Coconut business unveils expansion plans
A BUSINESS which links coconuts from the beaches of the southern Caribbean to a Moray town has announced plans for growth in the wake of a major industry recognition.
Ginger Kinnaird, of Don Miguel UK, is behind the recently-crowned Great Taste two star award-winning raw coconut oil, Strictly COCO.
The company, which has its headquarters and distribution base in Elgin, is now looking to increase its portfolio by adding coffee and chocolate to its product list.
Having started trading in early 2018, Mrs Kinnaird said she was over-the-moon to achieve Great Taste recognition just a year on.
The award came after Strictly COCO was named one of the Great New Ideas at Birmingham Food and Drink Exhibition in April, 2018.
Ginger, who was born and raised in the southern Caribbean but now lives in Elgin, graduated as a petroleum engineer and worked in the industry before establishing her firm.
Because her family owns a length of coastline where the coconuts are sourced, she can oversee the whole process from tree to glass jar.
She said: "We have always had land in the area. That means we can guarantee it is pure, wild coconut oil; there are no big plantations or anything. And because we don't heat the oil, it is truly raw.
"The coconuts come from the shoreline, so we have a natural environment and we work on a very small scale. We package at source.
"We flew the first oil in last year from the southern Caribbean and then we started with the marketing and introducing Strictly COCO to the public.
"We knew after lab tests that we had something that was very good, but to achieve Great Taste success is the reality check for any producer and to have two stars was just wonderful.
"I do enjoy it, even although I could be having to work on Sundays or evenings. But it doesn't feel like you are working."
Ginger said coconut oil can be used for cooking as well as for a variety of skin and haircare applications, from deodorant to moisturiser and from lip balm to shaving oil and cleanser. It is also suitable for pets.
And she believes the secret to her early success is her focus on quality, right down to picking the right coconut for the right product.
She said: "There are subtle differences between each coconut and that's true even if they grow in the same area. It would be easy to process them all together but much better to process them separately with a specific use in mind."
Ginger is now working on plans to add single source coffee and chocolate to the range. They will be sourced from the Americas and again be distributed from Elgin.