From the eaves of their family home to an underground labyrinth in Leith, the Capital’s first, and only, continental charcuterie connoisseurs are soon to launch an online shop.
What started as a home project for “The Sausage Family” wife and husband team Susie and Steven Anderson has now grown into successful business East Coast Cured – creating slow cured pork, beef, venison and poultry from the best Scottish produce.
The tiny shopfront on Restalrig Road displays tantalising tendrils of cured meat – a mere hint at what lies beneath the former office space.
The basement, that runs below the row of shops, is the hub of production and includes a drying room swinging with fat salamis, gnarly nobbled nduja and porky prosciutto which will soon be available to even more cured meat fanatics with plans in the pipeline for an online store.
Starting just two years ago, the couple’s love of charcuterie, and Steven’s self-taught curing skills and background as a brewer, channelled their passion into a new business.
It was a risky, terrifying move from hobby to award-winning business but one that has paid off. And after eagle-eyed Michelin star chef Martin Wishart noticed a sign in the window during the initial renovation, orders made their way to the butcher block, from small local eateries to world renowned restaurants such as Gleneagles.
“We still get the fear everyday,” Susie admitted. “It’s really hard work but it’s been an excellent start and although we were really happy with what we were making at home, which is why we decided to try it commercially, it’s always nice to be told by someone who has a Michelin star that your products are really nice and then working closely with other chefs in Edinburgh such as Scott Smith at Fhior on Broughton Street, and the executive chef at the Bon Vivant Group Nico Ewert – we’re still gobsmacked by how well our products are received.”
But it is the passion for flavour, the respect for the traditional curing process and the desire for perpetual quality that oozes from the Andersons. Although a profitable business would be the long-term goal, the couple care most about making each and every sausage, packet and cut as perfect as possible.
“We start off with the whole pig then break it down into the parts that we’re going to cure as hams, and the rest is divided into fattier meats and lean meats depending on what type of salami we’re going to make,” Steven explained. “We’re always trying to make the best product we can. We hope customers can see how much passion has gone into getting where we are now and how important the product is to us.”
As well as the shop, Susie and Steve attend farmers markets such as in Haddington on Saturday and Bowhouse in St Monans on April 12.
“It’s not something you see so much anymore, buying the product from the person who actually makes it and we take a lot of pride in that,” Steven added.