Craft bakery and family owned business The Kandy Bar of Saltcoats has been announced as the Scottish Baker of the Year 2016.
The family-owned business was declared the winner 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.
Announced at The World Scotch Pie Champion in January, The Kandy Bar were also recognised on the night across a number of categories:
The Best Retail Baker of the Year 2016; Biscuit Category: Regional Gold in the Borders and Lowlands for their shortbread; Biscuit Category: Regional Bronze for their Empire Biscuit; Individual Cake Category: Regional Bronze Award for their French Fancy; Morning Roll Category: Best Morning Roll in the Borders and Lowlands for their well fired roll as well as the National Silver Award; Morning Roll Category: Silver Award in the Borders and Lowlands for their Morning Roll; Savoury Category: Regional Bronze Award for their Macaroni Pie in Region.
Commenting, The Kandy Bar owner Stephen McAllister said: “I am absolutely delighted, shocked, stunned…..WOW! To have taken the World Scotch Pie title for the second time in January and now to take the title of Scottish Baker of the Year, words cannot express how delighted I am.
“The Kandy Bar is my family business and we are proud to be a long established 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 The Kandy Bar 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 The Kandy Bar 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 15,000 customers from across Scotland voted for their favourite bakery products across six categories.
“Judging day saw 110 bakers deliver 600 of their most popular scones, loaves, savoury items, morning rolls, individual cakes and biscuits for judging by the professionals whose job it was to decide upon the best six products in the land and just nine of the top bakers in Scotland have made it to the all-important business category.
But there can only be one Scottish Baker of the Year 2016 and The Kandy Bar are a worthy winner.”
Scottish Bakers asked customers across Scotland to vote for their favourite bakery items in the following categories: morning roll, scone, small cake, savoury, biscuit and bread 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 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.
Alan continued: “Our Scottish Baker of the Year 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.
“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.”