Carr’s Flour Mill has been around for a very impressive 180 years – what’s the secret of such longevity and success?
Our founder, Jonathan Dodgson Carr, established the principles which still underpin the business today – wheat, innovation and people. He went to great lengths to source the best wheat for the job. We still have, in Silloth, the trunk he used to send back samples of wheat from North America. He was quick to embrace the opportunities presented by new technology, for example steam-powered roller mills. And, as a Quaker he recognised the importance of looking after the people who worked for him. It’s the same for us today. The quality of our products and our service is underpinned by the wheat we use, our investment in the latest milling processes and the professionalism and commitment of our people.
Where do you source your wheat from, how is it processed and what makes Carr’s so unique?
We always buy the best wheat for the job. Our customers, bakers, food manufacturers and biscuit makers are all looking for something different from their flour. It’s our job, as the miller, to source the correct wheat and produce the most suitable blend to ensure our customers get the best, consistent results for their product. People imagine that all flour is the same but this is not the case. The flour used to make a morning roll is very different to the flour used for pastry which, in turn, is different to the flour used for biscuits.
You proudly supply flour to one of the world’s best-know shortbread manufacturers, Walkers – tell us about this partnership, how it works and what it means to Carr’s
This is where we got a bit lucky. It just so happens that the wheat best suited for shortbread is grown right here on our doorstep. It is no coincidence that Scotland has long been associated with some famous brands of biscuits and shortbread, none more so than Walkers. Our Kirkcaldy mill, still known as the Hutchison’s Mill has supplied flour to Walkers for many generations. We are proud to supply such a special business. It goes without saying that quality of product and service are paramount, but in these volatile economic times it is also important that the commercial relationship is good. We work closely with the team at Walkers to try and manage this volatility.
Any fascinating facts about the business that might surprise us?
In a typical week our mill at Kirkcaldy produces enough flour to produce 1 million loaves of bread, 10 million rolls and 16 million biscuits.
Carr’s is a long-standing member of the Scottish Bakers – what has this meant for the business?
The Scottish Bakers, which has just celebrated its 125th anniversary, does a great job for bakers and the industry. It assists businesses with technical issues and training. It also champions the quality of Scottish bakers and their fantastic products. We were also proud to gift a specially designed tartan to the association to mark their landmark anniversary.
If you were to encourage the public to do one thing during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight what would it be and why?
Take a moment to think about the food you are eating, to never take it for granted.
For further information please visit www.carrs-flourmills.co.uk