CRAFT bakery and family-owned business, Ashers of Nairn, has been announced as the Scottish Baker of the Year 2014 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 joint managing director, George Asher.
“The company is one of the leading retail bakers in the north of Scotland and we are proud to be a long established family concern, we take our business very seriously. We use traditional methods and craftsmen’s skills and the brand is steeped in valuable heritage. 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 Ashers with their award, said: “It has given me great pleasure to be involved in the competition again this year.
“There have been some fantastic entries and all the prizes I have handed out to bakers have been worthy in every way. I wish Ashers of Nairn well in the coming year as Scotland’s premier craft baker.”
Chief executive of Scottish Bakers, Alan Clarke, commented “It’s been a long journey to get to this point.
“Over 20,000 customers from across Scotland voted for their favorite bakery products across six categories and in April, more than 100 bakers delivered 600 of the most popular products in the land for scrutiny by a panel of 40 expert and independent judges led by artisan baker, Robert Ross, and including retired master bakers with extensive experience of the bakery sector in Scotland.
“With products from Stranraer to Shetland, we now have a ringing endorsement for our industry and a worthy winner in Ashers.”
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, biscuit, bread and new category, best products baked using California raisins scoring each on appearance, freshness, taste and value for money.
The top products in each category were baked and delivered to Dunfermline for judging by a panel of independent experts. The judges had one day only to look at 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 national and regional winners were then invited to enter 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, Ashers of Nairn, 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, outgoing president of the Scottish Bakers and himself a baker.
“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.”
Issued by Julie Fourcade
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