On Saturday, June 29th, Chelsea Market Baskets hosted an open house in the store to welcome visitors to discover the specialty brands that we import in conjunction with the Specialty Food Association’s 2013 Summer Fancy Food Show.
Alison and David Lea-Wilson of Halen Mon Salt stumbled into some lucky timing, in fact, as a NYC Food Tours group was tasting Halen Mon as they arrived to the store. The happy coincidence gave Alison and David a thrill, and the tour got a much more personal experience with the brand than planned.
Also in the store on Saturday were Tracy and Gary Reid, the award-winning bakers behind Reids of Caithness, who, along with their daughter Mia, shared their biscuits and cookies, but also their passion for truly good, simple baking.
We had a quick conversation with Gary, third generation baker and owner of one of our newest import lines, to learn a bit more about what makes Reids of Caithness a success.
CMB: Why do you do what you do?
GR: I’m just passionate about letting people taste good quality Scottish Biscuits. There are a lot of Scottish Biscuits out there, but to have the passion to back it up, like we do, is everything. We want to put our shortbread and biscuits and oat-based cookies all over the world. It’s something I want to look back on my life and say “You know what, Gary Reid? I’ve done it.”
CMB: Why do you think your biscuits are the best available?
GR: It’s all about baking with love and passion. We make sure of that. It’s so easy for these basic ingredients: flour, sugar and butter to go wrong. We have to treat our ingredients with respect and we have to know what we’re doing is a very, very high-skilled industry to know to get perfection. I think our biscuits are up there with the best that you can get.
CMB: What has been the most exciting achievement for Reids of Caithness so far?
GR: We’ve had quite a lot of achievements so far so it’s really hard to define one. But I suppose winning the best of Scottish specialities and coming in fourth out of 6,027 products in the UK – which was judged by professional food critics within the Great Taste Awards. To win that, was a massive achievement. But I would like to add providing for the Mey Selections (www.mey-selctions) brand, which is endorsed by Prince Charles. Again, this emphasizes the quality that we have.
Both Halen Mon and Reids of Caithness are on display in the CMB Booth at the 2013 Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center (Booth #5158).