As we approach the Christmas season, thoughts turn to delicious food and drink and tucking into quality fare with friends and family. 

For those hoping to shop local and support Scottish producers, there are a wealth to choose from using only the finest ingredients. From chocolate to confectionery, fish to cheese, there are an array of producers throughout the country to pick from. 

Discover ten Scottish producers who are admired year-round for their commitment to quality and great flavour.

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Bells Food Group

Bells Food Group has been part of the Scottish food landscape since 1931 when an enterprising local baker began working from home, selling a few tasty treats in his local town. Almost 88 years later, Bells remains a family business with the third generation in key roles.

As Scotland’s leading fresh pie brand and the number four most recognised Scottish food brand in the country*, Bells employs over 200 people in the town where the company was born. The product range has grown over the years to include pies, savouries, cakes and pastry. All are made with care and attention, to give customers the great taste of Bells.

HeraldScotland:

The Bell family have always been innovators.  In the early days, when the company was known as David Bell & Sons, the now famous puff pastry first made its appearance when the family saw a market for a convenient ready-made puff pastry. Then, as now, home bakers have come to rely on the quality and consistency of Bells Special Puff Pastry. Bells light, golden, flaky pastry is ideal for making your favourite steak pie or something special.

HeraldScotland:

And let’s not forget the iconic Bells Steak Pie which came in to being following a flash of inspiration whilst its creator Donald Bell was on holiday. The perfect marriage between the traditional stewing steak and delicious puff pastry, it was an instant hit. This innovative approach continues today with the addition of a Premium Aberdeen Angus Steak Pie.  Hand finished with a parmesan infused, butter enriched puff pastry top crust, sprinkled with cracked black pepper, it is a crowd pleaser in every sense. This product is unique to the steak pie category and has been hugely successful in attracting new consumers to the brand. Look out for the Premium Aberdeen Angus Steak Pie at Hogmanay week, when it will be available through supermarkets across Scotland.

*sources; Kantar and Scottish Grocer

For more information about Bells products, visit www.bellsfoodgroup.co.uk

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Bonello Chocolatier

Bonello Chocolatier - For Lovers of Indulgent Adventures was founded in 2012 by award-winning artisan chocolatier, Paulene Bonello. Her lovingly handmade chocolates are specially crafted at the foot of the Ochil Hills in Tillicoultry, Scotland. She uses the best of local, Scottish and UK ingredients to create unique, hand-crafted, delicious works of chocolate art.

Paulene believes in being as socially and environmentally responsible as possible, so only use chocolate that is certified by FLO-CERT, the independent international Fairtrade certification body, to produce a range of Fairtrade cocoa and artisan chocolates.

HeraldScotland:

This couverture is hand-tempered, hand coloured and hand cast, resulting in pretty chocolates and caramels filled with fresh, often local flavours. Paulene uses hand-grown herbs and soft fruits to infuse into the ganache such as; rosemary and olive oil, tarragon and mustard, thyme and heather honey, blackcurrant pâte de fruit and juniper.

Bonello Chocolatier specialise in Weddings, Corporate and Events.

Paulene understands that when it comes to weddings and events, everything must be just perfect. She also believes in making chocolate of the highest quality, so knows that choosing her chocolates to serve at weddings or celebrations as a special boxed or bagged gift to your guests as a favour is easily achieved when working with Bonello Chocolatier.

HeraldScotland:

They are always happy to personalise your chocolates according to your theme, style, colour and flavour and can even add your names, monogram, wedding date or bridal quote to their delicious chocolate creations to make your special day even more memorable.

Let them help you impress your corporate clients or treat your staff with a gift of chocolates adorned with your business name, logo or slogan. 

Find out more at www.bonellochocolatier.com or follow them on Facebook. 

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Charles Macleod

Charles Macleod Ltd is a family business that stretches back over seven decades, established by Charles Macleod in 1947. It is now run by the third generation, his granddaughters Shona Macleod, Ria MacDonald and Rona MacDonald.

A traditional crofting kitchen staple, our award winning black, white and fruit puddings are cooked daily on the premises and shipped to customers across the UK.  Multi award winning, including six Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Foods, our Stornoway Black Pudding is made with Scottish oatmeal to give a unique texture and the moist deep flavour is a result of high quality ingredients and fine balance of seasoning. Essential in a traditional breakfast or perfect accompaniment to a range of savoury ingredients such as scallops, chicken, beef and pork.

HeraldScotland:

Black puddings arrived in Britain with the various wave of invaders, which perhaps accounts for the variation between regions. Stornoway Black Pudding is unique in that it uses only the following ingredients in order of quantity; beef suet, oatmeal, onion, blood, salt and pepper with the addition of water. They are free from artificial colours, flavours, bulking agents and preservatives. 

Unlike other regional black puddings, beef suet is a major constituent of Stornoway black puddings. In cold climates, such as the Hebrides, the high calorific value of suet makes it an ideal food in winter. The type of oatmeal grown in Scotland provides a good rough texture for the Stornoway black pudding. 

