DUNBAR Community Bakery celebrated its first year of trading with a visit from Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Communities and the Environment.
Mr Lochhead toured the bakery on Dunbar High Street, speaking to employees and somem of those involved inn its setting up.
The business, Scotland’s only community owned bakery, which employs 13 people in full and part-time jobs, will soon become known across the UK through its participation in ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery competition.
Mr Lochhead met the staff, headed by bakery manager and head patissier Ross Baxter. He also tasted some of the bakery’s unique artisan breads, cakes and savouries.
Mr Lochhead said: “The length and breadth of the country, Scotland has a host of businesses of all sizes from the artisan to the multi-nationals, which showcase the fantastic quality of our natural ingredients and magnificent produce.
“The Dunbar Community Bakery - which received LEADER funding to support this ground-breaking local project - is a great example of what can be achieved when people work together to make their dreams a reality.
I’d like to congratulate them on their first year of trading and look forward to following their progress in Britain’s Best Bakery competition.”
Jane Wood, Chairperson of the Dunbar Community Bakery Management Committee, said: “We are honoured by Mr Lochhead’s visit, which recognises our achievement as Scotland’s first community-owned bakery.
“This enterprise is supported by nearly 550 shareholders, most of whom are local people and regular customers at the shop. They contributed more than £47,000 of their own money to help launch this business.
“But we could not have got it off the ground without additional support from other organisations which support community initiatives “The £53,000 grant we received from the government’s Tyne and Esk LEADER fund is our biggest single chunk of external finance.”
Dunbar Community Bakery is a community co-operative. It was set up to bring back an artisan bakery to the town’s High Street after Dunbar’s last family-owned home bakery closed in 2008. The bakery opened its doors for business on October 6, 2011.
All its products are hand-made with natural ingredients. No artificial additives are used.
In the summer of this year, after it had only been trading for a few months, the bakery was selected to take part in a television competition to find “Britain’s Best Bakery.”
The television series will be shown on ITV1 in November and December.