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Delight for Thurso-based baker that supplied the Queen Mother as it joins Scottish Larder line-up at Lidl

Tracy and Gary Reid.
Tracy and Gary Reid.

Shortbread and oat crumbles from award-winning Thurso-based Reids Bakery will feature in the supermarket’s Scottish promotion which begins on Thursday.

Reids Bakery is joining the line-up for Lidl’s Scottish Larder which will shine a spotlight on flavours from more than 30 of the nation’s top food and drink producers.

The Thurso-based factory bakes a staggering 15 million biscuits every year which equates to three pieces of shortbread for every Scot.

Managed by husband and wife duo Gary and Tracy Reid, the family-run bakery joins the Scottish Larder line-up with their delicious range of Scottish shortbread and oat crumbles.

Supplying The Queen Mother

Donnie and Joyce Reid started the business in 1966 in Castletown, near Thurso, as a small craft bakery.

They were soon proving popular, selling to the local stores in Castletown and Thurso, and to The Queen Mother during her annual holiday at the Castle of Mey.

Employee Lauren Mackenzie checks the latest batch of shortbread at the Reids Bakery in Thurso.

The business moved to larger bakery/cafe in Thurso before, in 2013, continuing its development by basing itself at a modern plant designed by Gary.

They were named Wholesale Baker of the Year in 2016 and Scottish Baker of the Year 12 months later.

Still privately owned after 55 years, Gary and Tracey are the second generation now running Reids Bakery.

Passionate about produce

Tracy, business development manager at Reids, said: “Joining Lidl’s Scottish Larder alongside some of the country’s finest producers is a highlight for us.

“We’re passionate when it comes to bringing unique products to the bakery aisle. We believe attention to detail makes food taste incredible, which is why we use the very best ingredients and experiment with flavour combinations.

“It’s fantastic for the business to grow in that area. We are delighted to have this opportunity with Lidl. Our main focus is growing the business so this helps massively.”

Some of the products that Lidl will be stocking.

Gary added: “I personally think this is what the business deserves. We have done so well in recent years and this is the type of work that the bakery is looking for now. We need to grow the business in these areas.”

Tracy, 40, said that it was a case of right place, right time for Reids Bakery who are delighted to see their products featuring on shelves up and down the country.

“We have had discussions with the buyers at Lidl for quite some time and it is just the right time for us. We were in the right place at the right time with the right products. They are very good at supporting Scottish producers. Our products were new to them.

📢 Our Bakery Boxes are still available to order online or by telephone for free delivery.Choose from our very popular…

Posted by Reids of Caithness on Monday, 22 March 2021

“We have a large range of shortbread and oat crumbles. We also have a very successful food service offering as well which is the packs with our baked treats that you see on aeroplanes, in bedrooms in hotels and on trains.

“That is a very successful product for us, but obviously over the last year with the pandemic the food service side of the business has been almost non-existent.

“You can’t eat on trains, hotels have been closed, restaurants have been closed so this has been a very welcome opportunity for us with Lidl.”

Gary Reid checks a batch of shortbread.

Innovation is key

Reids Bakery is always trying to be innovative when it comes to their products which have seen them make shortbread for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and attain the licence for The Famous Grouse shortbread.

Gary, 44, added: “It’s all about diversifying and having a different offering. We don’t just have a plain shortbread, we try to update it with new and exciting flavours.

“We have salted caramel, raspberry with white chocolate, chocolate and orange, vanilla and walnut, white chocolate and hazelnut. The amount of different shortbreads we have made over the years is amazing

“We are passionate about our products, we want to make sure that Reids keeps growing and doing the right things.”

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