Media release: Local school rises to the challenge, to launch the search for the Scottish Baker of the Year 2020



Venue: Harry Gow Bakery, Smithton Industrial Estate, Inverness, IV2 7WL

Date: Wednesday 12th February

Press are invited from 10.00am for a ‘Generation Game’-style bake-off, interviews and a photo call.

“It’s not just for our daily bread that we rely on our local bakers,” says Scottish Bakers ambassador and star baker in her own right, Mich Turner MBE. “Who doesn’t love a tasty treat, perfect pie or super sausage roll?

“Today, I am asking everyone who shops in their local bakery to do one simple thing: vote for your favourite baker in the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards 2020.”

She continued: “And if you haven’t shopped in your local baker for a while, perhaps now is the time to revisit them and try some of their fantastic fresh bakes.

“Each vote helps recognise the hard work and skill of your favourite local baker and counts towards the new Customer Choice awards.”

To mark the start of the competition, pupils from Duncan Forbes Primary School are warming up to take part in a ‘Generation Game’-style bake-off.

Current Scottish Baker of the Year, Harry Gow, will host the official launch of the ninth year of the competition with David Gow and couture cake queen, Mich Turner MBE, setting the tasks.

Head judge and industry veteran, Robert Ross, will be on hand to ensure fair play and to assess the contestants’ efforts, determining if they look good enough to eat.

The event marks the opening of customer voting  for the all-new ‘Customer Choice’ awards. Shoppers simply vote for their favourite baker and from these we will identify a ‘Customer Choice’ winner in each of the four business categories: Craft Baker, Retail Craft Baker, Wholesale Baker and Bakery Café.

In a further twist to the competition for 2020, Scottish Bakers is now also inviting bakers to submit products of their own choosing across the familiar categories: Biscuit, Bread including traditional and sourdough, Individual Cake, Morning Roll including buttery, Savoury, Scone including Potato Scone, and Celebration Cake.

We are introducing two new categories too:

  • Viennoiserie,  including French and Danish style pastries
  • Free-from Bread, and Biscuits and Cakes.

But only one baker can take the overall title of:

Scottish Baker of the Year 2020/21

Alasdair Smith, of Scottish Bakers, who organise the competition, says:“We are delighted to give the public a say with our new Customer Choice awards. It’s a great opportunity for Scottish bakers to reach out to their customers and communities and get people buzzing about great, traditional Scottish baking. It’s really easy to vote too: ask your baker for their unique QR code to scan, or a voting form in store now or log on to the competition website to vote.

“Registration for the product judging also opens from 12 February. And we’re inviting bakers to enter up to ten products of their choosing for rigorous tasting.

“We are open to all bakers, not just our members though non-members will have to pay a small fee or join the association to be in with a chance of taking a prize.”

Harry Gow Goody Bags will be available for all reporters and photographers!

Voting opens on 12th February and runs until 13th March. QR codes and voting forms are available in-store at all participating bakeries or shoppers can vote online at – voting automatically enters you into a draw to win an Amazon Echo.

Judging day will be 25th March at Carnegie Conference Centre, Halbeath Road, Dunfermline, KY11 8DY.

The winner will be announced at a glittering Gala dinner at the Glasgow Hilton on Saturday 9th May 2020.

How the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards 2020/21 works

Customer Choice awards:

Customers vote for their favourite baker online via each bakery’s unique web-link, QR code or using the in store paper voting forms, from the 12th February to 13th March 2020.

Paper votes MUST be received by 13th March, any paper votes received after this date may not be counted.

These votes will then determine the winners of the Customer Choice awards in the four main business categories:  Bakery Café – Craft Baker – Retail Craft Baker – Wholesale Baker

The finalists and winners of the customer choice awards will be presented on Friday 8th May 2020 following the announcement of the regional product award winners.

Product judging:

From 12th February, bakers can register up to ten of their products that they would like to submit for product judging on 25th March 2020.

These must be registered by Friday 13th March.

There are two new categories this year and bread will be split into traditional and sourdough subcategories. The categories for 2020 will be: Biscuit, Bread: traditional and sourdough, Celebration Cake, Individual Cake, Morning Roll (including special awards for buttery, French/Danish pastries), Savoury, Scone (including special award for potato scone) and Free From.

At the close of the voting period we will write to you with instructions on how to submit your products for judging.

The product judging will be held on Wednesday 25th March at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline.

Entry fees:

Scottish Bakers members can enter for free.

A fee of £195 +VAT will apply to non-members to participate in the product judging and customer choice vote. If a non-member wishes to submit an entry only to the Celebration Cake category, a fee of £35+VAT will apply.

Business judging:

Each Scottish Bakers member who achieves a bronze award or above will be eligible to take part in the business judging part of the competition.

The four business categories are: Craft Baker of the Year (three shops or less); Retail Craft Baker of the Year (four shops or more); Wholesale Baker of the Year (no shops) and Bakery Café of the Year for cafés who produce the bulk of their own baked goods either on-site or at a dedicated bakery unit.

The ultimate Scottish Baker of the Year Award will be awarded to one of the four category winners.

Non-members will not be eligible to enter the business judging part of the Scottish Baker of the Year competition.

When will the awards be presented?

Regional awards and Customer Choice awards will be presented on Friday 8th May 2020 and the national awards (which includes special awards), business category winners and the overall Scottish Baker of the Year 2020/21 will be announced on Saturday 9th May 2020.

Notes for editors:

Scottish Bakers has been supporting and protecting the interests of Scotland’s bakery trade for over 125 years.

Scottish Bakers core purpose is to promote and protect the interests of the trade; representing, advising and supporting all aspects of Scotland’s baking industry to ensure it remains competitive and equipped for growth.

It does this by providing the widest possible range of benefits that help its members sustain and grow their businesses including: skills development, technical information and assistance, competitions, sector intelligence, legal advice, financial discounts, and social and business networking.

Scottish Bakers manages both The World Championship Scotch Pie Awards and The Scottish Baker of the Year Awards each year to recognise and celebrate excellence in the sector.

But most importantly, Scottish Bakers belongs to its members, it is there for their benefit and is proud of its motto, ‘for the good of all’.

With thanks to our awards partner: Bake North Western Group

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