HeraldScotland:

Stornoway Black Pudding is intrinsically linked to the area’s tourism, frequently purchased by visitors as a souvenir or ‘taste of the islands’. There is world recognition of the brand and the link back to Stornoway as an area. There is also a strong diaspora of the population from the Western Isles that regularly holiday in the islands, known as “coming home”. This group of ex-pats are large consumers of the Stornoway “Marag Dubh”, always visiting their Stornoway butcher to procure several black puddings before returning “to the mainland” and distribute the puddings as gifts to their network of colleagues and friends.

Visit www.charlesmacleod.co.uk or follow them on Facebook

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Gardiners of Scotland

When it comes to famous sweet manufacturers borne out of Scotland, few are more popular than Lanarkshire based Gardiners of Scotland.

First established in the 1960’s, Gardiners long-running family business has been manufacturing the finest range of traditional Scottish confectionery for many decades. From delicious fudge and tasty butterscotch to more exotic flavours including a range of Finest Scotch Whisky fudges, Gardiners confectionery selection has a genuine global appeal which continues to grow year on year.

HeraldScotland:

Gardiners also supply seasonal tins, perfect as Christmas stocking fillers, while their special thank you boxes make the perfect something to give as a gift. These include a delicious range of melt-in-the-mouth handmade Scottish fudge, which now includes flavours such as Jim Beam Handmade Fudge and Baileys Luxury Fudge.

Overall Gardiners don’t just have a reputation for producing quality confectionery. They believe that a friendly, attentive service is of paramount importance and do everything with a personal touch, just as you’d expect from a family business.

HeraldScotland:

To find out more and order from Gardiners of Scotland extensive confectionery collection, visit www.gardiners-scotland.co.uk or follow them on Facebook.

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Hamlyns of Scotland

Hamlyns of Scotland is part of a family food business, owned and managed by a family with 14 generations of history in oat milling. Their Porridge Oats and Oatmeal’s are 100% Scottish: from seed to mill to finished product. For such a quintessential Scottish product, they strongly believe this is important.

The business sources their oats from a network of farmers across Scotland, many of whom have worked with alongside them for several generations.

HeraldScotland:

The oat mill is based at Boyndie near Banff, in the heart of Scotland’s oat growing countryside. They’re proud to have one of the most modern oat processing mills in Europe, combining the latest oat milling techniques with traditional customs. It’s a modern-day wind mill, thanks to the wind turbine, which was installed alongside the mill a few years ago and provides all the electricity required to operate the mill.

The Hamlyns of Scotland range includes Scottish Oatmeal, Scottish Porridge Oats, Scottish Porridge Oats & Bran and Pinhead Oatmeal in a re-sealable tin. All four varieties can be used to make a delicious porridge, each with a different distinctive taste and texture. Or try using them to make overnight oats with your favourite yoghurt, fruit and other toppings.

As a rule, when you’re making porridge, the finer the porridge oats or oatmeal, the shorter the cooking time required. The cooking time is reduced further if you choose porridge oats over oatmeal, as the oats are lightly steamed during the milling process before they are rolled.

HeraldScotland:

You can also make a wide variety of sweet and savoury recipes. From breakfast to healthy snacks with porridge oats and oatmeal. You’ll find lots to inspire you in our online recipe library, including recipes from Nick Nairn and some of Scotland’s top food bloggers.

Scottish Porridge Oats and Oatmeals are available in virtually every supermarket in Scotland, but if you don’t have a local stockist, you can buy everything by the case from the online shop.

Visit hamlynsoats.co.uk or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

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Island Bakery

Joe and 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 baking lovely fresh loaves.

HeraldScotland:

In 1996 they bought 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 realised that there was 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 and Selfridges. Within the first year the company picked up several Great Taste awards and scooped an Organic Food award.

HeraldScotland:

By 2007, the biscuit side of business had overtaken the deli. Soon afterwards, plans were made to build a new bakery. The new premises were completed in June 2012. Subsequently growth in the bakery has seen growth in product with 6 varieties now available including the acclaimed Island Bakery Chocolate Gingers where the biscuit cognoscenti are attracted to the generous chunk of moist stem ginger peeking out from beneath dark chocolate drapery, nestling on a subtly spiced ginger biscuit.

For more information visit www.islandbakery.co.uk or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

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Isle of Mull Cheese

Located near Tobermory, Isle of Mull Cheese take great pride when it comes to producing a rich variety of finely crafted cheeses.

Isle of Mull Cheese has the added benefit of being run on a small family farm on the island of Mull. The dedicated team produce raw milk cheese.

HeraldScotland:

The Reade family farm produces all of its own sustainable energy from wind, wood, and its own hydroelectric power plant. A heat exchange system uses the heat removed from the milk in the evening to warm it back up for the cheese in the morning.

Around 15 people, 150 cows, and a few pigs work hard to make the cheese and sausages. At any one time they have around 12 months of work in the cheese store.

The family farm makes many uniquely flavoured batches with flavours ranging from savoury to peaty to juicy with a hint of citrus zest.

