Supporting Scottish Producers

At Real Foods we love all things Scottish. We want to support local brands by selling products that are made right here in Scotland. We know that many of our customers are keen for us to do this too.

Here we share with you some history and philosophy from behind some of our best loved Scottish brands.

Judging by how well they sell, they are some of your favourites too!

Maclean’s Bakery

A smaller Scottish bakery

Opened by the MacLean brothers in 1987, this independent bakery is based in Uachdar, on the isle of Benbecula. Which is part of the Outer Hebrides, islands off the west coast of Scotland. (The island from which Bonnie Prince Charlie sailed ‘Over the Sea to Skye’. The MacLean brothers, create delicious breads, rolls, pastries, savouries, oatcakes & biscuits using traditional Scottish methods. We only stock the oatcakes. Honestly they do not always travel well in our web orders. So unless you particularly want oatcake crumbs, you might be better popping in store to pick up these delightful Hebridean treats!


Making great use of Scottish oats

Nairns offer an astonishing array of oatcakes and biscuits that are truly delicious. There is something for everybody in this range!

The aim of the people at Nairns is the same now as it has always been. Making tasty, wholesome food that is as simple and natural as possible using the best ingredients we can.

They know a thing or two about oats. They’ve been baking with them since 1896 when John and Sarah Nairn first opened their bakery in Strathaven, Lanarkshire.  Since then, the range and the team has grown. With two Edinburgh bakeries there is a devoted team, sometimes spanning generations of local families, all proud and careful guardians of our recipes, mixing techniques and ever-growing range.

Thanks to their trusted relationships with farmers and millers in the Scottish Borders, the Nairn’s range is made with the finest wholegrain oats nature can provide. Oats are the number one ingredient in everything they make. 

So, from breakfast to midnight feasts, you know you’re adding wholesome fibre, protein, vitamins, mineral and antioxidants to your diet. Not to mention cholesterol-busting beta-glucans.


Yet another way of using Scottish oats

Another local, Edinburgh firm, Stoats have a completely different take on how to serve up delicious Scottish oats.

In the early days making porridge in a little food truck for festival goers started their love affair with oats. Now running bakery in Edinburgh today, they’ve remained proudly independent and committed to bringing you simply made, honest, delicious food.

All of their products are still hand-made, but the kitchen is a little bigger these days (about 100 times bigger). Their dedicated bakers combine wholesome, natural ingredients with around 20 years’ experience on average to create our Stoats goodies.


Green isn’t just a favourite colour, it’s also a mindset. All Stoats products are made with wholegrain Scottish oats. You’ll find British butter in their bars (or coconut oil in the plant-based bars). Their bakery recycles 94% of its waste. The bars are wrapped in biodegradable NatureFlex film, suitable for home composting. By the end of the year, all Stoats packaging will be fully recyclable or compostable.

Stoats products don’t just taste good, they do good.

So good are they that we have included one of their porridge oat bars in our Scottish Meal Deal. Pick one up in store and let us know what you think of them!

time for tea

John Mellis

Scottish Honey Producer

If you like honey then you will most probably love John Mellis Scottish honey!

John Mellis, is one of the most prolific names in beekeeping in the UK. A professional beekeeper for over 30 years, his passion for his job is as fresh as the day he began. John talks about the idea that ‘bee keeping is a science, an art and most importantly a vocation’. He found what he loves and he’s pursued it.

A keen mentor of younger beekeepers, he is an advocate of training the next generation of bee keepers in what is a historically older profession. He has the most incredible knowledge and insight into making honey, bees and the bee keeping community.

John also makes and sells scrumptious honey and we are privileged to be able to sell it!

Phantassie Organic Produce

Scottish Greens and Salads

Depending on the season we have a variety of salad packs, green and herbs available from local supplier/grower Phantassie. We also sell their organic hen’s eggs, although you’ll have to pop in store for those. Unless, of course, you prefer your eggs pre-scrambled!

Phantassie Organic Market Garden is based on the edge of East Linton in rural East Lothian. That’s just 25 miles from Edinburgh.  The original growing area, a one acre walled garden, is a sheltered patch which has been in use for over 150 years. A further 7 acres has been gradually also cultivated.

Large unheated polytunnels enable extended growing seasons and provide a variety of vegetables all year round. Their home-grown produce is supplemented with vegetables from other local Organic Growers, as well as England and Europe with a cornucopia of Fruit. Always as local as possible, never airfreighted and Fairtrade if applicable.

Organically Certified

Their own gardens and producers follow Organic principles. Natural compost and manure, comfrey and seaweed are used in the gardens. Crop rotation, companion planting and green manuring all aid the strength and fertility of the soil. No chemical sprays, fertilisers or pesticides are ever used. Organic farming is a system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices, high levels of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources, and high animal welfare standards.

Island Bakery

Looking for a delicious new range of biscuits to treat the family? Look no further than this range of Scottish biscuits. Not only do they taste divine, but they are beautifully packaged as well. Personally we recommend the Lemon Melts . Visitors to our home actually search the kitchen cupboards for these biscuits if there are none in the biscuit tin. (The biscuits don’t stay in the tin very long…..)

Below is some of the brand’s story in their own words.

The Scottish Island Bakery story

Joe and Dawn Reade were fresh-faced and naïve young graduates of the University of Edinburgh when they started baking bread in a converted garage in Tobermory in 1994. The local baker was retiring, and the islanders needed someone to keep them in lovely fresh loaves.

In 1996 they bought a shop premises on Tobermory’s colourful Main Street, which became the Island Bakery Delicatessen. Through stocking the deli with tempting foods, Dawn realized that there was a gap in the market for organic biscuits. Keen to make something that could travel, the Reades thought that biscuits seemed to be an excellent product to introduce.

