Melanie Andrews MBE - Founder/Organiser TSBA
In 2009,whilst on a driving holiday in Scotland, I found a distinct lack of information for restaurants, tearooms, coffee shops etc that supplied real Homebaking.
Being an absolute confirmed sugarholic and an avid eater of all things homemade,I devised a plan,on the back of my Car manual in the glove compartment.
I reckoned I had a little bit of knowledge in the catering industry, after having 4 of my own  Restaurants and 2 thriving companies,so I set about devising a way to market, advertise, regulate and assess all the eating establishments in Scotland that provided great Homebaking. 

There is "Homebaking" and then there is "Great Homebaking" and I was looking to advertise the latter.
How do you do that? You have to put your money, time and passion where your mouth is, and travel to each and every one of the establishments that you have researched, that say they offer Homebaking.
I travelled the length and breadth of Scotland from east to west and and visited all the stunning islands, including the Shetland Islands. 
These more remote places are more often than not, ostracised from the rest of the main land, so to have the SBA turning up and promoting them was a unique opportunity and one they much appreciated.
Each year the nominations were coming In thick and fast and the travels were getting that I was rarely at home.
Each premises or person was thoroughly assessed, and that meant after a few assessments each day, I was becoming a bigger , rounder version of myself !!
The successful premises/People were given a window sticker with the SBA logo on it and the year they were awarded, a bit like a Michelin star for the Artisan Baking industry. They were also featured as a news item in their local newspaper. There have been a lot of success stories for many, many people /business in Scotland after winning the SBA and the exposure it gave them.
In 2013 the SBA had attracted so much interest and grown so much that I held our very first Awards ceremony at Marhall, Bishopton. All of the above and to date has been solely funded by myself. 
This now meant, that each premises /person that had been assessed by myself in that year, had the possibility of being shortlisted for this prestigious ceremony.
I believe you only get one shot at a first impression and Marhall definitely ensures a 5 Star event.
Since 2013 the SBA has grown from strength to strength and it single handedly promotes the wealth of talent that Scotland has in the Artisan baking world. 
The size and increasing interest in the Awards was its downfall in 2017, as financing the Awards myself was proving impossible, and sponsorship was never given sadly.
In 2019, after many emails, telephone calls, meetings etc, the people of Scotland won me round to try again and promote the wealth of brilliant talent we have in Scotland. I am hoping that sponsorship will be forthcoming for the 10th Anniversary year and that I can move forward and continue to promote the Artisan food industry in Scotland. 
Here's to putting the SBA on the social calendar in Scotland every year and not just 2020.

Baking with Melanie Andrews

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