New Eat Wild Stockist – Great Glen Charcuterie


We are delighted that Great Glen Charcuterie has signed up as an Eat Wild Stockist. Here we learn a little bit more about them in their own words.

“It has been twenty years since we sold our first wild venison salami.

We never imagined that we would become Scotland’s leading charcuterie producer when we moved from the Netherlands to the Scottish Highlands in 2000. Jan Jacob had been offered a job on a Scottish Country estate and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to move our growing family to live in the remote and beautiful countryside.

Part of Jan Jacob’s job was the management of the wild deer population and we fell in love with the delicious meat. The price of venison was very low at that time, the meat was not as mainstream as it is now. Not many people were eating venison and we wanted to add value and increase the shelf life so we could sell the products further afield. Always full of new ideas, Jan Jacob soon started to experiment with venison and built a wooden smoker in the garden to cure the meat.

As a young boy, Jan Jacob loved the dried sausages his mum bought from the local butchers. There is a tradition of making dried sausages in the Netherlands and we wanted to do this with venison too. It was a bit of a challenge as venison is a very lean meat and does not contain much fat however Jan Jacob worked out a recipe in the end.

Friends and family loved the salamis and encouraged us to start a business.

A friend owned an old derelict Butcher shop in Roy Bridge and we managed to get the lease. The building had been empty for many years and after kitting it out into a state-of-the-art processing unit in 2003; Great Glen Charcuterie was born!

Sourcing the deer from the surrounding estates has always been very important for us so we began to build close relationships with the stalkers and estate workers who manage the wild deer population in the area. Because there are no natural predators the wild deer population has to be managed to a ensure a healthy deer population. The deer roam freely in the Scottish hills and feed on heather, wild plants and grass making venison a delicious healthy meat. It is low in fat, high in iron and a very sustainable meat source for our charcuterie products.

Over the years we developed new recipes and Jan Jacob is always trying to improve the products. Great Glen Charcuterie now sells a range of salamis, chorizos, bresaola and smoked venison to independent retailers across the country. The charcuterie is also used by many chefs and is on the menu of some of the country’s best restaurants.

In the early years of the company Jan Jacob was still employed on the Estate and the business was run part-time but in 2010 he gave up his day job to concentrate full-time on Great Glen Charcuterie. By that time our family had grown to six children and when the youngest started school Anja got involved full time and is now responsible for marketing and sales.

It was a great acknowledgment of our hard work when the Green Pepper Salami was awarded Charcuterie Product of the Year at the Great Taste Awards in 2013 and the salami won the Game category at the British Charcuterie Awards.

Living and working in the Scottish Highlands is very important for us and our family and we love spending time with our children in the countryside. Now the children are older they are more involved in the business with the older girls helping out at food festivals and tastings.

Producing Charcuterie takes time and needs dedicated space to achieve the perfect flavour; the bresaola for example is aged for seven months. We are currently building a new unit to give us more space and increase output, but are wary not to grow too big too fast. What is important to us is sustainably using the amazing wild produce available on our doorstep and turning it into a high-end product that can be enjoyed by people all over the world.”