A local family-run bakery has sold 2,000 butteries a week for the past three months after discovering a 75-year-old recipe written by its founder.
David Robertson Ross, of Ross of Chapel Street, stumbled across a file in February containing a buttery recipe that his father, Alex Ross, created in 1954.
Alongside his son Simon, David decided to start using the recipe that same month and says that “the effect was sensational” from the outset.
“I was looking through one of our files in the office when I came across the recipe,” David, 70, said. “I was surprised and emotional when I discovered it.
“My father was a baker all his working life, serving his apprenticeship with Leadingham in Rosemount, working in various bakeries in Aberdeen with confectionery being his forte.
“He survived Dunkirk and D-Day and came back to work in some more bakeries, before borrowing £10,000 in 1954 to buy the business.
“My mother, Margaret, was terrified to take on so much debt. But he believed that from what he had seen in the war, nothing else could be as bad. He was an incredible man, always with the glass half-full mentality.
“I started using the old recipe and right away it was a success, with my customers saying they were the best they have tasted for many a year.”
The bakery’s “75-year-old buttery” has gained a surge in popularity all over the UK.
David says he is proud of himself and Simon for continuing his parents’ legacy.
I started using the old recipe and right away it was a success, with my customers saying they were the best they have tasted for many a year.”
His parents, Alex and Margaret Ross, established Ross of Chapel Street in 1954 and it has remained a business much-loved in the area since its inception.
He added: “We post our rowies all over the UK and have had repeat orders already. I would estimate we sell about 2,000 a week.
“Their sales rocketed and, most days, we’re having to bake three or four batches every day.
“In May, we made different bread every day such as cheese and red onion, tomato and olive, garlic, oatmeal and honey, and farmhouse cobs. We used a 24-hour ferment which enhanced the flavour.
A rich history
David joined the family business in 1965, followed by his son in 1990. The pair now run the bakery together, specialising in pies and savoury products.
David said: “I left Summerhill Academy in 1965 and joined the family business with my father, brother and a small number of staff in the bakery, although I spent my holidays helping in the bakery at the age of 13.
“As well as working full time in the bakery, I attended day release classes at Aberdeen Technical College, obtaining a certificate in baking and confectionery.
“My father taught me all aspects of baking and at the age of 20 years old, I baked and decorated my own wedding cake.
“I was made a partner in the business at the age of 21 and set about installing a new oven and mixer to make the work that bit easier. Even today, I strive to make our products better.
“I have a great team in the bakery and shop, with my son Simon as my right-hand man. His ideas have transformed the shop and brought in new products that the younger customers enjoy.
“Some people have asked me for the rowie recipe, but that is a closely guarded secret.”