Scotland’s biggest ice cream brand has opened its farm doors to 12 lucky visitors for the first time in over a decade.
Mackie’s of Scotland gave their visitors a VIP exclusive tour, with a full ‘behind the scenes’ look at how they make ice cream and chocolate ‘from sky to scoop’ at Westertown Farm in Aberdeenshire.
The tickets were sold at the cost of £25 per ticket, with all proceeds being donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Scotland charity.
Mackie’s is one of 24 organisations showcased at the Provenance Festival 2021 which is taking place from September 24 to October 3.
Lucky tour goers were given exclusive access throughout the farm including a walk through the brand’s chocolate factory and the sweetie kitchen where they make honeycomb. The group were able to taste freshly made products throughout.
The VIPs also had a unique tasting session in the new product development kitchen, to try several new flavours not available in the shops, before finally visiting the byre to see the self-milking cows, with the full tour lasting around three hours.
Marketing director at Mackie’s of Scotland, Karin Hayhow, said: “This is the first time we have opened our doors to the public since 2010. We are a busy working farm and business, and so it was fascinating to get the reactions from our visitors and seeing the interest on their faces to things we perceive as ‘normal’.
“It was an absolute delight to welcome visitors and to share our story with them on what we have achieved and hope to in the future.
“Visitors got a unique perspective on how our ice cream and chocolate is made, as well as the processes and development our teams go through to create the best possible products. This seemed to resonate with tour goers as some mentioned they now feel more connecting knowing our processes!
“We received plenty of feedback from our visitors on how we can make these tours a reoccurring experience, and it is definitely something we will be considering for the future.
“The Provenance Festival is a terrific gathering of the best our region has to offer, and we are delighted to be a part of it.”
One of the VIPs said in an anonymous feedback form: “The Mackie’s team were very welcoming and gave up a huge amount of time for us. We visited all the different areas of the site and got a good feel for the daily operation of the facility. Everyone loved the tasting sessions – it made the rest of the tour more relevant.”
The exclusive tour also included a visit around Mackie’s green trail featuring its wind turbines and solar panel farm. To finish up tour goers were given a bespoke goodie bag to take home.
Peter Cook, director of food drink and agriculture, Opportunity North East (ONE) said: “The Provenance Festival was introduced by ONE to give the public an insight into food and drink businesses and brands from the North-east of Scotland through engaging, hands-on and memorable visitor experiences.
“The level of interest in the Festival has been fantastic and we are delighted that Mackie’s took the opportunity to create this exclusive experience and share their unique story with consumers.”
Ice cream has been made on the Mackie’s family farm in Aberdeenshire since 1986, adopting an ethos of ‘sky to scoop’ seeing everything from milk to the packaging created on-site, powered by predominantly renewable energy.
To find out more about Mackie’s, please visit: www.mackies.co.uk