Stag Bakeries, located in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, has added another award to their ever growing trophy cabinet having taken a top prize at the Herald Scottish Family Business Awards.
The awards, in association with Business Gateway, recognise and reward Scottish family businesses of all sizes and sectors. Stag Bakeries received the award for Rural Family Business (less than 100 employees) which recognised family businesses in rural Scotland that have made a difference and played a vital role in providing employment and wealth in the local community in which they operate.
Family-owned Stag Bakeries have successfully implemented their strategy to develop off-island business by introducing new products to new markets.
A new range of ambient sweet and savoury biscuits that was launched last year had a prime focus to develop off-island trade and to introduce Stag Bakeries to an international audience.
Stag is now recognised as a quality speciality food brand and has successfully gained listings with prestigious key retailers across the UK as well as overseas.
The new Stornoway Water Biscuit with Hebridean Seaweed received 3 stars at the Great Taste Awards 2013, and was recognised as a Top 50 speciality product and also took the ultimate prize of Best Scottish Speciality Product 2013 and the Nigel Barden Heritage Award.
Charlie MacDonald, Owner of Stag Bakeries, explained: “Stag Bakeries has its roots firmly embedded in the Outer Hebrides and we have been serving the Outer Hebrides communities providing them with freshly baked goods since 1968. We are however, operating in a fragile island economy and therefore to sustain growth and invest in the future we needed to diversify our product range and develop new market channels both off-island and overseas.
“The additional costs associated with manufacturing on a rural island means that we have to do things differently and it was priority that we developed exceptional quality niche products that captured heritage and provenance.
“Stag has ambitious plans to realise its potential and we have invested heavily in the company. As part of this, we are looking to develop our workforce and create employment opportunities and expand our premises to provide greater capacity for the growing demand.
“We have overwhelming goodwill from local people and are indebted to our loyal workforce who have been instrumental in taking our business to the next level.”
He continued: “As one of the largest private employers in the Outer Hebrides, our off- island growth has made a positive impact on the island economy.
“We are obviously delighted by the success we have achieved with our Signature Water Biscuit with Hebridean Seaweed and having worked closely with both Hebridean Seaweed and Hebridean Sea Salt we are delighted that three local companies are directly benefiting. We hope our success will encourage other local companies to invest beyond their local markets.”