Age: 19

At the tender age of jut 19, Finlay Macdonald has already added company founder and director to his CV.

Since he was 18 months old, Finlay has loved food which he says comes from his grannies.

“I would bake scones with one granny every Sunday and pies or dumplings with the other. The, whenever we visited my great aunt in Kyle of Lochalsh we would make cakes. I was always in the kitchen and I grew up with a powerful desire to do something with food and a career in the industry was an obvious choice.”

With his first experience of the industry working in a small restaurant in Kyle producing a wide range of dishes out of this tiny kitchen, Finlay had the chance to do a whole variety of different jobs.

“I was just me and one other person in the restaurant, so I prepared all the dishes, including puddings, seafood, side dishes.”

Innovative and entrepreneurial from an early age, Finlay has always had a keen grasp of commercial acumen and started his first business aged just eleven.

“At one time I was in a phase of making bread and at the time was low on cash, so I decided to start selling the bread round my new high school. I quickly established a weekly subscription service among the teachers.

“A few years later, after working in a pastry kitchen, I was inspired by one of the chefs to begin experimenting with chocolate. After some brief training I used the money earned from this bread business to start up a new one selling handmade chocolates in the local area.”

In 2017 Finlay managed to secure crowdfunding to allow him to expand his facility and increase production capacity and, excitingly, employ some young people to help.

“Despite being founder and director, my role in the company covers just about everything, from production and flavour development to bookkeeping and sales. From packaging design to delivery man.”

For Finlay, his love of food has always been there and for him it was an obvious choice to make and sell the products he loved himself.

“We are so lucky in Scotland to really be spoiled for choice in terms of the variety and products available to us.

“I believe the food and drink industry is here to stay and that means it’s even more of a reliable career choice for young people to take advantage of. It’s a hugely exciting industry to be a part of and it’s really satisfying to give people enjoyment from the product you have worked hard to produce.

“However, as big and diverse as the industry is, we all share a communal goal of supporting and promoting Scotland’s produce.”

Finlay’s #ScotFoodGoals are to continue growing his business so he can employ more local young people and do more to promote small Scottish producers. Finlay believes the industry should continue focusing on the export market and maintaining the high reputation our export products have. Food tourism is also something Finlay is keen on exploring. However, no matter what direction life takes Finlay, he will always be driven by his life-long love of food and the strong bond he has with it thanks to his grannies.

Watch Finlay’s #ScotFoodGoals video