The judges on TV’s Britain’s Best Bakery have explained what they think is the winning formula at the Scottish Bakers’ Conference.

Peter Sidwell and Mich Turner said they had visited more than 100 bakeries and tasted around 600 products during their time as the judges for the ITV show.

And the duo, speaking in Glasgow, advised bakers to look at their businesses as though they were customers and to focus on being different.

Turner, owner of the Little Venice Cake Company, said: “Think about what you think your brand stands for and ask your customers what you think your business stands for.”

Produced by Shine TV, the company also behind BBC’s MasterChef, there has been two series of Britain’s Best Bakery, which is ITV’s answer to the Great British Bake Off. In February this year the title was awarded to The Cake Shop Bakery in Suffolk.


And Turner said she and Sidwell were well placed as judges because they run their own businesses. “We both have our own businesses, we have seen from the grass roots up,” she explained. “It’s really important that you understand yourselves. Are you about quality, convenience? What are your key values?”

Sidwell said it was important for bakers to have a “clarity” to their brand – and cited the example of Apple and Jamie Oliver. He argued that customers know what they are getting when they visit a Jamie Oliver restaurant or bought an Apple product.

* Delegates at the conference also heard from either side of the Scottish devolution debate. Richard Lochhead, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment and Michael Moore, MP, the former Secretary of State for Scotland held a Question Time-style panel on the subject of Scotland going alone. And bakers also heard from Australian motivation speaker and baker Tom O’Toole.