Maclean’s Highland Bakery began life on the Isle of Lewis, where current Managing Director Lewis Maclean’s father worked in a bakery. Now based in Forres, the business has experienced steady, structured growth with five shops, 110 employees, and a growing export trade in biscuits - with HIE supporting and advising the business all along the way.
Lewis says that HIE’s International Trade team has offered invaluable help with everything from sales and marketing, to attending overseas trade shows, bringing in consultants, and providing advice on financial areas such as capital expenditure. Such is the bespoke nature of HIE’s service that as well as delivering generic introductory workshops for businesses entering or recently come to exporting, they have even run specific workshops tailor-made to meet the needs of the Maclean business.
“HIE has been brilliant at helping us develop our plans to export. We’re exporting to Australia, France, Canada, New Zealand, China and the USA, and want to do more in Korea, Thailand and Belgium. We’ve built it up to about £0.5m - about one sixth of our trade - and we’re keen to increase that to £1m.”
Making the move into exporting has encouraged the business to improve its lines and extend productivity. Lewis says: “HIE should be the first stop for any business thinking about exporting - they point you in the right direction and offer invaluable help. Their input has been really instrumental in the growth of the business.