Media Release: Fife Scouts create history in the baking at Dean’s workshop

A GROUP of Fife and Swedish Scouts teamed up to create ‘History in the Baking’ at an exclusive art workshop on Friday.

The Cairneyhill Explorer Scouts Unit, which meets weekly at Cairneyhill Scout Hall, is playing host to a group of Swedish Scouts for the next fortnight as part of an EU funded Youth-in-Action exchange programme.

Both groups were tasked with creating artistic sculptures using Dean’s shortbread fingers and then craft their own designs using dough, which was then baked and eaten.

The workshop was organised by Huntly-based Dean’s, leading producer of premium quality shortbread and biscuits, and led by facilitator Anthony Schrag, in association with Deveron Arts, also based in Huntly.

They form a wider tour round various towns and cities in Scotland during the summer break targeting youth groups.

The Scouts also participated in a discussion around the history of their hometowns and their heritage.

The results will be unveiled at a special launch event next month, where the various youth groups will come together to reveal their work.

Callum Farquhar, the group’s leader, said:

“This is an important year for our area as 2010 is all about ‘Celebrating Fife’, which aims to raise the profile of the area and showcase unique events, like this workshop.

“Both groups had a lot of fun during the Dean’s shortbread art project. Anthony did a great job in getting everyone to work together as a team and discuss the history of their areas – whether in Sweden or Scotland, as well as creating some weird and wonderful sculptures using the dough and Dean’s biscuits.

“The nearest thing to shortbread that the Swedish Scouts have back home is drömmar, which is more of a cookie. They certainly enjoyed the taste of our traditional shortbread and got to take some home to their friends and family to taste as well.”

The workshops are part of a campaign run by Dean’s to reach out to youngsters across Scotland, which combine team work with baking through art, using Dean’s products as props.

The company also aims for the workshops to generate fond memories in the kitchen, which is similar to how the company formed 35 years ago.

Says a spokesperson: “The story of Dean’s began in 1975 in the late Helen Dean’s kitchen, where she began producing her ‘melt in the mouth’ shortbread in order to raise funds for the Huntly Pipe Band, in which her husband Bill (father of the current managing director, Bill Dean) was the Drum Major.

“From there, demand for Helen’s famous recipe increased and in 1992, growing from her home kitchen to local bakery, Dean’s moved to a new purpose built bakery, on the outskirts of Huntly. Now featuring an award-winning visitor centre, café, gift shop and viewing gallery over the bakery, increasing square footage to over 60,000 sq ft.

“Today, Dean’s is still a family-run business with 118 employees, priding itself on using time honoured handcrafted baking methods, while striving to develop new ideas.”

Bill Dean, managing director of Dean’s, said:

“We wanted to do something a little different from the norm, which would reach out to youngsters and get a bit of a discussion around their history, seeing as it’s something important to us as a company.

“It’s interesting to see the comparison between the Scottish and Swedish cultures, particularly as we both share a fondness for shortbread or drömmar.

Dean’s is all about ‘history in the baking’, dating back to 1975, when my mother created her original shortbread recipe, which is now sold worldwide. We hope that the workshops have helped the Scouts share memories of home baking that they can take home to create some of their own in the kitchen.”


Notes to Editor:

For more information, contact: Gillian Hamilton, at threebrand PR, on 0131 454 2030 / 07889 365363 or email

  • The Dean’s range includes traditional Scottish all butter shortbread fingers, rounds and petticoat tails, Oat Biscuits, Scottish Oatcakes, Petit Four (bite-sized shortbread) and recipes containing tasty ingredients such as Scottish fruit, double cream, toasted coconut, praline, pecan and Belgian chocolate.
  • Dean’s newest range – Oat Biscuits – are an indulgent and luxurious addition to its premium collection of traditional and contemporary shortbread. Remaining true to the hand-baking proposition, these home-style biscuits are made from the finest Scottish Oats and all natural ingredients. There are five light and crunchy biscuits in the range; Original, Stem Ginger, Coconut & Treacle, Sultana & Heather Honey and Apple & Cranberry.
  • Dean’s recently won Gold in the Most Successful Product for its Oat Biscuit Range at the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards on Thursday 18th March 2010.
  • Dean’s is available to buy in the following retail outlets:
    • Tesco, Morrisons and Co-op (UK-wide); Asda and Sainsburys (Scotland only); Edinburgh Woollen Mills, Dobbies, Chocolate Box (airport terminal shops), Jenners, Historic Scotland sites including; Stirling, Edinburgh, Eilean Donnan and Culzean Castles, Baxters, Caithness Glass, Crieff Visitor Centres and various National Trust sites in Scotland
  • Dean’s shortbread is available from all major Wholesalers and Cash and Carries throughout Scotland and in a number of key Wholesalers in England.
  • Dean’s is available through the following food service outlets:
    • 3663, Brakes and Woodward.
  • As well as in the UK, Dean’s can be purchased in the following countries:
    • USA, Canda, Russia, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, China and UAE.

Issued on behalf of Dean’s, by threebrand PR.

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Contact: Gillian Hamilton
Phone: 0131 454 2030