Border Biscuits has been declared Business of the Year at the 2018 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards – and also took the gong for Brand Success of the Year.

The South Lanarkshire-based company collected its awards from celebrity chef Simon Rimmer, who hosted the ceremony held in Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre on Friday (7 June).

Judges for the Brand Success category praised Border for the strong communication and story-telling of its Biscuitiers concept – cartoon-style characters that represent the people behind the business and its products.

“A Brand Success by definition and demonstration,” said one.

Michelle Phillips of Mimi’s Bakehouse took the title of Entrepreneur of the Year, with judges commenting on the continuous and ambitious growth of the business. (See picture below.)

“At start-up, when costs are challenging, they made a significant investment with the Mimi’s brand which has made a huge impact on the business,” said one.

The event included 12 product awards, in which Aldi won the Bakery category for its Specially Selected Orkney Caramel Shortbread, and Own Label Product of the Year for its Specially Selected Lemon Shortbread Rounds.

The awards are organised by Scotland Food & Drink and run in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, with Asda as headline sponsor.

“Scottish food and drink is now a national success story,” said James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink.

“Our unique partnership of industry bodies and Scottish Government has driven that. However, it is the talent inside individual businesses that make our industry tick and who are putting Scotland on the global culinary map.”

The full list of winners is:

Business Award Winners

  • Brand Success of the Year – Border Biscuits
  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Michelle Phillips, Mimi’s Bakehouse
  • Environmental Sustainability – Farne Salmon and Trout
  • Export Business of the Year –Tilly Confectionery
  • Innovation – Peel Tech
  • Investing in Skills – Joseph Robertson
  • Primary Producer of the Year– Chesters
  • Scottish Sourcing – The Whitehouse Restaurant, Lochaline
  • Success Through Partnership – Quality Pork
  • Young Talent – Kirsty George, Luss Smokehouse

Tasted Award Winners

  • Bakery – Aldi, Specially Selected Orkney Caramel Shortbread
  • Brewing ­– Six°North, Foraged and Found
  • Confectionery, Drink and Snacking – Cocoa Ooze Chocolates Liquorice & Black Pepper Bar
  • Dairy ­– St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company, St Andrews Farmhouse Cheddar
  • Distilling – Isle of Harris Distillers, Isle of Harris Gin
  • Fish and Seafood – Loch Fyne Oysters, Bradan Orach
  • Food Service Product of the Year – The Scottish Salmon Company, Native Hebridean Farmed Salmon
  • Healthy Choice – Hungry Squirrel, ABC Crunchy Mix Nut Butter
  • Meat – East Coast Cured, Porcini & Truffle Salami
  • Own Label Product of the Year – Aldi, Specially Selected Shortbread Rounds - Lemon
  • Savouries and Accompaniments – Spice Pots, Goan Blend
  • Scotch Brand Product of the Year – Macduff 1890, Native Breed Body (Scotch Beef PGI)

Overall Award Winners

  • Food Pioneer of the Year – Calum Richardson, Bay Fish and Chips
  • Product of the Year – Isle of Harris Distillers, Isle of Harris Gin
  • Business of the Year – Border Biscuits
  • Outstanding Contribution – Jim McLaren