CRAFT bakery and family-owned business, Harry Gow of Inverness, has been crowned Scottish Baker of the Year by TV judge and artisan baker, Paul Hollywood, at a glittering ceremony hosted by Scottish Bakers, the association that supports and promotes the interests of Scottish bakers across the country.
“We are extremely pleased to be recognised as Scotland’s best baker” said Harry Gow.
“We have an ethos that we must make everything ourselves from scratch and this, along with our consistently high product quality, has been recognised by the judges. But we could not have come this far in the competition without our dedicated and skilled team of 180.
“Thank you to all our customers who voted for us.”
Artisan baker and TV judge, Paul Hollywood, who presented Harry Gow’s with their award said: “It has given me great pleasure to be involved in this competition.
“There have been some fantastic entries and all the prizes I have handed out to bakers have been worthy in every way.
“I wish the ultimate winner, Harry Gow, well in the coming year as Scotland’s premier craft baker and I plan to follow their successes with interest.”
Chief executive of Scottish Bakers, Alan Clarke, commented: “Its been a long journey to get to this point starting with 12,500 bakery customers up and down the land voting for their favourite baked goods in March followed by a panel of experts whittling the best down to the very best. We now have a ringing endorsement for our industry and a worthy winner in Harry Gow.”
The Scottish Baker of the Year Awards was devised by Scottish Bakers to raise awareness of the bakery industry in Scotland. With baking enjoying resurgence in our kitchens, on our TV screens and on our book shelves, the Association believed it was time to recognise the skills and expertise of the men and women across Scotland who bake for a living.
Scottish Bakers asked customers across Scotland to vote for their favourite bakery items in the following categories: morning roll, scone, small cake, savoury and bread scoring each on appearance, freshness, taste and value for money.
The top 30 products in each category were baked and delivered to Fife for judging by a panel of independent experts led by Robert Ross.
The judges had one day only to look at 150 of the best baked items in the country in order to decide the regional and national winners.
Each category was divided into three regions, covering northern, central and southern Scotland.
Within each category the judges awarded a gold, silver and bronze. All bronze, silver and gold regional winners were then re-judged to identify the Scottish national winners for each category and each of them was entered into the business judging stage of the Scottish Baker of the Year competition to select the best bakery business in Scotland.
“Our first ever Scottish Baker of the Year, Harry Gow, has shown time and again that they are a worthy winner by making it through each and every stage of the competition with flying colours” says Lewis Maclean, outgoing president of the Scottish Bakers and himself a baker.
“But for every baker who was entered by a customer, for all of our shortlisted bakers and for all of our members who have helped and supported us in making this competition happen, I offer my warmest congratulations. We are a great industry making quality products day in and day out and we should be proud.”
THE SCOTTISH BAKER OF THE YEAR ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The Scottish Baker of the Year Award was presented at the annual conference of the Scottish Bakers.
The conference theme was supporting our craft with keynote addresses from:
* Stewart Stevenson, MSP and Minister for Environment and Climate change who talked about supporting the bakery sector in Scotland and passing on the love of good food to the next generation;
* Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Greggs Plc tackled the thorny issue of combatting the rise of the supermarket and offered high street bakers hope for the future and ideas for creative thinking to widen the services high street bakers offer their loyal customers; and
* Paul Hollywood who spoke about how to capitalise on the increased interest in home and commercial baking by delivering the products customers want to a consistently high standard;
Environment Minister, Stewart Stevenson, said: “Scotland has an impressive reputation world-wide as a land of food and drink. The bakery sector continues to contribute to that. It is now incumbent on us all to build on the growing popularity of baking and energise the next generation of Scottish bakers.”
Ken McMeikan stated: “Small and medium sized bakers have a choice, to let the supermarkets corner the convenience market or fight back by continuing to offer customers a unique and quality experience. We need to think creatively and explore new opportunities to meet customer needs and delight them with every visit.”
Paul Hollywood said: “I am and will always be a baker and I believe in the contribution bakers make to people’s lives. I will always promote the high street baker as I believe the quality of baked goods more than justifies stopping into a local baker, I want to see queues out of the doors again.
“And to see the industry in Scotland come together in one place with a view to delivering even better quality and creativity is really heartening.”
Scottish Baker of the Year – Harry Gow Bakers from Inverness
First runner-up – W M Stephens from Dunfermline
Second runner-up – Mimi’s Bakehouse from Edinburgh
Also on the shortlist -
Asher’s Bakery, Nairn
Reids of Caithness, Thurso
For more information please contact Julie Fourcade on 07958 736056 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Bakers was established in 1891 and since then we have represented and promoted the interests of the bakery trade in Scotland.
We aim to be an integral part of each member’s business by providing support for bakers of all sizes.
We provide a valuable source of help, advice, information, assistance and skills development for bakers throughout Scotland.
But most importantly, Scottish Bakers belongs to its members, we are all there for their benefit and are proud of our motto, ‘for the good of all’.
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Contact: Julie Fourcade
Phone: 01903 741546