A short(bread) history of a baking dynasty

Modesty often forbids Anthony Laing to discuss the matter, but there is no denying the fact that the family behind the success of Shortbread House of Edinburgh is one with a strong baking tradition. Anthony's father was Lord Laing who was chairman of United Biscuits. Which is why the family has been referred to more than once as a baking dynasty.

 The purchase

In 1989 Anthony & his wife Fiona decided to make the most of the Laing family's generations of baking experience by buying an existing one-woman business based in Scotland's historic capital city of Edinburgh. 

They then set about making the business their own and what better way to do that than to make it a real family affair? And so as soon as they were able to stand upright and put biscuits in a box, all three Laing children were kitted out in oversized white overalls to join their parents in the bakery. It was a great relief for Anthony and Fiona when they discovered the use of child labour was not illegal so long as they didn't pay them. A double win. 

It wasn't long until Anthony and Fiona’s two sons (Rupert and Christopher) then joined the business full time after gaining valuable experience in other jobs and graduate schemes.

From Edinburgh to the world

Shortbread Grand Canyon

Meanwhile the product was proving to be a big hit, and from a small customer base in Scotland the company grew, winning customers throughout the UK and abroad. In fact 30% of the business is now exports. Last year alone they exported to no less than 21 countries.

 

 
You may have tried it already without even knowing

Chelsea Market Baskets shortbreadNothing deters the family from the path of 'shortbread without shortcuts'. That's why this delicious multi award-winning shortbread can be found in all the best places. You might be served it in a 5 star hotel, find it on the shelf of a world famous food emporium (Fortnum and Mason in London, KaDeWe in Berlin and Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh, to namedrop just a few), and of course it is enjoyed in any number of houses (including one full of Lords).

Our story continues but we hope this short piece gives you a flavour of the bakers behind the biscuits. 

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