Shetland-based Walls Bakery has been taken over by American entrepreneur Bruce Gilardi and has changed its name to Waas Bakery.

Gilardi took over the business last week (4 August) and succeeds Charlie Hodge, who has run the bakery since 1987.

The American, who has family roots in Shetland that date back to the 1700s, is aiming to introduce “fresher, higher-quality ingredients” and head further down the artisanal route.

He first learnt of the opportunity last summer when visiting his aunt and working in the bakery temporarily to learn more about its operation.

“I really want to aim for quality and authenticity, so I hope to use quality local products, even such as lard from Hillswick instead of shortening, and moving towards fresher, higher-quality ingredients," he said.

Hodge said it was the right time to step down from his post at the bakery: “I am very proud of what we have achieved, especially of my talented and dedicated team.

“Now is the right time to hang up my apron and hand the business over to someone who can build on our success.”

The bakery sells products including white softies and bread rolls, as well as oatcakes and water biscuits.