The business was founded in Wemyss Bay by my Grandfather, Mearns T. McCaskie, in 1935. I am the third generation and I run the business alongside my mother, Elizabeth (the founder's daughter), and my wife, Helen. We retail from our shop, through wholesalers and restaurants and also online.
I took full control of the business, along with my mother, in 1999. It was a difficult time for many independent butchers (with many shops closing), but we decided to invest heavily and really modernise the business and take it forward.
Since then we have had two further key stages – in 2012 we bought the neighbouring café and invested a considerable sum renovating the premises and connecting through to the Deli and Butchers and in 2016 we embarked on our largest investment yet, a £800k production unit built on land behind the shop, which was opened by HRH Princess Anne in February 2017 . Although it is a state-of-the-art unit, everything is still hand made in genuinely small batches so that we remain true to our quality ethos.
We wish to be known for our full range of quality products and we recently won a Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Award in which our Unsmoked Back Bacon won Scotch Product of the Year. We were absolutely delighted. We have also won awards for our pork, steaks and many more. However, I am perhaps most proud of our haggis.
When I took over the business, our haggis was good, but it wasn’t great. I spent a huge amount of time experimenting, tasting, and developing the haggis until I had a product of which I was truly proud and which could reinforce the McCaskie brand.
McCaskie haggis is still handmade in small batches.. Our haggis has a course texture with rough oatmeal and onions with a medium heat level of pepper and spice.
We are proud that McCaskie’s Haggis is officially Scotland’s Most Awarded Haggis… by some distance. McCaskies has won six out of the past eight annual National Haggis Awards, and currently holds both annual National Awards. It has won the People’s Choice award at Haggis Fest (judged by 150 members of the public) 4 years in a row! In addition to our haggis awards, we also ran a campaign in the run up to Burns Night for a haggis emoji which was seen by over 1 million people. This campaign was naturally designed to increase awareness of our haggis but we also felt it was our duty to champion Scotland's national dish on behalf of all haggis makers out there. We certainly got more people talking about haggis!
We are so proud to work with other local and Scottish businesses. In our shop we stock Scottish cheeses, chutney, oatcakes, gin, vegetables, biscuits and much much more and we are proud that all our meat is 100% Scotch - we believe that we are the only Scottish butcher to be able to say that. We are proud to work with the very best producers of beef, lamb, pork and poultry and that we form an important link in the farm to fork chain. Rural Scotland is of critical importance to the economy and we are honoured to be part of that.