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Meet Sgaia foods

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Many fear that going vegan means giving up one’s food culture in favour of an ethically aware lifestyle, but when Alberto and I went vegan, we knew that our food culture was going to come with us.

Going vegan without compromising your traditional culinary heritage

After successfully recreating many meat based dishes with our vegan meats in our home kitchen, we decided to set up Sgaia Foods to prove that you can lead an ethical, healthy life while also standing by your traditional culinary heritage.

We’re ‘vegan butchers’

Hilary Masin of Sgaia at the monthly Vegan Quarter at Leith Market, Edinburgh
Hilary Masin of Sgaia at the monthly Vegan Quarter at Leith Market, Edinburgh

We’re ‘vegan butchers’, if you like. We make steaks, burgers, streaky rashers, but also specialty deli slices and charcuterie – all vegan.

Our aim is to encourage a shift towards the vegan lifestyle by offering tasty, satisfying foods to replace animal-derived proteins while never compromising one’s heritage.

Facing the gluten-free challenge

All our Mheats are made with a uniquely crafted wheat and soya bean protein blend, which means that they contain gluten. The problem with this is that we want to offer vegan products that are made for everyone, including those who have issues digesting wheat-based products!

As passionate as we’ve always been about food and cooking, we’re not scientists, so finding an alternative to gluten in a product that is basically made of it would have been an impossible task.

This is why we decided to turn to Interface and the Scottish Funding Council for expert help! Interface lead us to Abertay University, and after an initial meeting we applied for a grant with the Scottish Funding Council to carry out an experimental study for the development of a gluten free range: needless to say, the collaboration is going exceptionally well and we’re really excited about where it will take us.

We’re hoping to reach a much larger audience with these products, and to broaden Sgaia’s range to other fresh vegan products alongside our Mheats.

Developing gluten-free meat alternatives

Mheat steak
Mheat steak

Thanks to Interface and the Scottish Funding Council, we have made an invaluable contact with Abertay University, and we’re sure that we will remain in touch with them. We have some exciting new developments planned and we think they would make excellent research partners when it comes to actually working on these innovative foods.

Beyond veganism to helping the planet

Ultimately, we want Sgaia to become a large community of passionate individuals who not only make vegan products, but who also work on projects to enable change, channel positive messages, and help the planet.

Environmental change is a hugely important issue to us and we hope to get Sgaia involved in that too in the future. We’re dreaming big, but as

Les Brown once said:

Many people fail to achieve their goals not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.

Our planet is vast, and needs big dreamers!

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