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Sweet or savoury: Aberdeen mum’s mouthwatering new venture

Coreen Gillespie's business has all the right ingredients.
Coreen Gillespie's business has all the right ingredients.

Living next door to Coreen Gillespie must be a dream come true for her neighbours, the unofficial taste testers for her mouthwatering new venture.

From her more-ish millionaire’s flapjacks and strawberry tarts to melt-in-the-mouth pork and carmelised onion chutney sausage rolls and fresh pastries, Coreen’s neighbours love sampling the sweet and savory goodies she makes as part of her online food business, Coreen’s Country Cottage.

Baking treats is a piece of cake for Coreen Gillespie.

Home baking queen

Bored during lockdown and forced to press pause on her remedial and sports massage business, Coreen took solace in her lifelong love of cooking.

Food brings people together.”

And as the sweet smell of fresh baking continued to rise from her Westhill kitchen, word soon spread about Coreen’s to-die-for home-made cakes, pastries, jams and chutneys, prompting her to start taking orders online.

The cake stand of dreams: Coreen makes everything from scratch.

“It was really worrying because I’ve been doing the massage business for the last 22 years so I always paid my bills, paid my mortgage and then all of sudden its like you can’t work, it was a really worrying time for everyone,” said Coreen, 60.

“Before Covid, I loved to have people round to the house to cook for them.

“So my kids encouraged me, I started off making jam and chutney and its gone from there.

“I’ve always loved cooking as I find it very therapeutic and I also love to see people happy after eating food that I’ve made.

“Food brings people together.”

Customers can’t get enough of Coreen’s graze boxes.

Raspberry peach and prosecco jam

Starting off by making jams, chutneys and marmalade, Coreen is now creating delicious graze boxes, afternoon teas and hampers.

“With the afternoon tea we try to change the menu once a month so they’re slightly different,” said Coreen.

“Recently we did a Wimbledon theme with smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, home-made sausage rolls, strawberry tarts and a little pavlova with double cream with my home-made raspberry peach and prosecco jam through it.

“I also made scones with a strawberry and Pimms inspired jam and millionaire’s flapjacks, which go down an absolute bomb with people.”

Jam with a twist.

Carmelised onion chutney sausage rolls

For those with more a savoury tooth, you won’t be disappointed as Coreen makes up graze boxes and hampers packed full of crackers, cheese, ham, grapes and her signature homemade chutney.

Millionaire’s flapjacks which go down an absolute bomb with people.


The perfect mix of sweet and savory treats to whet the appetite.

Pastry boxes have also proved popular with cheese and chorizo pinwheels, spinach and ricotta parcels, meatloaf pie slices, homemade sausage rolls, chutney and jam pastries and Nutella diamonds for good measure.

“My family and next door neighbours love it because they get to taste test everything,” said Coreen.

“I’ve started making pastry boxes, so I did a big pastry bake and everyone was just sitting around and stuffing themselves with pastry.

“My son often comes in from work and asks what’s for eating.

“One of his friends said ‘oh gosh your mum’s house must smell amazing’ but when you’re making chutney and you come in the front door, all that hits you is vinegar.”

Coreen’s tasty hampers are in demand.

Dairy and gluten free boxes

Coreen also caters for those with special dietary requirements.

“I can also make gluten free and dairy free boxes,” said Coreen.

“My granddaughter has a severe dairy allergy and my mum was a severe coeliac when she was alive so we’ve been used to dealing with allergies.

“I get quite a lot of people coming back for orders because sometimes it’s hard to come by tasty things that are gluten free or dairy free.”

Sweet tooth: Coreen’s cakes are going down well.

Corporate clients

Through her sports massage business, Coreen has also taken orders from companies.

“I did a couple of big orders for a big company that I used to go in and do massages for,” said Coreen.

“At Christmas they ordered 240 jars of chutney and 120 bags of shortbread so that was big.

“On another occasion I also made them 85 treat boxes with four pieces of traybakes in each box.

“I think the man in the Post Office got a shock when he saw me with 85 boxes.”

Coreen’s signature chutney is going down a storm.

Supportive family

Coreen, who now divides her time to running her massage business and her online food business, says she wouldn’t be where she is today without her grown-up children Victoria Jaques, 32, and Jason Gillespie, 25.

“I’m a one woman business but I couldn’t do it without the help of my daughter and my son.

“Jason gives me a hand with the deliveries and he helps me get set up at the farmer’s market, while my daughter comes up with all the ideas and does all my Facebook and Instagram posts.”

The perfect treat.

Community spirit

Buoyed by the support she has received from the local community, Coreen won’t be putting her oven gloves down anytime soon.

“I’m always of the thought that you get your head down, keep going and just hope for the best,” said Coreen.

Looking to the future, Coreen plans to sell her produce in farm shops and is keen to secure an alcohol licence so customers can enjoy their hampers with a bottle of fizz.

Food gallery

To find out more about Coreen’s Country Cottage visit her Facebook or Instagram pages.






This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.