Dalgetty’s uses its loaf to stay open in lockdown

Andy Barrie pops a batch of loaves into the oven.Andy Barrie pops a batch of loaves into the oven.
Andy Barrie pops a batch of loaves into the oven.
A Galashiels baker is pulling out all the stops to ensure their customers don’t go hungry over the lockdown period.

Alex Dalgetty and sons, a five-generation artisan bakery, famous for its scotch pies and niche loaves, has had to make several changes to its day-to-day routine to ensure staff can continue to work safely, following a request from the Scottish Government, asking small food producers to stay open where possible.

Director Craig Murray said: “Our staff have been outstanding, everybody has been working extremely hard and where needed people have taken on additional duties and responsibilities.”

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“In some ways it was harder to stay open than it would have been to close, we had to quickly introduce new working procedures and adapt premises in order to protect staff and customers.”

Jennifer Duff and daughter Fallon with their surprise cake.Jennifer Duff and daughter Fallon with their surprise cake.
Jennifer Duff and daughter Fallon with their surprise cake.

The bakery also operates a home delivery service, which has been a lifeline for many people stuck at home.

During the first five weeks of lockdown, more than 1,000 home deliveries were made by the bakery within the Galashiels and Melrose areas, where the baker has shops.

Home deliveries are now approaching 1,500 and there is no sign of it easing up.

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Craig told us: “The volume of home deliveries has put huge pressure on the dispatch staff, but everyone in the bakery helps out, either packing orders or making deliveries.

“Due to the number of requests we also started deliveries to Selkirk and St Boswells.”

Dalgetty’s had a surprise in store for its 1,000th delivery customer, Jennifer Duff of Galashiels.

She said: “We were lucky delivery number 1,000, and I couldn’t believe the amazing chocolate gateau that we were presented with. The kids loved it!”

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The bakery has also been helping out with the local Food Bank, now making weekly donations of bread for food parcels.

Flour has also been donated to local home bakers who were making cakes for our NHS workers.

It’s not all good news though, as approximately 90% of their wholesale customers have closed during lock down, meaning that Craig had to quickly make production changes to suit the unusual circumstances.

He said: “It’s been a huge challenge to keep the business operational while wholesale orders have dried up.

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“I did not want to furlough staff and to this point have managed to keep 95% of our staff working, despite temporarily losing 9 out of 10 of our wholesale customers.

“We are all looking forward to life returning to normal, however we will continue to work hard feeding our customers for as long as we are able.”

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