Rachel’s baking has the EDGE

Rachel’s baking has the EDGE

A young entrepreneur from the Scottish Borders has scooped a Scottish EDGE Award and £20,000 to help grow her gluten-free bakery.

Rachel Parker took home the Young EDGE prize, as well as the five-figure grant sponsored by Harper Macleod, after setting up The Frangipane Bakery in Coldstream.

The 30-year-old from Eyemouth claimed the largest grant ever awarded to a Young Scottish EDGE winner, after using her own experience of requiring a strictly gluten-free diet to create the business which offers gluten-free goods.

The awards

Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth entrepreneurial talent.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the keynote speech for this year’s awards on 7 December, which saw over £1.6million worth of loan and grant funding handed out to 42 businesses of high growth potential.

Two panels of industry expert judges were impressed by the strong community focus embedded in the business thinking and its strong social values, combined with Rachel’s personal story.

The Young EDGE award is Rachel’s latest recognition, having won the Innovate UK Young Innovator award last year.

This award allowed The Frangipane Bakery to secure a workshop premises in Coldstream, with Rachel also working with South of Scotland Enterprise’s Business Coach for Youth-led Enterprises, who provides weekly guidance and support.

Next steps for The Frangipane Bakery

The Scottish EDGE grant award will go towards completing the fitting out of Rachel’s premises and will allow the development of a new e-commerce website so the bakery can offer mail order.

It will also allow Rachel to grow her team, with plans to employ three extra members of staff.  

Jane Morrison-Ross, Chief Executive of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), said:

“SOSE is delighted to see a young South of Scotland entrepreneur earn national recognition at the Scottish EDGE awards - the first Young EDGE winner from our region.

“Rachel is a wonderful example of the brilliant young entrepreneurs we have in the South, and she has demonstrated real innovation, determination and resilience.

“I am really proud of the support the SOSE team has provided Rachel on her journey.”

Rachel Parker, Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Frangipane Bakery, said:

“I’m delighted to receive this Scottish EDGE award, alongside such positive feedback from both panels of industry experts.

“I set up The Frangipane Bakery to give people requiring a gluten free diet a choice, as having coeliac disease can be very inhibitive, especially when eating out or with friends. 

“This grant gives the bakery a huge boost to share not just cakes but joy. 

“I’ve never forgotten my first time visiting a dedicated gluten-free patisserie in Paris and want to bring that experience to others.

“However, it is about so much more than just the food. It is about having choices, sharing in celebrations, and no longer being excluded from social situations which so often revolve around food.

“I look forward to getting the premises finished soon and opening our order books.”

Steven Hamill, Chief Operating Officer of Scottish EDGE, added:

“We are delighted to have Rachel as our top Young EDGE winner for Round 20 of our competition. 

“She is such an inspiration, and our judges were so impressed with her ambition to make a positive impact on the local community through her business. 

“We are looking forward to supporting Rachel on the next phase of her exciting of her journey.”