The Rollin Pig on bringing new experiences to Renfrewshire’s food landscape

Thursday 27th May, 2021

Spearheaded by the McShane Family and based in Johnstone, The Rollin Pig is bringing hog roasts and a whole lot more to Renfrewshire’s thriving culinary landscape.

Blog by Mill Magazine as part of Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2021.

You’re bringing something unique to Renfrewshire’s food landscape. What gave you the idea to open up The Rollin Pig? 

The Rollin Pig, as it has become known, is the combination of two family businesses coming together. Tom & Chris McShane run The Entertainment Company. Established in 1984, the company specializes in corporate event management, prop & decor hire, marquee hire etc.

Then, around seven years ago, Richard McShane, a chef with a considerable background in restaurant & event catering, set up The Rollin Pig – offering mobile hog roast services for private and corporate events, as well as attending food festivals at Paisley, Loch Lomond Shores, Helensburgh among others.

The business gradually evolved to fine catering for weddings until, in 2018, Archie Colville went into business with Richard and set up Inside Out Food & Drink with the aim of specialising in larger weddings, parties & corporate events.

In late 2018, The Entertainment Company & Inside Out took joint lease on our unit in Ann Street Johnstone, where a high-end commercial kitchen was designed and built alongside warehouse facilities for prop & marquee storage.

Then, March 2020 came and everything halted.

The two companies were fortunate in that we could pull resources together to maintain the lease & running costs of the premises.

Just like everyone else, we were desperate to get back to work. We had the kitchen, the facility, the knowledge, and, most importantly, we had the drive to try something a wee bit different.

Between the four of us, we had all heard the same line from multiple people. Normally, some variation on ‘I’m sick fed up of the same takeaways week after week’. We don’t want  to take anything away from the quality well established takeaways in the area, but I think people were just craving something different and something they could relate to.

Thus, The Rollin Pig was reimagined!

You pride yourself on high quality food and evading anything mass-produced. Where do you source your produce from? Was this a crucial part of the process that paved the way for you to open?

Quality, locally sourced produce is what we are all about and probably our most important ethos.

Our hogs come from Neilston. The beef comes to us from the local abattoir. The haggis & black pudding are made by Marshalls Butchers in Johnstone. The veg produce we use is supplied by Harry’s Fruit and Veg in Johnstone. We have also started stocking Paisley Drinks Co’s soft drinks line.

As for the crucially important mobile app sales platform side of the business, we have chosen to work with Paisley Eats. Going to one of the multinational platforms may initially have driven more traffic to us, but that would have come at the cost of breaking our ‘Keep it local’ mantra, as well as the loss of the personal touch and drive we get from Tom at Paisley Eats.

There are multiple reasons why we have chosen to go down this (sometimes) slightly more expensive route. We want to know where the meat comes from, how it has lived and to ensure been treated as well as its diet (no food additives to help bulk the animal up) and who has produced & processed it.

We are all too aware of the climate issues the world is facing just now and we wanted to ensure our carbon footprint was kept to its minimum. This bleeds across into our packaging which is all compostable as opposed to recyclable.

It seems as though people are really responding well since you opened, to the extent that you’ve sold out of various items already. Have you been blown away by the response?

In some ways we have been blown away by the response, especially as we are located out of the way in a non standard takeaway setting. However, we also think that is part of the appeal and what has attracted people to us is that people want different!

All our custom has been driven by word of mouth and Facebook. At the moment, we have spent virtually nothing on advertising, so the response really shows how people have engaged with the idea.

What we have really been blown away by is how far some have travelled to come and try us (and based on feedback, loved what they’ve found). There are also two or three campaigns on the go to get us to deliver to certain areas, so that’s encouraging.

Do you find that catering for special events such as birthdays accounts for a lot of your business?

Going back to the first question, that was 100% of our business in the past. With the current restrictions having an effect on big events including weddings and food festivals, we are starting to see a number of enquiries for smaller family focused events. But, who knows what will happen in the coming months. Nevertheless, we are certainly ready!

Away from the roasts, you also offer street food, including some vegetarian options and seafood. Is it important to you that there’s something for everyone at The Rollin Pig even if hog spits aren’t your thing?

We think it is important not only to appeal to a wide range of people, but to also offer everyone the chance to taste something they might not have seen before or had the opportunity to try. Our street food menu will be the one part of our offering that changes more frequently, primarily as there are so many different dishes and tastes out there to experience (and some foods really can be an experience).

And while there will be those with certain views on the food sources we specialize in that don’t like what we do, especially as at the weekends we cook & pull full pigs in view of the public, we do believe there is an important place in our menu for vegetarian and fish options.

Do you think that providing not just a takeaway, but a dining experience is something that sets The Rollin Pig apart?

We think the thing that sets us apart is that from the second you find us on Facebook or hear about us from a friend, we are an experience!

We are cheeky, friendly and a wee bit bonkers but, above all, we have a real passion for everything we do. We have entered into a complex and demanding industry and while we know we won’t get everything right 100% of the time, on the few occasions we make a mistake, it genuinely upsets us and we rectify it as soon as physically possible.

As for the future, we definitely aren’t done yet and the takeaway is just the start. So, as they say, watch this space!

Get acquainted with all things The Rollin Pig at the link below!

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