Joe & Dawn Reade were fresh-faced and naïve young graduates of the University of Edinburgh when they started baking bread in a converted garage in Tobermory in 1994. The local baker was retiring, and the islanders needed someone to keep them in lovely fresh loaves.
In 1996 they bought a shop premises on Tobermory’s colourful Main Street, which became the Island Bakery Delicatessen. It was through stocking the deli with tempting speciality foods that Dawn realized that there was a bit of a gap in the market for tempting organic biscuits. Keen to make something that could travel beyond Mull, the Reades thought that biscuits seemed to be an excellent product to introduce to places beyond the island’s shores.
In 2001 Island Bakery Organics was born. Initially the range had just 4 varieties. Quality not quantity! The first biscuit customers included Harvey Nichols & Selfridges. Within the first year the company picked up several Great Taste awards and scooped an Organic Food award.
By 2007, the biscuit side of business had overtaken the deli, and the Reades made the difficult decision to sell their shop to concentrate on biscuits. Soon afterwards, plans were made to build a new bakery. The new premises were completed in June 2012. Powered by local renewable energy – wind and water for electricity, and wood for heating the ovens- the building makes Joe & Dawn feel all grown up now.