Media release: Local bakery business steps up, at home and away


Maclean’s Highland Bakery helps to kit out young footballers abroad and to produce vital hand sanitiser for the frontline at home

LOCAL Forres bakery business, Macleans Highland Bakery, has learnt to diversify over the last 40 years – creating delicious bread, pies and pastries, some from 100 year-old recipes, and all from scratch at its bakery in the town. But the last few weeks have seen some dramatic changes.

As the country remains on lock-down to keep people safe, protect the NHS and save lives, Macleans Highland Bakery has been able to stay open – operating safely within the Governments’ social distancing guidelines – the business continues to bake fresh produce daily to keep us all going.

But that is not enough for Lewis Maclean who believes that everyone should do what they can at this time of national crisis and that sometimes this means thinking out of the box.

The bakery has supplied Avva Scottish Gin Distiller in Elgin with a stock of glycerine, allowing the distiller to make 2,000 bottles of much-needed hand sanitiser for frontline services in the area – including the NHS, emergency services, schools, care homes, food producers and care staff.

Managing director, Lewis Maclean, said: “Avva asked us for glycerine, one of the ingredients used in the production of cakes, which we donated free of charge.

“It is great to know it was put to such good use and will be helping front line staff to stay safe.”

This comes hot on the heels of Lewis lending a helping hand slightly further afield.

“About six weeks ago I saw a picture on Twitter of some orphans playing football in Uganda wearing what can only be described as rags, with the question, ‘Can you help?’, to which I replied, ‘How can I help?’

“It seems that football fans from Northern Ireland and central Scotland had donated football kit, boots, and equipment over a period of time and, due to circumstances, 35 boxes of kit had gathered in the bottom of a social club in Belfast with no way of getting to Uganda.

“This is where I got involved. At first, I decided to drive over to Belfast in one of our own vans to collect the kit but, after looking at the expense, I had a rethink so I contacted Andrew Ingredients over there to ask if they would consider collecting the large pallet and I would meet them in Glasgow.

“They agreed there and then and even offered to deliver to Forres. I was absolutely stunned by their generosity. Within four days, the kit was collected and delivered to our bakery.

“We have sent enough to dress two full teams; one senior and one junior team.

“We were a few items short, so I put out a call locally and received the missing bits I needed: goalkeepers tops and gloves. I cannot wait to see pictures of the kids in their kit.”

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