I grew up with Baxters. It was a firm staple in my mother's west coast larder. Beef Consommé was a favourite and, of course, father's delight was Royal Game (still is!). It felt like the epitome of a warm, welcoming, happy and busy house.
Therefore, to work on the sourcing and curation of the new Baxters of Scotland Luxury Hampers and Gift Boxes, filled my heart up with a kaleidoscope of emotions and ideas. This was not only about putting a hamper together, this was also about celebrating the brand and showcasing it with some of our finest fellow Scottish businesses and harnessing our heritage roots in a 'modern Scotland' way.
I read Ena Baxter's cookbook, consulted the archives and, frankly, was blown away by this 154-year-old family-owned business. It's heritage portfolio spanning generations with its own tartan celebrating their proud Speyside connections, this was more than just a hamper.
Searching Scotland, from north to south, the top three highlights for me include, amongst many others:
Glenrinnes Distillery Baxters of Scotland Limited Edition London Dry Gin
The partnership with our Speyside neighbours, Glenrinnes Distillery, situated on the estate beside the Ben Rinnes mountain. They created a peppery, juniper inspired limited edition gin of just 1,000 bottles specially for us. It felt like a harmony of two aligned brands focused on taste, quality and taking inspiration from the landscapes and natural resources of the backyard, very much like Ena and Gordon Baxter did when they first started making jam. From there, the distillery manager, Martin, and his team created a crystal clear and exquisite gin to tickle any small-batch aficionados' taste buds.
You can explore the wonderful Glenrinnes Distillery and organic estate here and shop for the Glenrinnes Distillery Baxters of Scotland Limited Edition London Dry Gin
Kinloch Anderson Baxters 150th Anniversary Tartan Napkin Occasion Cracker
This beautiful and bespoke tartan was created to celebrate the company's 150th anniversary, with purples inspired by the Highland heathers. blues inspired by the River Spey and greens to symbolise the fertile lands on which the family business was built. The napkin was designed into a reusable, washable piece of textile magic, tied with velvet ribbons and featuring one of Ena's legendary recipes for Fochabers gingerbread. It was designed with sustainability and craftsmanship at heart and intended to dress the table of a gathering of those you love.
You can explore the full Kinloch Anderson offering here and shop for Experiences with Kinloch Anderson here
Trakke Baxters of Scotland Nettle Fabric Chef's Apron and Knife Roll
If I had to pick another highlight, it would be have to be the collaboration with Glasgow-based Trakke who design durable, built-to-last bags and textiles. The day we met founder, Alec, we could feel his passion for quality, built-to-last products, hand-crafted with the finest materials. Circling back to thoughts of Ena's nettle soup, we chose a 'salt and pepper' canvas material made from 45% nettles sourced from Dundee and went to work crafting an apron and knife roll to complement our hamper's food offerings. It felt like the ultimate kitchen accessory with Darren, our Innovation Chef and Culinary Lead, trialling them from the start.
Find out more about Trakke here and shop for the Trakke Baxters of Scotland Nettle Fabric Chef's Apron and Knife Roll here
There are so many more 'wee' stories I could tell but I will leave you with the thoughts of those for now.
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Written by Liza Moran, Creative Manager, at Baxters of Scotland. You can connect with Liza Moran on LinkedIn.
Images from Glenrinnes Distillery and Kinloch Anderson.