Island Bakery would be nothing without its fabulous team. There are about 30 of us working hard to bring Mull’s best biscuits to you. Everyone plays an essential part in ensuring a steady supply of biscuits from Tobermory to the world!
Joe Reade (Taster-in-Chief)
Joe moved to Mull from Somerset with his family at the tender age of 12. He grew up on a dairy farm, and has picked up that ‘can-do’ attitude that farmers tend to have. He gets to stay indoors when it rains now, but does miss the outdoor life that farmers enjoy on the half-dozen good weather days that Mull’s climate bestows on us. When he isn’t making sure that the biscuits are baking nicely, he likes nothing more than going on an ‘adventure’, either on his bike, or out on a boat. You may also recognise him as the inspiration for the Pilsbury Dough Boy, and if you poke him in the tummy he lets out an involuntary giggle. He has also gained a lot of experience in employment tribunals, after vexatious claims that he had manipulated the online biographies of key employees.
Dawn grew up in Belfast, and bumped into Joe in Edinburgh where they were Geography students. She allowed Joe to talk her into coming back to Mull with him to start the bakery, because she really likes cake, and Mull looked like a nice spot. She looks after the bakery’s social media and marketing, as well as helping Joe with recipe development. Dawn likes to do arty things like knitting, lino-cut prints, papercuts, and nice designs. She has the kind of Belfast accent that infers 'don't mess with me', and therefore we all behave in her presence. We'd certainly know better than to make stuff up about her for the company website.
Cathy came to know Mull as a regular visitor for the annual Tour of Mull Car Rally that brings hundreds of visitors to drive noisy cars around the island every October. As well as knowing her Subarus from her Mini Coopers, she is also our Technical Manager, which means she has to eat biscuits every day to check they are as tasty as they should be. She was also the winner of 2008's Britains got the Pop Factor on Ice, using her stage name Geraldine. We're all very proud of her! You can see her performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubWDY5ek4H8 .
Fiona is the only person in the business who actually has official baking qualifications and is therefore responsible for many things, including the development of tasty new biccies. She is also our longest-standing employee, having started with us in 1994 making amazing cakes and baking tasty bread. She is a little camera shy, but after some online searching we have discovered why, in the only published picture we can find. She seems to have three heads. She must keep the two on the right in a jar at home, because we've never seen her at work with them on. We'd notice if she used three times as many hairnets as everyone else, so the only explanation is that they are detachable.
Kay is our Operations Manager, which involves a lot of biscuit counting, but so far not many operations. She has come to Mull to be a biscuiteer after many years making jam in Arbroath. Before that she was one fifth of a successful all-girl popular music act, but found that what she really really wanted was a nice cup of tea and a sit down with a biscuit. In her spare time she is a dog juggler, and holds the Guinness World Record for keeping five dachshund puppies in the air for 12 minutes.
Lynn is Dawn’s little sister. Lynn has more brains in her little finger than Dawn has in her whole body, according to their dad, Ken. She uses her big brain to keep the bakery accounts and logistics running, and she has an overview on the whole operation a lot more like Big Brother than little sister. Lynn has recently developed a penchant for cruise holidays with all inclusive drinks packages. We do hope her job isn’t driving her to drink. Lynn is also an adventurer, having been known on one occasion to venture as far as Lochdon. She is currently fund raising for an expedition to Iona, but first needs to establish a base camp in Fionnphort with ample gin supplies.
Robert has worked at Island Bakery for a few years and has just moved into the office to help with all sorts of admin. He is a very talented singer, and performs at home and away. He likes to share his talents with us at all times. We’d like to join in, but really, we would just show him up. Robert also runs a mobile roller-disco in his free time, and has a prized collection of tartan socks that he keeps in his dressing-up drawer. It includes a pair of Bay City Roller thigh-length stockings in a vivid green and red that appeared on Top of the Pops in 1981. He had them valued at £4.23 on a recent edition of the Antiques Road Show, and they remain his most prized possessions.
Keeping things in the family, Paul is Lynn’s husband, and our delivery driver. He takes nearly all the biscuits we make to Glasgow where they go on to their final resting place alongside your cuppa. He gets to drive a forklift too. Before taking up biscuit delivery, Paul had a successful career as a stage hypnotist that ended in unfortunate circumstances and a protracted legal battle with a lady from Dundee who can no longer eat anything apart from Marmalade.
Boris and Lore
Boris and Lore arrived together at The Island Bakery, and must get on pretty well because despite spending almost every waking moment together both inside and outside work, they ended up getting married. Pictured here on Mull's tropical West coast, they like nothing better than walking down the middle of Tobermory Main Street and pointing at seagulls, pretending to be tourists. Boris is distinguished by having the tidiest beard in the factory, which he rents out to Robert when he sings in the local pub doing Bee Gees numbers.
Tom is our Engineer, and keeps all our machines ticking over. As a water-dwelling homo-erectus, he was drawn to Mull after many years in Glasgow where the climate was less suited to him. Now, when he's not stripping down a mixer he likes nothing more than to float on his back in Tobermory bay cracking open molluscs that he balances on his little round belly and hits with a stone. He brings a fresh one-liner to work every day, that he deploys to distract attention from his bright ginger hair. Although he leaves a damp patch on every seat he sits on, he is popular in the staff room where he shares morsels of scaly bottom-living creatures that he caught the night before.
John is our dedicated warehouse wrangler and forklift racer. He is one half of another bakery partnership, being Roberts Liverpudlian Lover. Unmarried as yet because it's currently illegal to marry a Scouser in Scotland, John nevertheless likes to practice for the celebrations of the big day by singing musical show numbers at high volume whilst putting biscuit orders together. A man of few words (except when conscious), he can be hired in the evenings to put babies to sleep, and is happy to have any cold-calls from double glazing or electricity salespeople diverted to his mobile for a lengthy chat. His phone number is 0755 555 555.
With thanks to Richard Kellett photography www.richardkellettphotography.com