In 2001 Island Bakery Organics was born. Initially the range had just 4 varieties. Quality not quantity! Within the first year the company picked up several Great Taste awards and scooped an Organic Food award.

Concentrating on Scottish Biscuits

By 2007, the biscuit side of business had overtaken the deli. The Reades made the difficult decision to sell their shop to concentrate on biscuits. Soon afterwards, plans were made to build a new bakery. The new premises were completed in June 2012. It is powered by local renewable energy, wind and water for electricity, and wood for heating the ovens. The building makes Joe and Dawn feel all grown up now.

We are truly lucky to live and work on the Isle of Mull. Without going in to too many superlatives, it really is a special place. The island’s scenery is beautiful and there is plenty of wildlife to spot. There are loads of fantastic places to walk, climb, ride or just stop and admire the view.

Tobermory, where we are based, is the island’s ‘capital’, and famous for the coloured houses framing the harbour. It is a friendly and cosmopolitan community and a great place to live and work.

The weather can be a bit of a mixed bag, but we console ourselves by making lovely biscuits to cheer us up when it’s wet.

First and foremost it is Island Bakery’s mission to make biscuits that taste brilliant! Whilst you may have appreciated their deliciousness, it may have escaped your notice that our biscuits are organic. We hope not.

Becoming Organic

It was our choice to become an organic business. Organic standards ensure that all of our ingredients have been produced on land that is free from pesticides or artificial fertilizers. This is good for the ecosystems on and around the farms that have grown the wheat for the flour, or where the cows whose milk makes the butter have grazed. We can be assured that those cows will enjoy the highest standards of animal welfare. Every ingredient in our biscuits is fully traceable back to the producer.

Recent studies have shown that organic foods have much higher levels of antioxidants and other good nutrients than conventional crops, and none of the chemicals which are routinely applied to them.

Choosing Island Bakery biscuits also offers you assurance that the food you eat will contain none of:

  • GMOs
  • preservatives
  • artificial colours or flavours
  • palm oil

Being organic is only part of the picture for us. Our new factory building is powered entirely with local sources of renewable energy. Electricity for the building is generated both by a hydro-electric turbine on the neighbouring Tobermory river, and a single wind turbine set on a hill above the bakery. Our unique ovens are heated using local wood chip from Mull’s abundant timber plantations. This is not only environmentally sustainable but the gentle heat gives the biscuits a slow, perfect bake.

We are not claiming that biscuits are a health food, but if you want to enjoy something sweet, it might as well be the best. We do our best for the environment, so you can enjoy our biscuits without feeling too guilty about it.

Mrs Unis Spicy Foods

Local fresh cuisine for everyone as long as you can get to one of our Edinburgh shops!

We are so confident that the Samosas supplied to us by Mrs Unis are a treat that we have included them in our Scottish Meal Deal. Why not pop in store and try them out?

A local business based in Edinburgh, Mrs Unis Spicy Foods was originally started by Mrs Unis herself. It has now grown to 40 staff and a 20,000 square ft factory

They are proud to source locally produced ingredients, having fresh ingredients and supporting local businesses is something they live by.

Wholesome Food

Made with love in their Scottish Factory based in Edinburgh to the highest standard by the wonderful production staff who specialise in Indian food

With over 30 years experience in food manufacturing, Mrs Unis can proudly say we deliver a true authentic taste of India, no matter which product you have. Highly trained staff know exactly how to hand make products to make your taste buds drool.

Fior Fruit Merchants

Authentic, Pure and Genuine.

From a base in in the heart of The Kingdom of Fife, Scotland, they work tirelessly to source the most succulent fresh fruit juice and the tastiest infusions to make our deliciously refreshing pure fruit juices and cans.

Fruit Juice

We are proud to offer their farm pressed fruit juice, gently sparkling in a can. With no artificial additives and no added sugar only fruit juice, water (20%) and bubbles to create these delightfully refreshing fruit juices.

You can choose one of 3 flavours as part of our Scottish Meal Deal – come in and pick up your lunch today.

Chain Bridge Honey Farm

We do know that at the moment Berwick upon Tweed is not in Scotland, but in the past it has been and we love their products so much we are making them an honorary Scottish brand for the purpose of this post.

A flourishing family business, it was started by beekeeping advisor William Selby Robson in 1948.

In 1962, his son, also William but known as Willie, took up beekeeping with the aim of expanding his father’s enterprise, not only by increasing the number of hives, but also the diversity of products.

Bees were purchased from retiring beekeepers while Smith hives were made from local timber (predominantly Thuja, which is light and resists decay). In those days, large quantities of comb honey were produced as well as liquid honey mainly from wild white clover. In 1971 William Robson Snr retired and helped Willie establish a viable honey farm.

His knowledge and experience was crucial at this time. Mr Robson Snr continued to work with bees until he was 82 years old. In 1973 Daphne Robson joined the business, preparing honey for sale and delivering it to the shops. The business grew year by year and in 1982 a new honey house was built.

Growing the Business

Since then many new products have been introduced using the vast amounts of beeswax produced. Hive numbers rose gradually as the seasons allowed from 500 to nearly 1,500 at present (with 2,000 the future target).  These are located within a 40-mile radius of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

In 2007 the business moved into a new, third honey house.

The enterprise at Chain Bridge Honey Farm is ‘vertically integrated’, in so far as all relevant jobs are carried out by the existing staff and this includes constructing the buildings, making the beehives (plus all the relevant parts), modifying and installing machinery, beekeeping and preparation of honey and by-products, wholesaling the products to retailers and retailing the product at Chain Bridge Honey Farm and online.

The farm currently employs 15 people including Willie and Daphne and their three children; Stephen, Heather and Frances.

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