After meeting whilst working as Pizza chefs together, Alex McKay and Douglas Staton wanted to channel their strong passion for food into an idea for a business. Spotting a gap in the market for locally sourced, high-welfare, traditionally cured charcuterie meats, Alex and business partner Doug launched Manchester-based Northern Cure in early 2020.
The duo’s initial intentions were to sell their products to local restaurants, and after securing premises they won contracts to supply to a number of hospitality businesses in the area. However, two major incidents occurred to put a severe dent in their plans.
First, a fire in one of the units where Northern Cure was based prevented the partners from gaining access to the premises. Then came COVID-19 and the national lockdown, which forced all restaurants and bars to close temporarily. Not to be thwarted, Alex and Douglas took the opportunity to re-evaluate their business plan, ultimately deciding to adapt their business model to sell not only to restaurants but directly to consumers as well.
Alex, who currently works in e-commerce, put his expertise to good use, developing Northern Cure’s website and introducing a new range of home curing kits. The business has also moved to more suitable premises and resuming production now the hospitality industry is back up and running.
Long-term, Northern Cure’s founders both hope to work on the business full-time by giving up their day jobs and eventually opening their own delicatessen.