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Best of Local: Our guide to the artisan bakeries open for business

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You can continue to enjoy freshly-made bread and cakes with our guide to the businesses continuing to operate.

Warm bread with a crunchy crust and a soft centre.. it’s a fond childhood memory for many of us, being sent to the bakery and picking at the freshly-made loaf on the way home.

With the advent of supermarkets this ritual has largely disappeared, replaced by the efficiency of loading a weekly shop into the boot of the car.

But during lockdown the tide has been turning, with many consumers going back to shopping local as they try to avoid the stress and queues of large supermarkets.

A number of independent bakeries in Tayside, Fife and the north of Scotland are open, adapting to the current situation by introducing social distancing, contactless pick-ups or home delivery.

One of them is Fisher and Donaldson, a Royal Warrant-holding, 100-year-old family bakery with seven shops and cafes in Dundee and Fife.

In late March they closed the shops temporarily but have now set up an online shop to do home deliveries in the area, taking more than 7,000 orders since setting up the service.

Ben Milne, fifth generation director of Fisher and Donaldson, said: “It was incredibly difficult for us to make the decision to close our shops back in March, and business has been very different since then, but we knew we could adapt and provide for our customers.

Ben in front of one of the bakery shops.

“This meant setting up a brand new online shop in a matter of days, and taking the plunge to offer a home delivery service, something we haven’t done since my grandad was a teenager riding around Cupar on his messenger bike!

“Times have certainly changed since then, and our customers can now place orders on our online shop, before noon for next day delivery.

“The orders aren’t going out on a bike anymore, but our team of drivers offer a friendly face to our customers in lockdown, many of whom won’t see anyone else that day.”

Meanwhile in Aberdeen, social enterprise bakery The Bread Maker, which provides work opportunities for adults with learning difficulties, has been able to bring some of its furloughed staff back after home deliveries grew in popularity.

The Breadmaker.

“We stayed open for wholesale orders but had to close our café and retail bakery”, said CEO Donald Anderson.

“Our wholesale operation supplied cafes and restaurants but obviously now that’s all gone, so it’s mainly places like farm shops that we’re servicing. Then we started to deliver to people’s home through the North East Food Hub, which is an online shopping hub for artisan producers.

“It’s been a success – we’re taking around 500 orders a week. At the moment we’re just focusing on bread, such as wholemeal, brown rolls, gluten-free bread and butteries.

The Bread Maker’s sourdough.

“We’re finding that people are liking getting fresh bread delivered to their door rather than going to a supermarket. The home deliveries are a big help to us after losing a big percentage of our trade, and we’re now gradually bringing some people back from furlough.

“There’s been a lot of support for local businesses and small producers, which is why we’ve been able to remain open.”

Whether you’re after a freshly-baked artisan loaf, sweet or savoury pastries or want to push the boat out with a celebration cake, we’ve rounded up ten of the best independent bakeries open for business during lockdown…

Clark’s Bakery, Dundee

One of the best-known bakeries in Dundee, Clark’s has been serving the people of the city since 1950. They are known for traditional baking but have adapted to modern shopping habits by offering home delivery via the Zippy D app.

Fisher and Donaldson, Dundee and Fife

This fifth generation Fife-based company has several branches in Dundee and Cupar and have become well-known for their fudge doughnuts. They have now set up an online shop for home deliveries to the KY15, KY16 and DD1-DD6 post code areas. From today (Monday) there will be a limited run of products and coffees available for takeaway on a one-in-one-out basis.

The Breadmaker, Aberdeen

This social enterprise prides itself on producing high-quality bread and confectionery, while providing employment opportunities to adults with learning difficulties. During lockdown they are doing deliveries via the North East Food Hub website focusing on bread products.

Murdoch Allan, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire

Hatton-based Murdoch Allan and its offshoot business, Thain’s Bakery in Aberdeen, is offering online deliveries in Aberdeen, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Ellon, Turriff, Inverurie and Mintlaw. You can order baker’s boxes with a variety of items including butteries, muffins, Scotch pancakes and multi-grain bread, as well as individual purchases of products such as flour, cakes and tray bakes.

The Three Little Bakers, Inverness

Both branches of this small, award-winning family bakery in the city are open for business during lockdown. They serve a range of bread, rolls and cakes, as well as a selection of pies and hot beverages.

Harry Gow Bakery, Inverness

This craft bakery is one of the oldest in the area, established in 1898 by the Burnett brothers John and William. It is now run by the fifth generation of the family, who pride themselves on baking from scratch using their own recipes. The bakery has an online “Covid-19 pop-up shop” doing deliveries and a click and collect service.

JM Bakery, Angus

Based in Carnoustie, this traditional craft baker’s uses local ingredients in everything from morning rolls to celebration cakes. Items are freshly baked in the three high street branches and they are currently accepting orders for delivery or pick-up.

The Keptie Bakery, Angus

An award-winning artisan bakery, the Keptie has branches in Arbroath and Letham. They offer a range of products from bridies to fruit scones to celebration cakes. During lockdown they are open for business, with the option of in-store collection or free home delivery.

Casella and Pollegato Perth

This Italian bakery is known for its bread made with hand-crafted mother dough (sour dough) and organic flour. Products on offer include baguettes, five-seed bread, traditional white, olive bread, chocolate bins and many others. You can either place an order online or over the phone.

Home Bakery – Love of Loaves, Perth

Offering hand-made bread and celebration cakes, this bakery is open for business during lockdown by taking orders and making them available for contactless collection. Specialist products, such as dairy and egg-free bread suitable for vegans are available.