“Be different, be better”.

The words of George Baxter encapsulate such a simple principle, yet they laid the foundations for our Scottish family business that has spanned four generations. It’s been a fascinating journey; one we’d love you to join us on.

1868
The First Shop Opens

25 year old George Baxter has been working as a gardener for the Duke of Richmond and Gordon on the Gordon Castle Estate when he decides, with encouragement from friends and family, to start his own grocery business.

George Baxter borrows £100 from family members to open a small grocery shop in the village of Fochabers.

Here, in the back shop, his wife Margaret begins making jams and jellies with fruits from the local area. They are an instant hit with the Duke and his many guests and this quality ensures Baxters delicious products find their way to the table at Gordon Castle.

 
 

1916
A New Factory

George and Margaret’s son William buys some land from the Duke of Richmond and Gordon.

Together with his wife Ethel, he builds a factory and positions it exactly 120 yards from the River Spey.

While Ethel creates an exceptional range of jams, William travels by bicycle and train to market them the length and breadth of Scotland.

 

1923
The First Canning Begins

With the aid of a hired canning machine, Ethel pioneers the airtight canning of locally grown fruit.

As a result, Baxters becomes one of the first companies in Scotland to produce canned fruits in syrup, including strawberries, raspberries and plums.

 
 

1929
From Jams to Soups

Inspired by a the sheer abundance of fine local produce, Ethel Baxter begins creating a range of high quality soups including the original recipe for the now famous Royal Game soup with venison from the hills of Upper Speyside.

Orders from the likes of Harrod’s and Fortnum and Mason’s soon come flooding in.

 

1952
Ena Joins The Company

A turning point in the Baxter story is when talented artist and cook, Ena Baxter joins the family company and with husband Gordon, creates an exciting new range of Scottish soups based on traditional recipes including Cock-a-leekie, Scotch Broth and Chicken Broth.

The foundations for the present day Baxters enterprise are set.

 
 

1955
By Royal Appointment

Inspired by a the sheer abundance of fine local produce, Ethel Baxter begins creating a range of high quality soups including the original recipe for the now famous Royal Game soup with venison from the hills of Upper Speyside.

Orders from the likes of Harrod’s and Fortnum and Mason’s soon come flooding in.

 

1960s
Becoming World Famous

Baxters is now supplying fine quality soups to shops and delicatessen stores all over the world.

Gordon and Ena develop ‘The Best of Scotland’ concept, which includes speciality foods, gift packs and tabletop accessories for top department stores in Europe, America, South Africa, Japan and Australia. Gordon and Ena are inundated with orders.

 
 

1962
Another Innovation

The company’s reputation for innovation continues when Baxters becomes the first company in the UK to introduce twist-top caps on 12oz jars for preserves.

 

1970s
Baxters on TV

Baxters becomes the Number One producer of beetroot products in the UK.

Beetroot in vinegar was first made in the 1920’s when William Baxter purchased half a ton of the root vegetable, which wife Ethel then cooked, hand sliced and bottled in Orleans Wine vinegar.

 
 

1970s
The UK’s Biggest Beetroot Producer

Baxters becomes the Number One producer of beetroot products in the UK.

Beetroot in vinegar was first made in the 1920’s when William Baxter purchased half a ton of the root vegetable, which wife Ethel then cooked, hand sliced and bottled in Orleans Wine vinegar.

 

1980s
New Flavours For A New Era

Already established as the UK’s leading premium soup brand, Baxters continues to grow rapidly - thanks to Ena and Gordon’s response to ever changing consumer tastes.

This formidable business duo now begins to experiment with more exotic flavours, preparing the company for a new and exciting era.

 
 

1992
Audrey Takes Over

Gordon Baxter hands over his title of Managing Director to his daughter Audrey.

Together with her brother Andrew, Audrey begins to develop an enticing new range of products for both the UK and overseas markets.

 

1993
A Royal Visit

A very proud day for all at Fochabers, when the company’s 125 years of food making is marked with a visit from HRH Prince of Wales.

 
 

Today
The Present Day

Audrey Baxter and her management team run a company of which her great grandparents could never have dreamed of.

The sheer scale of the operation now based in sites throughout the UK and food manufacturing operations in Canada (est.2004), Australia (est.2007) and Poland (est.2007), and the science and technology that underlies it may be far removed from the little village shop in Fochabers…but the ethos remains the same…be different, be better.

