Case Studies

Former RAF chef serves up new Moray business

Kevin Spiller set up Moray Hog Roast Company this year after a three decade career in the RAF. Here he shares with us the story behind his business.

5th January 2018

Why choose to go into business for yourself and when did you start your current business?

I recently left the RAF after 30 years of service and I wanted to make sure my next career was one I equally enjoyed and had pride in. Whilst in the RAF I learned many skills and gained a great deal of experience so it felt like the right time to use all of this to benefit myself and my family. I launched Moray Hog Roast Company earlier this year.

Why did you choose your current business?

I was a chef manager in the RAF so it was natural that I set up a business in the food and drink industry. I was asked to cater for an event in Elgin and I realised very quickly that there was a gap in the market for unique catering and so I launched my hog roast company as a part-time venture initially. I knew hog roasts are a popular choice for events and parties in other areas and having catered in many a diverse situation and locations over the years I knew immediately that I could make this work.

Who has helped you get started and develop your business?

I attended several of the free courses run by Business Gateway Moray which I found very helpful. The workshops help business owners gain valuable knowledge and skills whilst connecting with the right people. Attending the courses on how to set up a business and on marketing and promotion were particularly useful as these were areas I wasn’t so confident in. With Business Gateway’s help I now know the key issues and how to deal with them.

What achievement are you most proud of?

There is no one thing in particular I’m most proud of. Each event is different and it’s been a pleasure to be part of them all. The moment when I realised my plans were finally becoming a reality was when I received my trailer which made me proud.

What was your biggest mistake?

It is early days yet but possibly the only mistake I have made was underestimating the amount of equipment and accessories that are required for the variety of functions and the storage space that I now need.

What is the biggest challenge facing your business?

Without doubt it is advertising and getting the business name out into the community. It can be expensive and when you first start a business money is tight, so I need to find effective ways of getting Moray Hog Roast’s name known in the area. Social media has played a part so far which is great and I’ll definitely continue to use it.

What would help your business?

A few more high profile events to get the business name out there and noticed, such as Moktoberfest in Elgin where I joined forces with local craft brewers for a weekend of food, drink and entertainment in aid of local charities.

What do you still want to achieve for your business?

My aim is to build a well-established business in Moray so that’s what I will be working towards achieving.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in Moray?

Research the competition and see what is out there that’s similar to what you do and aim to do something that’s a bit different and sets you apart from your competitors. Take advantage of the free advice on offer from the Business Gateway Moray team and go along to some of the workshops held each month to pick up essential skills.

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