The Scottish Government is helping small bakeries face the challenges posed by bigger chains. Independent bakeries are benefitting from GBP125,000 to help small food retailers face the challenges posed by bigger chains.
Administered by Scottish Bakers, a membership organization that represents and promotes the interests of the bakery trade in Scotland, the grant scheme is helping businesses modernize facilities, improve energy efficiency and reduce waste. The Government funding has been shared among 34 independent and family-run bakers across Scotland.
Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon visited Tasnim and Mohamed Helmi’s Syrian patisserie on the Isle of Bute, which opened in 2018. The bakery has been awarded GBP5,000 to purchase new mixing equipment and a coffee machine.
Gougeon said: “Over recent years small bakeries have faced increasing pressures, particularly from competition from bigger chains and economic uncertainty caused by Brexit. This support will help bakers invest in their facilities, reduce waste and improve energy efficiency within their businesses. It is wonderful to see firsthand how this scheme is helping to ensure the future of independent and family-run bakeries which play such a key role in our villages, towns and cities across Scotland.”
Helmi’s bakery, which was included in this scheme, was opened in June 2018 by Bashar Helmi, Mohamad Helmi and Tasnim Helmi. Mohamed Helmi previously managed a patisserie in Syria for 16 years. Baker Mohamed Helmi said: “We started our business in 2018 and since then we have grown very quickly which is great but we have plans to expand even further. This grant will help us to continue to thrive as a business that provides employment for skilled workers and also contributes to the community here in Bute.”
Alasdair Smith, Scottish Bakers chief executive, said: “Scottish Bakers has been supporting and protecting the interests of Scotland’s bakery trade for over 125 years, and our members continue to innovate and provide skilled employment on our High Streets. What unites them is their constant drive to go further and do better. This fund is a real boost to real businesses here in Scotland and it’s great to see firsthand how a baker such as Helmi’s has used the funds to grow and develop.”
Photo caption: Bashar Helmi, Ronnie Miles (Scottish Bakers), Gougeon, Alasdair Smith (Scottish Bakers), Mohamed Helmi, Tasmin Helmi