Honeycomb duo smash records at the Mackie's farm in Aberdeenshire.
A duo with a passion for honeycomb-making have hit a new personal best after working together to produce nearly two tonnes of the sweet treat over just five shifts. This event occurred at Westertown Farm where the Mackie's family make their wonderful ice-creams.
Deirdre Henderson and Louise Hunter are two women who have succeeded at such a feat. They have been working at the farm for 24 years combined, creating the sweet and crunchy honeycomb by hand and with the machines. Louise and Deirdre have made a lot of honeycomb in this kitchen throughout their years working at Westertown Farm. They have succeeded in hand-making around 66-tonnes each year, which is equivalent to 40 average sized cars.
“Deirdre and I like a challenge and were not too worried when we saw that the production team were forecast to need more Honeycomb than usual. I was delighted when our daily diary proved that we’d made nearly two tonnes in such a short amount of time – it’s very satisfying to have kept up and delivered.”
“Making the honeycomb can be challenging in the summer months because of how hot it gets in the sweetie kitchen, but me and Louise are always up to the challenge. The toughest part is putting up with each other on a daily basis!”
Louise, from Rothienorman just five miles from the Mackie’s farm.
The process was recently celebrated on an episode of Inside The Factory, in which Gregg Wallace met Louise and Deirdre and talked about their integral role in the production of honeycomb ice cream.
Mackie's is a family run farm and company and they are proud to reward and promote the successes of their employees. They hire locally meaning that the employees are often from the surrounding area and that they are social outside of work as well as during shifts. Louise family also work at the farm and her two sons have recently joined the Mackie's family.
There is a wonderful family history with Deirdre as well. She is from Turiff which is just 10 miles from the farm. She came to Mackie’s to join her older brother, Alan Raeburn, 70, who retired from working on the farm just two years ago after being employed as a tractor driver for 50 years, having joined Mackie’s the year Deirdre was born.
This sort of generational workplace culture ensures that the staff are focused and content. This also trickles down into the products - ensuring that they are made to the highest of standards. Maybe Louise and Deirdre are the real reason that Mackie's honeycomb ice-cream tastes so good.
The ice-creams are made so well that recently Mackie's have struck a deal with Sainsbury's south of the border. Sainsbury's will now supply 500 of its stores with its delicious honeycomb flavor and also the new strawberry swirl edition that is being released this summer.
“While always very happy to see our established flavours finding their way to more consumers over a wider geographic spread, we are especially pleased that our investment in developing new flavours has received a warm welcome by one of the UK’s leading retailers. For so long fans of our ice cream have looked on enviously at those in Scotland who can try a broad range of our products. It’s great to be getting second and third flavours into English and Welsh stores.”
This new opportunity comes after Greg Wallace interviewed our Honeycomb Queens. Their combined skill and success was recognised and further helped the company develop on a national scale.