Chopped off fingertips, gutbusters and a vandal's false teeth - it's been some 30-year shift for Grangemouth baker
A popular baker who started his own business three decades ago has certainly learned to roll with whatever life brings his way over the years.
Scott Robertson (60) has been creating bread, rolls, cakes and other tasty treats from his Bowhouse Bakery, in Bowhouse Square, Grangemouth morning, noon and night for the last 30 years.
"I hate letting customers down, that’s the thing. And I like meeting people so that’s kept me going as well,” said Scott.
Learning his trade at Crawfords and then Mathesons, Scott decided to go it alone in 1991 and opened the Braes Bakery in Redding. A year later the property in Bowhouse Square became vacant and he’s been there ever since.
"I started off with nothing, I didn’t take over a business, I started this one from scratch. The first four or five years were a nightmare – I was a baker, but I wasn’t an accountant.
“Going into business yourself is very hard unless you’ve got 100 per cent commitment to it and 100 per cent backing from your wife and kids.”
Officially working – and open for business – from 6am to 2pm, Scott regularly works into the night getting orders ready and baking products for the the next day.
"From day one we have never shut,” he says proudly and over the years he has had help from his son Graeme and support from his wife of 39 years Brenda and his daughters Pauline and Louise.
There have been no shortage of incidents at the Bowhouse Bakery in the last 30 years, including a break-in where a set of golf clubs were stolen.
Back in 1996 someone vandalised the bakery window and left his false teeth at the scene of the crime.
“I had the teeth in a jar in the shop for a while,” laughed Scott. “But then police came and asked for them back.”
Scott was also known for was his infamous gutbuster rolls – a massive dinner plate sized roll baked specifically to enable it to contain a full breakfast.
"It was the workers who were building the houses on the old high school site,” said Scott. “They wanted something to fill them up. Since the houses have been built and the builders have moved on I stopped doing the gutbusters.”
Scott has mostly avoided mishaps himself over the last 30 years – until recently that is, when he jammed his hand in a piece of equipment in the bakery back room and pulled it free – unfortunately leaving the tips of three of his fingers still jammed in the machine.
“My daughter calls me Scotty Two Fingers,” laughed Scott. “They said I should go to a second hand shop.”
It’s banter like this, often in the face of hard times like the current COVID-19 situation, which has helped get Scott through over the years and he has no thoughts of hanging up his bakers apron.
“I’ve seen kids come in here over the years and then it seems the next time I see them, they have families of their own coming in here. I’ve worked all my life – when they get the wooden box for me that will be the only way to get me out of here.”