A hearty, full-flavoured Scottish Cheddar, Isle of Mull is drier in texture than many Cheddars with flavours that are upfront, richly savoury and boozy.

HeraldScotland:

Isle of Mull Cheese make a range of batches including their “Isle of Mull” a cheddar type, and “Hebridean Blue” a semi hard blue.

The Traditional Isle of Mull Cheese was the Gold Medal winner at the World Cheese awards 2011, and their Hebridean Blue Cheese won the Silver Medal the same year.

Find out more at www.isleofmullcheese.co.uk or view their video here.

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Salar Smokehouse

Anchored proudly off the West coast of Scotland and part of the Hebridean Archipelago, the Isle of South Uist is home to Salar Smokehouse.

Hidden amongst the gems of the beautiful Eastern shore, the Smokehouse is perfectly placed in the scenic and historical bays of Lochcarnan. This is still one of the most special, unspoilt locations in the world, where Gaelic, culture and community are still prominent in everyday life.

HeraldScotland:

Daily, Salar Smokehouse is surrounded by an abundance of wildlife and fantastic, unrivalled scenery and most importantly; The Hebridean welcome for all.

First established as a small business in 1987, the original owner designed and built his own special kilns and developed a unique process.

30 years later the Smokehouse celebrates its return to its core values with a back to basics approach, where heritage, tradition and quality are at the core of this family run, Hebridean business, now established as a globally respected brand.

The Smokehouse only source superior quality Scottish Farmed Salmon from the most reputable suppliers. Produced and packed within 48 hours of receipt of deliveries, ensures the freshest and most superior product for our customers.

HeraldScotland:

The lightly cured salmon fillets are roasted over oak smoke to produce the dark outer glaze, distinctive taste and succulent, flaky texture.

Salar Smokehouse’s quality products have received recognition as they came out on top at the recent Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards 2017 taking home the New Business Award and the Young Shining Star award for Donald MacLachlan.

Find out more at www.salarsmokehouse.co.uk.

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Stag Bakeries

Based on the scenic and unspoilt island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Stag Bakeries is a family-run craft bakery with a heritage going back to 1885. Stag has been owned by Charles Macdonald for over 20 years and his core values remain at the heart of the business. Traditional recipes passed down the generations, time-honoured methods and a commitment to using only the finest ingredients are still key to each product that the bakery sends out from its premises in Stornoway, and the result is an award-winning product range with trusted provenance.

HeraldScotland:

Stag Bakeries still supplies its loyal customers on the island with bread, rolls, savouries and wide array of other daily goods, but the bakery’s speciality is savoury biscuits and their signature product is their classic Stornoway Water Biscuit. Now available in two sizes and a variety of flavours, the Water Biscuit has been designed with cheeseboards in mind and is a worthy accompaniment for any kind of cheese, meat, fish or pâté.

In 2013, Stag Bakeries launched the Seaweed Water Biscuits, a product inspired by the bakery’s island location and the imagination of their team of bakers. In the same year, the Seaweed Water Biscuits were awarded three Gold Stars in the Great Taste awards along with the honour of winning the ‘Nigel Barden Heritage Award’ and being named ‘Best Scottish Speciality Product’ by the Guild of Fine Food.

HeraldScotland:

The Seaweed Water Biscuits are made with a blend of three seaweeds and offer a truly distinct flavour. Equally moreish on their own or paired when with any kind of topping, from stilton and fig to cheddar and pear to smoked salmon, the Seaweed Water Biscuits will liven up any cheeseboard.

Visit stagbakeries.co.uk.

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Orkney Roastery

Coffee roasted in small batches with love and care. Giving every bean its chance to shine.

At the Orkney Roastery the aim is to undertake a continuous quest to release the natural excellence of flavour in every coffee bean they roast. Join them in Aria’s journey all around the globe to explore and source the highest quality beans.

HeraldScotland:

Euan has built up a wealth of experience working at other roasteries in Scotland and then spending the last 12 years running a supply and service business to the catering and domestic sectors in Orkney. For the last 10 years it has been his ambition to roast his own coffee.

The skilled team promise to keep things small and hands-on at the Orkney Roastery. Roast batches are small but frequent enough to ensure that our customers get to experience the fabulous fresh roast taste.

Roasting profiles will be continuously tweaked as Orkney Roastery always pay great attention to detail at every stage. Getting the most from every bean they roast will ensure that customers have the best possible – and fresh- taste experience in their daily coffee ‘fix’.

HeraldScotland:

Sara and Euan have worked together for 7 years and worked on a business plan for the Orkney Roastery during that time. For a variety of reasons, 2016 was the right time to realise their ambition. The roaster was ordered and whilst building and conversion was underway, they were roasting, cupping and tasting hundreds of sample coffees and blends.

One of their key targets was to create a range of exciting espressos. After many failed attempts the breakthrough finally came on Sara's birthday and was nicknamed Birthday Blend before becoming Overture - the first ever Aria Coffee. The Aria range is developing all the time but following the same philosophy of getting the most out of every bean.

Visit www.theorkneyroastery.com.