Media Release: VIP Shortbread has announced the launch of their Christmas range of personalised shortbread

Maclean's bakery products

VIP Shortbread, which has announced the launch of their Christmas range of personalised shortbread, is the result of a new joint venture between business owners, Rene Looper, of Tuminds, and Lewis Maclean, of MacLean’s Highland Bakery.

Initially the designs are specifically for Christmas but the online venture aimed at both the UK corporate and gift markets will also offer birthday and special occasion gifts in the New Year.

The joint venture is a direct result of the new owners participating in a summer management course recommended to them by HIE.

The ‘Scotland Can Do Scale’ programme was aimed at entrepreneurs who wanted to grow their businesses.

Business owners, Rene Looper, of Tuminds, and Lewis Maclean, of Maclean’s Highland Bakery, both came back from the course full of ideas and motivation to do something different.

Lewis Maclean said: “Driving home, I turned off the radio and just tried to map out a plan of how I could use the information l had picked up to good use.

“It would be on this drive I came up with the idea of developing personalised shortbread and getting in touch with Rene.”

A meeting was quickly organised and, over the space of a few weeks, a new company was formed.

Rene Looper said: “Having both been on the course we were very like-minded on what we were trying to achieve.

“At Tuminds, we specialise in social media and advise companies on making the most of the opportunities the internet provide.

“Meanwhile, Lewis makes great shortbread sold throughout the world.

“We have come together to form a company called VIP Shortbread.”

Alan Clarke, chief executive of trade association, Scottish Bakers, said: “There are many examples of collaboration in the Scottish food and drink industry and this is a great example of two established businesses coming together to provide tailor made products that can easily be ordered online at”

Donna Chisolm, head of Business Innovation and Growth Sectors at Highlands & Islands Enterprise, also commented: “Working with Tuminds and Macleans Highland Bakery is fantastic, they share an ambitious business growth plan.

“Based in the north of Scotland, they plan to reach out across the world.

“Personalised products are gaining market share every year, and I wish the team every success.”

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