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Ellon mother and daughter duo share the secret to working together ahead of Mother’s Day

By Kirsty Brown

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A mother and daughter duo at the cutting edge of Scotland’s red meat industry have shared an insight into how they work together to run their specialist butchery and grocery store in Aberdeenshire.

As a team Charmaine Bain (71) and daughter Anne-Marie (42) run Aberdeenshire Larder in Ellon, bringing top quality red meat to customers from both the local area and the restaurant industry in Aberdeenshire and beyond.

As a family-run business for over 50 years, the Bains have developed close relationships with local Scotch-assured farms to sell high quality Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb and also becoming one of only a handful of Scottish Wild Venison processors.

Working closely together in a high-pressure environment has worked well for Charmaine and Anne-Marie, having both taken the lead on different aspects of the business; Charmaine is more involved in the day to day running of the factory and shop and Anne-Marie oversees back-office business including marketing and product development.

Brother John Andrew also plays a key role in factory management and the butchery business.

For Charmaine working with Anne-Marie is a delight, commenting that “every day is a proud mum day” and particularly noting her daughter’s energy, a trait she inherited from her dad.

Aberdeenshire Larder's Anne-Marie Bain with mum Charmaine and daughter Rose.
Aberdeenshire Larder's Anne-Marie Bain with mum Charmaine and daughter Rose.

Although Anne-Marie worked for the family business when she was young – recounting being paid 50p an hour and thinking she was “minted” - it was only after her father passed away that she returned full time to support her mum.

She said: “My mum is a very calm person and her day-to-day presence in the business is re-assuring for us all.

"As a result, there’s not much I don’t enjoy about my job and I count myself incredibly lucky that this is the case.

"Working in a small family business can be incredibly challenging as it’s not like a regular 9 to 5 job where you have a job description.

"It’s fair to say that my work life is varied, and I think that’s what I enjoy most about it.

“Like lots of working mums, my days are pretty full and I find myself sending emails at odd hours and working weekends!

"I know my team who are mums are doing the same, in fact I’m in awe of the mums who are juggling work and home schooling.”

With Covid-19 restrictions yet to be lifted, Charmaine and Anne-Marie are spending Mother’s Day apart this year but look forward to a home cooked meal together when it’s safe to do...but what’s on the menu?

Anne-Marie said: “Our favourite dish would be a French Trim Rack of Scotch Lamb – it was one of my dad’s favourites and we still love it as a family."

Brands development manager at Quality Meat Scotland Gordon Newlands said: “The Scottish red meat industry is full of families that share a passion for bringing the best quality products to customers – and the mother-daughter duo of Charmaine and Anne-Marie Bain at Aberdeenshire Larder is no different.

"We’re proud to have them as part of the Scotch Butchers Club family."

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