CRAFT bakery and family-owned business, Stephens of Dunfermline, has been announced as the Scottish Baker of the Year 2013 by Mich Turner MBE 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 managing director, Andre Sarafilovic.
“Now in our 140th year as a family business with 165 staff, 14 shops and 59 franchise stores, we take our business very seriously. We use traditional methods and craftsmen’s skills.
“The brand, steeped in valuable heritage, is particularly famous for our Steak Bridie, which is now synonymous with Stephens Bakery.
“But we could not have come this far in the competition without our dedicated and skilled team and without the votes of all of our customers, Thank you.”
Owner of award-winning Little Venice Cake Company and judge on ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery, Mich Turner MBE, who presented Stephens 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 Stephens well in the coming year as one of Scotland’s premier craft bakers.”
Chief executive of Scottish Bakers, Alan Clarke, commented: “Its been a long journey to get to this point. 15,000 customers from Stranraer to Shetland voted for their best bakery products during March and the top products in each of the six categories were baked and delivered to Dunfermline on 10th April.
All products were then judged a panel of independent experts led by artisan baker Robert Ross and including retired master bakers with extensive experience of the bakery sector in Scotland. We now have a ringing endorsement for our industry and a worthy winner in Stephens.”
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 Scottish Baker of the Year, Stephens, 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 Gordon McGhee, 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.”
Scottish Baker of the Year – Stephens of Dunfermline
Runners-up – Macleans Highland Bakery
Brownings the Baker Ltd
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