Earlston duo’s lemon drizzle cake is a gluten-free winner

The judging for 2017 Scottish Baker of the Year takes place at Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. The best bakers from Shetland to Stranraer have sent samples of their customers favourites for consideration by a panel of independent experts.
The judging for 2017 Scottish Baker of the Year takes place at Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. The best bakers from Shetland to Stranraer have sent samples of their customers favourites for consideration by a panel of independent experts.

An Earlston-based tearoom is the only Borders intolerance bakery to win an award at this year’s Scottish Baker of the Year 2017 Awards.

At a ceremony held at Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza hotel on Friday, May 5, the Thomas and Ethel Tearoom was one of 115 bakeries to be nominated.

The judging for 2017 Scottish Baker of the Year takes place at Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. The best bakers from Shetland to Stranraer have sent samples of their customers favourites for consideration by a panel of independent experts.

The judging for 2017 Scottish Baker of the Year takes place at Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. The best bakers from Shetland to Stranraer have sent samples of their customers favourites for consideration by a panel of independent experts.

Mum Debbie Thomas and her daughter Tegan have been running the business since March 2015 and were shortlisted after being voted for by their many customers.

They both attended the ceremony where a panel of 56 expert and independent judges scrutinised 850 of the most popular baked products in the country.

Their gluten-free lemon drizzle cake helped them take away the Scottish Baker of the Year Regional Silver Award for the Borders and Lowlands, making it the only Borders business to win.

The majority of cakes and treats on offer at the tearoom are gluten-free and some are also dairy-free and vegan.

Now in its sixth year, the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards is the brainchild of Dunfermline-based Scottish Bakers, the trade association for bakers in Scotland.

Debbie told the Southern: “We are actually really proud because when I was speaking to the judges afterwards, I said we were pleased with the success of our cake as it is gluten-free and they were really surprised.

“11,000 customers voted for our product and we were up against 850 others that were entered.

“We are very pleased to be the only bakers in the Borders to have won an award and we are very proud of our product.”

Alan Clarke, chief executive of Scottish Bakers, said: “We took delivery of hundreds of excellent scones, loaves, savoury items, morning rolls, individual cakes and biscuits made by Scottish bakers and our judges, led by head judge Robert Ross, have once again done us proud.

“With thousands upon thousands of pies, scones, loaves, savoury items, morning rolls, individual cakes and biscuits sold in Scotland every day, our bakers work hard to keep us all going.”

Reids of Caithness, Thurso, was the overall winner.