Support during COVID-19
The Isle of Mull bakery was set up by Joe Reade and his wife Dawn as a bread making business 25 years ago. It has since turned into a premium organic biscuit company that sells to wholesale customers across the EU and USA.
As an organic business, all ingredients have been produced on land that is free from pesticides or artificial fertilisers and every ingredient in their biscuits can be traced back to the producer.
The company was still baking throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and have shipped to retailers in the UK and abroad. Some of the 40 employees were on furlough leave over the last few weeks.
With food-service customers such as hotels, coffee-shops and airlines stopping ordering, the firm decided to make a difference in the local community during lockdown.
Island Bakery Organics supplied biscuits to Argyll and Bute Council for use in the food parcels being distributed to shielded and vulnerable people. ‘Covid Care’ packages were also sold online at cost-price for NHS workers, care homes and foodbanks.
The company is ready to return to normal production levels and furloughed employees have been returning to work. Joe is keen to grow the business and bring new product lines to market as soon as possible.
The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund was managed by Scotland’s three enterprise agencies on behalf of Scottish Government. There was a high demand for the fund which received more than 5,000 applications Scotland-wide. Grants totalling almost £20m have been approved by HIE to 372 businesses across the Highlands and Islands.
The business has lost a lot of customers in the last few months and is expecting to make a loss as a result of COVID-19 restrictions but it is now getting ready for life after COVID-19.
Without the furlough scheme and the Scottish Government’s Pivotal grant, Joe said that the company wouldn’t have been able to recover and he is looking forward to growing the business again while bringing exciting new products to the market.