Joe & Dawn Reade were fresh-faced and naïve young graduates of the University of Edinburgh when they started baking bread in a converted garage in Tobermory in 1994. The local baker was retiring, and the islanders needed someone to keep them in lovely fresh loaves.
In 1996 they bought a shop premises on Tobermory’s colourful Main Street, which became the Island Bakery Delicatessen. It was through stocking the deli with tempting speciality foods that Dawn realized that there was a bit of a gap in the market for tempting organic biscuits. Keen to make something that could travel beyond Mull, the Reades thought that biscuits seemed to be an excellent product to introduce to places beyond the island’s shores.
In 2001 Island Bakery Organics was born. Initially the range had just 4 varieties. Quality not quantity! The first biscuit customers included Harvey Nichols & Selfridges. Within the first year the company picked up several Great Taste awards and scooped an Organic Food award.
By 2007, the biscuit side of business had overtaken the deli, and the Reades made the difficult decision to sell their shop to concentrate on biscuits. Soon afterwards, plans were made to build a new bakery. The new premises were completed in June 2012. Powered by local renewable energy – wind and water for electricity, and wood for heating the ovens- the building makes Joe & Dawn feel all grown up now.
First and foremost it is Island Bakery’s mission to make biscuits that taste brilliant! Whilst you may have appreciated their deliciousness, it may have escaped your notice that the biscuits are organic. But hopefully not!
It was Island Bakery's choice to become an organic business. Organic standards ensure that all of the ingredients have been produced on land that is free from pesticides or artificial fertilizers. This is good for the ecosystems on and around the farms that have grown the wheat for the flour, or where the cows whose milk makes the butter have grazed. They can be assured that those cows will enjoy the highest standards of animal welfare. Every ingredient in the biscuits is fully traceable back to the producer.
Recent studies have shown that organic foods have much higher levels of antioxidants and other good nutrients than conventional crops, and none of the chemicals which are routinely applied to them.
Choosing Island Bakery biscuits also offers you assurance that the food you eat will contain
no GMOs no preservatives no artificial colours or flavours no palm oil
Being organic is only part of the picture for Island Bakery. Their new factory building is powered entirely with local sources of renewable energy. Electricity for the building is generated both by a hydro-electric turbine on the neighbouring Tobermory river, and a single wind turbine set on a hill above the bakery. The unique ovens are heated using local wood chip from Mull’s abundant timber plantations. This is not only environmentally sustainable but the gentle heat gives the biscuits a slow, perfect bake.
Island Bakery are not claiming that biscuits are a health food, but if you want to enjoy something sweet, it might as well be the best! They do their best for the environment, so you can enjoy biscuits without feeling too guilty about it.
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