The late co-founder and chef of Uist culinary landmark Stepping Stone is being remembered next month in a 10k road race.
The Stepping Stone 10k is to celebrate the life of Ewen Maclean, from Balemore, who passed away in May last year.
Scheduled for Saturday, June 17, the 10k race sets off from Stepping Stone restaurant in Balivanich.
Registration opens at 10am, with walkers setting off at 10.30am, followed by the runners a half hour later at 11am.
Registration costs £14, which includes the fee to Scottish Athletics. The proceeds from a raffle on the day will go to the Crohn’s Disease charity.
Ewen Maclean was described as “sincere and gentle” and was well known throughout Uist and further afield.
A six-part BBC Alba series documented his battle with Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. The series showed the drama behind Ewen’s struggle with his illness, which eventually necessitated an emergency hospital admission.
Shot in and around the business, the BBC series captured life behind the business scenes and Ewen and his brother, Allan, ultimately deciding to sell the business.
Selling up was the coda to Ewen’s long and varied career in the hospitality and food and drink industries, which began in Stornoway’s Caberfeidh Hotel in the early 1980s.
In 1987, Ewen and Allan founded Maclean’s Bakery in Uachdar, Benbecula, growing it into one of the largest private businesses in the Western Isles.
It had been somewhat of a gamble as the brothers knew nothing about the bakery business at that time. However, their instincts were proven correct as they tapped into hidden local demand for bakery products early on. Not least of which was hot pies sold directly from the bakery to customers returning home from a night out.
The Macleans’ next venture was the highly popular Stepping Stone restaurant. It became widely recognised for its food while Maclean’s Bakery expanded its range of bakery items and began distributing throughout Scotland. Their traditionally baked goods were best sellers, from fresh bread, rolls and oatcakes to cakes and pastries.
Fundraising for an Ewen Maclean community garden and the memorial has been ongoing for several months, and it is hoped it will open later this summer.
The fundraising effort has gathered support from several local businesses and individuals and from as far away as Inverness.
The island business helping with sponsorship are MacInnes Brothers, MacGillvrays, Buchanan’s Taxis, Alison Shellfish, Williamson Foodservice, AB Electronics, Iain Hogg Electrical, and An Taigh Dubh.
Meanwhile, tickets for the May raffle are selling well. Among the many prizes up for grabs are a pair of Loganair return flights and two adult weekend tickets for the Eilean Dorcha Festival. The raffle winner will be drawn on Wednesday, May 31.
Funding has also been secured from the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar ward funding.
(This article has been corrected to make clear that the raffle proceeds are going to the Crohn’s Disease charity. Apologies for the confusion.)