TRIBUTES have been paid to local food entrepreneur David Polson who has died after a short illness, aged just 49.
David began his working career as a deckhand on the Whalsay ferry progressing to skipper. He went on quickly to hold various management positions throughout his career and formerly as marine superintendent with AquaShip.
David turned his hobby of salting cod into a successful business venture when he set up Thule Ventus in 2014.
A member of Shetland Food and Drink, his business Thule Ventus – Shetland Salt Cod won many national awards for its quality including Great Taste accolades in 2018, 2019 and in 2020. David also won the platinum small producer award in 2021 at the Scottish Retail Food and Drinks Awards.
Chairperson of Shetland Food and Drink Marian Armitage said the news of David’s untimely death has been a great shock and upset to many people.
She said he had been “forward-looking and resilient; positive, but realistic and grounded”.
“He took a simple traditional Shetland ingredient and turned it into a desirable and popular product. It was beautifully presented and marketed and was a joy to cook with.
“David was clever and had great foresight with so many ideas for ways to develop his business and expand into other related products.
“He participated in many food festivals and events and accompanied us to shows and fairs over a period of years. His business was popular with journalists and visiting chefs and food writers loved his products.
“Our thoughts go out to his family who often helped and joined in at events. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.”
Described as “one of life’s good people who had endless kindness”, David published a heartfelt opinion piece in Shetland News in which he called on the Shetland Charitable Trust to use some of its funds to ensure that no child in Shetland would ever go hungry again.
David died peacefully and with great dignity surrounded by his family and friends. His widow Liz Clarke has now set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
“Brain tumour research is underfunded in comparison to other cancers. Your donation will help to improve early diagnosis and research into Glioblastoma,” she wrote on the fundraising page.
Donations can be made by following this link.