 
 
 



 
 

1868
The First Shop Opens

25 year old George Baxter has been working as a gardener for the Duke of Richmond and Gordon on the Gordon Castle Estate when he decides, with encouragement from friends and family, to start his own grocery business.

George Baxter borrows £100 from family members to open a small grocery shop in the village of Fochabers.

Here, in the back shop, his wife Margaret begins making jams and jellies with fruits from the local area. They are an instant hit with the Duke and his many guests and this quality ensures Baxters delicious products find their way to the table at Gordon Castle.

 

1916
A New Factory

George and Margaret’s son William buys some land from the Duke of Richmond and Gordon.

Together with his wife Ethel, he builds a factory and positions it exactly 120 yards from the River Spey.

While Ethel creates an exceptional range of jams, William travels by bicycle and train to market them the length and breadth of Scotland.

 

1923
The First Canning Begins

With the aid of a hired canning machine, Ethel pioneers the airtight canning of locally grown fruit.

As a result, Baxters becomes one of the first companies in Scotland to produce canned fruits in syrup, including strawberries, raspberries and plums.

 

1929
From Jams to Soups

Inspired by a the sheer abundance of fine local produce, Ethel Baxter begins creating a range of high quality soups including the original recipe for the now famous Royal Game soup with venison from the hills of Upper Speyside.

Orders from the likes of Harrod’s and Fortnum and Mason’s soon come flooding in.

 

1952
Ena Joins The Company

A turning point in the Baxter story is when talented artist and cook, Ena Baxter joins the family company and with husband Gordon, creates an exciting new range of Scottish soups based on traditional recipes including Cock-a-leekie, Scotch Broth and Chicken Broth.

The foundations for the present day Baxters enterprise are set.

 

1955
By Royal Appointment

Baxters commitment to food of the highest quality brings Royal recognition during the 1950’s.

HM Queen Elizabeth II, HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and HM Gustav VI, King of Sweden grant Royal Warrants of Appointment to the company for manufacturers of Scottish Food Specialties.

 

1960s
Becoming World Famous

Baxters is now supplying fine quality soups to shops and delicatessen stores all over the world.

Gordon and Ena develop ‘The Best of Scotland’ concept, which includes speciality foods, gift packs and tabletop accessories for top department stores in Europe, America, South Africa, Japan and Australia. Gordon and Ena are inundated with orders.

 

1962
Another Innovation

The company’s reputation for innovation continues when Baxters becomes the first company in the UK to introduce twist-top caps on 12oz jars for preserves.

 

1970s
Baxters on TV

Baxters becomes the Number One producer of beetroot products in the UK.

Beetroot in vinegar was first made in the 1920’s when William Baxter purchased half a ton of the root vegetable, which wife Ethel then cooked, hand sliced and bottled in Orleans Wine vinegar.

 

1970s
The UK’s Biggest Beetroot Producer

Baxters becomes the Number One producer of beetroot products in the UK.

Beetroot in vinegar was first made in the 1920’s when William Baxter purchased half a ton of the root vegetable, which wife Ethel then cooked, hand sliced and bottled in Orleans Wine vinegar.

 

1980s
New Flavours For A New Era

Already established as the UK’s leading premium soup brand, Baxters continues to grow rapidly - thanks to Ena and Gordon’s response to ever changing consumer tastes.

This formidable business duo now begins to experiment with more exotic flavours, preparing the company for a new and exciting era.

 

1992
Audrey Takes Over

Gordon Baxter hands over his title of Managing Director to his daughter Audrey.

Together with her brother Andrew, Audrey begins to develop an enticing new range of products for both the UK and overseas markets.

 

1993
A Royal Visit

A very proud day for all at Fochabers, when the company’s 125 years of food making is marked with a visit from HRH Prince of Wales.

 

Today
The Present Day

Audrey Baxter and her management team run a company of which her great grandparents could never have dreamed of.

The sheer scale of the operation now based in sites throughout the UK and food manufacturing operations in Canada (est.2004), Australia (est.2007) and Poland (est.2007), and the science and technology that underlies it may be far removed from the little village shop in Fochabers…but the ethos remains the same…be different, be better.