A Scottish bakery and café that began life as a home-based cake business has won a food and drink business growth award.

Bad Girl Bakery, based in Muir of Ord, was among 14 winners to collect an accolade in the 2018 Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards – an event which recognises ‘innovative’ businesses that help put the region on the map.

Judges at the event, held at the Kingsmill Hotel in Inverness and hosted by STV present Jennifer Reoch, praised the growth of the company, which has won contracts to supply organisations including National Trust for Scotland. Last year it secured a five-fold increase in turnover.

“Since its opening in 2014, Bad Girl Bakery’s growth in turnover, employees and high-profile, national customers has been spectacular,” they declared. “With 22-full time equivalent employees, it has become a significant employer in Muir of Ord, and has significant ambitions for further growth.”

The business, which started trading online and at exclusive Highland events in 2014, moved to Muir of Ord in February last year to scale up after securing a contract to supply bakery items for first-class customers on the Caledonian Sleeper.

It then opened a bakery – which supplies wholesale fresh, handmade, short shelf-life, unpackaged cake, alongside a café – and changed its name to Bad Girl Bakery.

Elaine Jamieson, head of food and drink at the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, a supporter of the awards, said: “Entries to the awards were significantly higher in 2018 than in previous years, and categories were very competitive.

“It is very encouraging to see the diversity and quality of products coming from the Highlands and Islands. It is the overwhelming passion that the people from our region have for producing and providing great food and drink that is putting the Highlands and Islands at the top of the country’s food and drink industry. The winners should be very proud to have outshined their competition and I hope these well-deserved and independently judged awards will be a distinguishing asset to their businesses.”