up truck to utilise current vehicles.


Lauren, takes ownership of the daily running of the larder, marketing and stock control and currently is on maternity leave from her nursing career. Andrew transports animals and assists with meat deliveries in conjunction with working full time on the farm.

Social media has been instrumental in raising awareness of their business and, for those not using the platforms, an e-newsletter is sent out regularly outlining, activity on the farm, offers, recipes, wildlife watch and features on other local businesses.

Word of mouth has also been vital and has led to additional orders following recommendations from existing customers.

Future plans include expanding the farm shop, utilising the potential mail order has to offer and welcoming opportunities from passing trade, thanks to their location on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park.

Glenkilrie Larder has benefited the core farming business by providing a steady monthly income from animals purchased for butchery. Opposed to selling everything at once at auction sales at certain times of the year. The introduction of red deer has also proved less labour intensive in comparison with sheep or cattle.

Proudest moment

“Since starting the venture we are most proud of firstly being shortlisted for this award and secondly securing our contract with Innis and Gunn Taprooms. The chain has four venues across Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leith and Dundee) which all have their venison burger and venison black pudding on the menu.”

Glenkilrie Larder facts

  • Established Glenkilrie Larder in 2019
  • 2,500-acre working hill farm
  • 160 spring calving Aberdeen Angus and Limousin cross suckler cows
  • 1,100 breeding ewes with Blackface and Cheviots on the hill ground and Aberfield cross ewes on low ground
  • 55 Red deer hinds
  • Supplying meat into their diversification
  • Selling direct to consumers, hotels, restaurants and available to deliver nationwide
  • Regular communication through social media and newsletters