Oscars 2025: Meet the Scottish businesses whose vegan chocolates and small batch gin will be in Oscars goody bags

Vegan chocolates and craft gin made in Scotland are winging their way to Hollywood A-listers ahead of this year’s Oscars. Rosalind Erskine finds out more about these businesses and how they were chosen.

“I can’t believe that my chocolates are going to be in Bradley Cooper’s house”. It was the immediate reaction from a clearly delighted Fiona McArthur, who owns and runs Fetcha, a ‘free from’ chocolate company based in Campbeltown.

Ms McArthur, who realised the lack of sweet treats for those with dietary requirements when she worked at a friend’s sweet shop, set up Fetcha four years ago and is pretty much self taught. She’s gone from making chocolates in her mother’s kitchen to opening a shop in Campbeltown to making a specially curated film themed box of chocolates which will be eaten by this year’s Oscar nominees, including Cooper.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The sentiment is shared by Kim Cameron, owner of Gin Bothy, whose original gin will also be in the ‘Everyone Wins’ bag given to Oscar nominees. Ms Cameron’s Gin Bothy original gin – a premium gin made using Scottish heather and Scots’ pine and rosemary – has been distilled in small, exclusive batches that will be uniquely numbered 1-25 for the Hollywood superstars.

She describes herself as an “accidental gin maker”, with Gin Bothy coming about due to her jam making. She said: “I entered a jam into the world championships – yes, there is such a thing – ten years ago and I won a category with one of my jams. I then converted a wee bothy up the glen and called it the Jam Bothy, and I started following the seasonal calendar of Angus and created these amazing jams with raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.

"One of the by-products of making jam is you end up with a lot of fruit and juice leftover and my mum, in her wisdom, said ‘instead of wasting it, why don’t you add it to gin as that’s what we used to do?’ The long and short of it was more people started coming up the glen for the gin than the jam, so the Jam Bothy took a bit of a backseat and the Gin Bothy took over. That was ten years ago now.”

Both women were contacted over a year ago for inclusion in last year’s Oscars, but neither could commit as time wasn’t on their side. Ms McArthur couldn’t make enough chocolates in time and Ms Cameron couldn’t get enough gin into America in time.

This galvanised them into preparation for this year’s ceremony, and gave them a chance to create something unique for the A-list stars. But how and why were these two Scottish companies chosen for such a star-studded opportunity? Lash Fary, founder of Distinctive Assets, who curate and send out the ‘Everyone Wins’ bags, said they included a holiday package from Turin Castle a few years ago, and it was the owners who recommended these two fellow Scottish businesses.

Kim Cameron, from the Gin Bothy, whose original gin will be in the goody bagKim Cameron, from the Gin Bothy, whose original gin will be in the goody bag
Kim Cameron, from the Gin Bothy, whose original gin will be in the goody bag

“We are always on the lookout for best-in-class products and both Gin Bothy and Fetcha Chocolates fit that bill,” he said. “In the case of Fetcha, while we cannot – yet – exclusively include vegan items, we always give priority to brands who are cruelty-free and sustainable. I not only love Fetcha’s company ethos, but the creativity behind the Awards Collection they created exclusively for this promotion is award winning. Their movie-themed chocolates are so clever – and delicious.”

The Oscars goody bag inclusion is something Ms McArthur feels she manifested when she was thinking up how to brand her business. She said: “I was sitting at my friend's sweet shop thinking about how to make chocolates and how to brand the business. The main idea in my head was I want it to look eco friendly and luxurious – something that wouldn’t look out of place in the Oscars goodie bag. That was the thought that was going through my head the whole time.”

When it comes to the gin, the team at Distinctive Assets are always on the lookout for ‘top-shelf liquor’ to “help those that don’t win, drown their sorrows”, which is where Gin Bothy comes in. Mr Fary said: “With our spectacular nominee gift bag, everyone indeed wins whether they bring home that gold statue or not. We are humbled that our ‘Everyone Wins’ nominee gift bag continues to garner worldwide media attention and spark conversation. While our gifts may be famous for being fun, fabulous and unique, they also serve to elevate small businesses, minority-owned brands and companies who give back. This is celebrity marketing with a mission.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When it comes to the price tag of the bag, which is a six-figure value, Mr Fary said this was not the focus. “While this gift bag does, as always, have an impressive six-figure value, that is neither our focus nor goal,” he said. “Just as any A-list actor doesn’t ‘need’ millions of dollars to walk onto a film set, these gifts are given based on the invaluable stardust these nominees can bestow upon a brand. Of course they can afford to buy these things, they are also in a uniquely favourable marketing position.”

Fiona from Fetcha chocolates has created an awards collection range for the Oscars goody bagFiona from Fetcha chocolates has created an awards collection range for the Oscars goody bag
Fiona from Fetcha chocolates has created an awards collection range for the Oscars goody bag

Gin Bothy and Fetcha are in good company in the 2024 “Everyone Wins” nominee gift bonanza, which also features the full line of Miage ultra-luxury transformative skincare products, an all-inclusive luxurious Swiss getaway for up to ten guests from Chalet Zermatt Peak, a three-night stay in a breath-taking private villa from Saint-Barth Paradise and PETA x v-dog meal donations supporting PETA’s Global Compassion Fund.

Fetcha’s Awards Collection chocolates include delicacies inspired by Barbie, Oppenheimer, The Holdovers, Poor Things, Killers of the Flower Moon and Maestro, meaning anyone can spend Oscars night sipping the same G&T and chocolates as the likes of Cillian Murphy, Emma Stone and Da’Vine Joy Randolph.

Ms Cameron has also come up with some awards night cocktails to enjoy with her Gin Bothy original gin, and said Cooper would love the Hollywood negoni. Both women are aware of how life changing it could be if even one of these famous names tries, enjoys and shares their experience of their wares, but they are also excited to have been asked to contribute.

- To hear more from Fiona and Kim, search Scran wherever you get your podcasts.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.