John and Isabella Smith acquire Symons of Dufftown, founded 1898, to establish J&I Smith Bakers in Dufftown:
Bakery production in back of shop.
1974 - New Branch shop opens
Due to popular demand for our products John Smith Snr sourced a branch shop in the nearby town of Keith in the heart of Moray, increasing the workforce to 10 and a second Van was purchased to ease local deliveries.
1979 - Another new shop opens
Again due to popular demand a further branch shop opened in Castle St, Huntly increasing the workforce to 12.
1980 - New Acquisition
With capacity at full levels in Dufftown John & Isabella took the initiative and acquired Gordons Bakery in Huntly. This then took the small family business to a new level and moved all production, staff and office to the new site. This enabled an increase in all retail branches whilst allowing for expansion in the ever-increasing wholesale market.
1983 - Gordon Street Shop Refurbished
John & Isabella took further steps to increase J&I Smith’s reputation by refurbishing the main shop on Gordon Street, making it a modern-day facility.
1988 - John Smith Jr becomes a partner
To secure the future of the business John & Isabella asked their son John Smith Jr to become a partner alongside them in the business. John had been active in the business since leaving school going on to become a qualified baker and taking control of the production and development.
1989 - Building work
Due to the age of the building essential work needed to be done to the main factory roof, which resulted in replacing the whole old asbestos roof to steel cladding.
1993 - Smith Butteries get the French seal of approval
As part of a Gordon Enterprise Trust exchange, John Smith welcomed two trainers from the 'Chambres de Metiers de Bouche' in Ploufragan, Brittany, France to the bakery to learn about traditional Scottish produce. Later that year John spent a week in one of Northern France's bakeries.
1994 - Prince Charles visits J&I Smith Bakery
HRH Prince Charles stopped to chat to J&I Smith staff when he visited Huntly as part of his Royal visit. Pictured is John Snr with his grandchild and now 3rd generation baker Daniel Smith in his arms.
1997 - Shop and Office Expansion
Expansion to the bakery once again as we reached full capacity. A decision was made to purchase the property at the rear of the site to accommodate new dispatch area, storage and staff facilities. At the same time the shop next door became available which was turned into a larger office to cope with the continuing sales demand.
1998 - Janette becomes a New Partner
With Janette’s ever increasing role within the business, She was invited to become a partner, working alongside John in the day to day running of the business.
2005 - 35th year in business
The company celebrated its 35th year in business with custom made bottles of Whisky for all members of staff.
2006 - New technical Manager
With legislation changing at a rapid rate John Smith Jnr took the step to appoint a Technical Manager to work along with the local authorities, auditors and customers to ensure each and every product produced met the safe standard.
2007 - 3rd Generation of family join the business
The 3rd Generation of Family joined the business as John & Janette’s son Daniel joined the team as an Apprentice Baker. Daniel has gone from strength to strength in the business, being selected in the final 3 from across Scotland, England and Wales to compete for the prestigious title of Trainee Baker of the year.
2008 - The Hairy Bikers visit
The Bakery was visited by the well-known chefs - the Hairy Bikers, to see how the pies were made and Dave reminisced on his years in Huntly.
2009 - Celebrating 40 years in Business
Smiths celebrated its 40th year in Business with a 40th-anniversary cake, change of stationary and POS.
2010 - UK Trainee Baker of the Year Finalist
Daniel was entered into the British Industrial Awards for Trainee Baker of the Year, making it to the final 3 in the UK and was runner up at the awards ceremony in London.
2011 - New certifications and accreditations
Both shops in Huntly acquired new certification EAT SAFE Awards, awarded by Aberdeenshire Council.
Due to John Smith Jnr’s drive for success and ambition to push the business to a higher level the company applied and successfully gained SALSA accreditation which is not only known throughout the UK but it is recognised worldwide.
2012 - ASDA Recognition award
Recognition award from ASDA for performance during a 9-month supplier development program with them.
2014 - New staff
Another 3rd Generation of the family joins the business as John & Janette’s other son Richard, joins the business as Commercial Manager.
The Partners at J&I Smith took the decision to make the company a Limited company.
2015 - BIA awards finalist
Change of branding with Logo, Stationary & labelling.
Later that year John Smith Jnr entered the company into the British Industrial Awards for Craft Business of the Year. The company made the final 3 in the UK and was runner up at the awards ceremony in London.
2016 - Smiths expand purchasing Moir's Pies
Smiths purchase 'Moirs Pies' from George Moir Savoury Foods in Whitehills where it will specialise in pies. Savoury and sweet pies produced in Whitehills now go to distributers who supply outlets and chip shops across the North and North East of Scotland.
2017 - Smiths rise to the top at Scottish Baker of the Year Awards
Smiths were a national gold winner with our high brown bread and took a national silver award for our butteries in the 2017 Scottish Baker of the Year Awards.
2017 - World Championship quality pies
Smiths enjoyed success at the 18th World Championship Scotch Pie Awards 2017, collecting two gold awards and a bronze from Carol Smillie. Gold awards were for our Football Pie enjoyed at Fraserburgh FC and our delicious traditional mince bradie with the bronze going to our innovative breakfast pie.
2017 - Rebrand
The company took the steps to rebrand again and decided to change the oldest recipe in the book, changing the company name from J&I Smith Bakers Ltd to Smiths, which included a massive change in the look and feel of the company with new label design, Stationary, website, social media accounts and box packaging.
2017 - North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards 2017
Smiths the Bakers celebrated the success of a key member of the team in the prestigious 2017 North East Scotland Food & Drink awards. Our technical manager Denise Middler was one of 11 winners on the night as she collected the Denis Emslie Above & Beyond Award.