No milling about: Two friends launch Scottish oat milk home-delivery service in Edinburgh
Two graduates with a vision for their business to become Scotland’s leading oat milk company have launched a home-delivery service to get Edinburgh drinking their product.
Alex Baldwin and Callum McCadden developed a recipe – using organic Scottish oats from the Borders and a drop of East Lothian rapeseed oil (the rest is a secret) – in August last year in a small kitchen in Edinburgh
After a successful launch in October, their fledgling business – Untitled Oats – caught the eye of independent retailers across the Capital, many of which now stock litres of their plant-based milk.
With a burgeoning social media following and a population with an increasing appetite for locally-sourced products, business is going well for the pair, both 22.
They have since moved all oat milk production to a large site at Craigmillar and hired three more employees to join the team. And to keep the milk flowing, Alex and Callum have just launched a home-delivery service in the Capital.
Using an electric cargo bike, the two pals take it in turns to do the rounds delivering fresh bottles of oat milk to customers’ doorsteps and collect empty ones in return to refill.
“We’ve sort of fallen back into the traditional role of milkmen, just with oat milk instead,” said Alex, who recently graduated in chemical engineering from Imperial College London, and now lives in Bruntsfield.
"It would be great to get people in the routine of leaving their empty glass bottles out for us to pick up and replace with fresh oat milk, just like the old days.”
The product comes in one litre glass bottles and costs £2.50. But if customers return the bottle it’s delivered in, the price lowers to £2.
When asked about what makes Untitled Oats different to other oat milk brands, Alex said: “Other products that you buy on the shelf can be quite sugary, but we don’t add any extra sugar in ours.
"We also use organic oats from the Borders and a drop of oil from Black and Gold Oil in East Lothian to give it that creamy texture.”
How did the idea come about?
Callum, who graduated with a degree in sustainable development from Edinburgh University and now lives in Slateford, said the two friends met while they were both on a year abroad in Melbourne, Australia.
After graduating they shared their interests in plant-based products and asked the same question: “If Scotland’s famous for its oats, why doesn’t it have its own oat milk?”
"We messed about with recipe ideas for a bit but then it actually started working out, and after running a small pilot with local customers, we were onto something.”
What’s the story behind the name?
"Untitled Oats reflects the minimal and simplistic product that we make,” Alex explained.
"Oat milk should be simple.
"The amount of marketing that goes into other oat milk products costs so much money, and that’s not what we want our customers to be paying for.
"We’ve gone for an ‘anti-branding’ approach and keeping it simple.”
Having started off using their savings, the graduates are now planning to launch a crowdfunder scheme to expand their business.
Alex added: "We aspire to be the UK’s leading oat milk provider, and we want our customers to be part of it.”