Hi folks!! My name is Ian and my lovely wife is Suzie of Suzie’s Spice Kitchen. We have been married 49 years as at the date of writing this and have had the good fortune to have lived and worked in many wonderful countries around the world. Initially, I was serving in Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and met and married Suzie whilst I was stationed in Plymouth. Three months after we were married, I was sent to Singapore and that was the start of Suzie’s travels. After leaving HMRM, I was flying helicopters for the oil industry, initially in Shetland, then Aberdeen and then back to Borneo followed by 4 years in West Africa. During these travels, which included South East Asia, Africa(North, South, East & West), Middle East and a few places in between, not least of which was Florida USA for 7 years, we learned from local people about how they lived, what they ate, what they used to cook with and the ingredients they used. Three years ago, after having tried and tested Suzie’s wonderful concoctions on friends and family for several years, we decided to introduce the local community where we now live, to the products that Suzie had been making for years based on what we had learned on our foreign experiences.
We are currently selling our produce at Farmers Markets in our local area here in the North East of Scotland with each Saturday of the month at a different location but the same rotation each month. The 1st through the 4th Saturdays are at Huntly, Thistle Street in Aberdeen, Banchory and Ballater. If it’s a five Saturday month, we get a weekend off, or sometimes find another venue to attend?!! We also attend country fairs and agricultural shows, community events and are constantly being invited to more events than we can possibly go to!! It is just us two, working from a home kitchen and there is a limit to how much we can produce but so far,we have had our produce taken in by several outlets which at the moment include:
- Brodie Countryfare at Forres
- Raemoir Garden Centre at Banchory
- Templars Store at Fisherie
- Oh Sew Crafty at Keith
We’ve had a stall at The Taste of Grampian for the last two years at the Thainstone Market Centre at Inverurie, and Tony Singh dropped by and was kind enough to compliment us on the variety and freshness of our produce – lovely man!
The year before last, at The Scottish Home Show in the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, we had a few well known faces drop by to sample and comment on our stuff and were especially honoured to have Tommy Walsh from Groundforce swing by for a chat! Charlie Dimmock, who we knew from our time living in Romsey, also came by and we were chatting so much we forgot to get a picture — sorry Charlie!!
One of the many jobs we had after returning from overseas, was as Managers of a shooting lodge on the Mountbatten Estate in Hampshire. The lodge was visited by many well known personalities and one of Suzie’s favourite stories is to recount the tale of the visit of Marco Pierre White along with his guests. One of these guests happened to be his buddy Guy Ritchie who, with his then new wife Madonna, pitched up at the lodge unannounced, no fuss, no fanfare and no papparazzi!! What a lovely surprise for us!! Suzie had to cook dinner for them and the other guests and when she asked Marco, a Michelin Starred Chef, what he would like to eat, his response when told the main was roast pork was – “forget the pork Suzie, just give me a plate of crackling and I’ll be happy!!” Towards the end of the meal, Suzie and myself were invited in to have a drink with them all, which was a lovely gesture and we were entertained by Marco telling some of the dirtiest jokes we’ve ever heard whilst quaffing Crystal Champagne by the bucket load!! What a night – a little marred by the fact that we had to go back to the kitchen and clear up the mess before bed as we had to get breakfast for the crowd the next day!! By the way, Madonna up close and personal was a very pleasant and down to earth person who was really quite lovely!!
If you are ever in any of our market locations on the appropriate Saturdays, keep an eye out for our stall and the signs we have up and please stop by and say hello — we’d love to see you and introduce you to our produce – or not – even just for a chat and a wee gossip?!!