Meet The Team
The SFAD team comprises the Manager, Assistant Manager and Finance Officer. Board Members support the team and work in a voluntary capacity.
Claire White - Manager
Claire White is a proud Shetlander and professional communicator with a passion for good food.
A former BBC producer and presenter, Claire has a keen eye for a story and a knack for telling it effectively. Having travelled internationally performing Shetland music, Claire now delights in sharing Shetland's larder with the world.
Neil Riddell - Assistant Manager
Having been brought up in Shetland, Neil graduated with a first-class politics degree from Stirling University in 2006. After returning home he spent a decade working in journalism and putting on regular music events throughout the islands, followed by a two-year stint as a managing partner at popular Lerwick restaurant/venue The String.
He is enthusiastic about helping to promote Shetland’s many brilliant local food producers and outlets.
Mary Andreas - Finance Officer
Mary worked within the Downstream Oil Industry in London for 25 years in various accounting roles before returning to her native Shetland in 2006.
A mother of two children, two step children and two grand children (with another on the way), she has run her 4* Bed and Breakfast in Bigton whilst working from home as an Operations Manager for a Lancashire based company providing Merchant Services to Petrol Stations across the UK. She has also been Chair of the Bigton Hall Committee since 2008
Marian Armitage - Chair
Marian Armitage is a native Shetlander who was educated at the Anderson High School then trained as a teacher of Domestic Science in Edinburgh in the early 70s. She taught Food and Nutrition in state secondary schools initially in Norwich then in Inner London, for almost 35 years.
In 2014 she wrote Shetland Food and Cooking published by The Shetland Times. Her book won the top prize in the Food Promotion category at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards held in Yantai, China in 2016.
In the following year, Marian became Chair of Shetland Food and Drink - the organisation she set up with Jill Franklin. Initial funding from Shetland LEADER, Shetland Islands Council and Highland and Islands Enterprise facilitated the launch of Shetland Food and Drink and Taste of Shetland in November 2017
Joel D'Eathe - Director
Joel is an energetic co-owner of Busta House Hotel where he started working as a Kitchen Porter at the age of 13.
Over the last 17 years he has worked his way through every department. Joel is passionate about bringing Shetland producers and Shetland food and drink outlets closer together. Busta House Hotel is a Full Member of Shetland Food and Drink, evidencing a commitment to using local produce. Busta is now a high-profile and popular destination hotel for locals and tourists, as well as being a favourite wedding venue.
Chris Percival - Director
Chris first visited Shetland almost two decades ago, before moving here with his family in 2011. For the past five years Chris has worked at Sullom Voe terminal with EnQuest as a Completions and Commissioning Engineer. Chris is a passionate foodie and was crowned winner of the first Taste of Shetland Cooking Challenge in 2016. He is excited by Shetland's amazing produce and looks forward to seeing the local food and drink sector develop into more than the sum of its parts.
Bo Simmons - Director
Bo Simmons has been involved with the food industry since her arrival in Shetland in 1987.
A passionate advocate of high quality, sustainable food, she is the former owner of both Burrastow House and Olive Tree Cafe. A former teacher, she is also a writer and author, assistant at Scoop, wife and mother of two, presently employed by Shetland Arts at Bonhoga Gallery.
Yvette Hopkins - Director
Yvette is an American-Shetlander, a self-described foodie, and a food and drink investor with a passion for entrepreneurial concepts. Yvette worked in the Defence and Security sector for 30 years, travelling, cooking, and connecting globally. Yvette loves being a part of the Shetland Food & Drink movement and longs for her grandmother's kirn milk!
Sheila Keith - Director
Having worked in economic development for 15 years Sheila has a keen interest in Shetland’s economy and its development. Naturally, she now works for Shetland Fishermen representing the majority of fishermen in Shetland. With the fish catching sector worth more than the oil industry and one fifth of all of the fish landed in the UK being landed in Shetland her enthusiasm for the fishing is well placed. She is keen to encourage entrepreneurs to develop businesses to take advantage of the fantastic range of local produce on Shetland’s shores and doorstep.
Eric Graham - Director
Eric Graham is a born and bred Shetlander who farms two tenanted units on the outskirts of Lerwick with his eldest son on a full time basis, with great back-up help from his wife, younger son and daughter. Over the past fifteen years Eric's family has developed the business to allow finishing and supply of various local markets with beef and lamb, with any oversupply going to the mainland. Eric's strives to deliver an excellent, naturally-reared product with fully traceable provenance.