Meeting local food heroes
Local Food Heroes is a new theme in the Dobbies Magazine designed to introduce customers to the people, passion and skill behind some of the products available in the store. I love to receive commissions like this as it’s endlessly fascinating to meet the people, the local food heroes, that make the world go around. We so often take them for granted and rarely give a second thought to their expertise and dedication as we place their beautifully produced goods into our shopping baskets. For this commission I met two local food heroes and had my eyes opened to what’s needed to make 500 scones a day and what’s needed to bring that ripe punnet of fresh red strawberries to your table.
Meet the baker
We all know that bakers have to get up early and the Great British Bake-off has shown us all that there’s more to producing a nice-looking tray of tasty cupcakes than meets the eye! Despite his youthful looks, John Ballantyne has been baking for 30 years and uses his lifetime of experience to produce huge quantities (up to 500 scones a day) and a dizzying array (43 different products) for the shelves and restaurant at the Braehead store. And at the end of a long and busy day he was incredibly patient and helpful in making sure I got some great pictures.
Meet the fruit farmers
When I went to Blacketyside Fruit Farm in Fife I found a good old family operation. Eleanor and Robert Todd and their two sons have built up an impressive and huge operation with polly-tunnels stretching out to the horizon. Photographing a soft fruit farm in February isn’t really the best time to show it in all it’s glory but there was still a huge amount going on – just no strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etc to show in the photos. When I meet people like the Todd’s I never fail to be amazed by the toughness, commitment and sheer hard-work that is needed to build a successful business plus all the risks and responsibility they have to take on along the way. Hat’s off to you guys – I’ll never hull a big juicy strawberry in the same way again!