An interview a long time coming, we recently headed down to London to spend the day with Gregg Boyd, a fellow Scot and founder of the Auld Hag Shoap, located a stone’s throw from Angel Station.

We arrived at the Shoap in the pouring rain (having brought the weather with us) to be greeted by Gregg, who brought us downstairs to see the kitchen. We watched him make his pies by hand, whilst two members of his team were crafting morning rolls ahead of the breakfast rush, filling them with square sausage, tattie scones, black pudding, and plenty of sauce. These are usually gone, come midday.

At this point Gregg’s Mum, Annie, came over and introduced herself, telling us how proud she was of her son – a self-made business owner – and noted the 15-hour days that go into running Auld Hag, mixing dough at 5am, and pulling pints until 8pm.

The Shoap was wall-to-wall with Scottish accents, alongside London locals making the journey to try out Gregg’s traditional Scottish scran, to browse a variety of products including I.J.Mellis cheese (our next door neighbour), and to have a cold pint of Tennents on tap.

Amongst his busy day, we managed to find the time to sit down, and ask him some questions.


Congratulations on the successful launch. Could you explain the concept behind the Shoap?

The Shoap is all about showcasing the best of Scottish food and drink. This includes morning rolls baked in-house with rolls and square, glass bottles of Irn Bru, pints of Tennents and scotch pies alongside quality produce from suppliers all over Scotland including smoked fish, cheeses, charcuterie and baked goods. I wanted to bring the large population of Scottish people in London together by giving them a taste of home and show the many people from outside of Scotland how diverse our food and drink offer is.

Could you share more about the initial response from Londoners to your traditional Scottish scran? Were there any surprising or particularly enthusiastic reactions?

One of my favourite things about London is that everyone is up for trying something new so we’ve had a really good response both with all the Scottish folk desperate for a roll and square but also a mix of locals and tourists keen to learn about what we have at home.


You are sourcing ingredients from various regions in Scotland. How important is it for you to maintain authenticity and support local producers?

It’s what we’re all about - our tagline is purveyors of Scottish scran and that really does mean a lot to me. I’ve worked with a wide range of producers and everyone’s story is always worth writing a book about. Their produce is always top quality but they’re lesser known around the UK so we want to support them and show off how good they are to as many people as we can.

What do you hope customers take away from their experience at Auld Hag, beyond just enjoying good scran?

A strong community vibe where they feel welcome. A place for people to have a proper conversation in a city where it’s common to keep your head down and walk as quickly as you can. I already see people sit down next to each other and have a conversation and talk about how nice it is to hear so many Scottish voices in the same room. It’s magic.


What’s up next for Auld Hag?

I’m hoping we can open more Shoaps in areas where there’s plenty of Scottish people desperate from a taste of home. I’d also love to have our own bakery where we can bake as many rolls as we’d like and supply people direct as well as other businesses. Let’s see.