Firm hopes for taste of sweet success

Staff at Ross's of Edinburgh Confectionary company up for an award at the East Lothian and Midlothian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2017.
Staff at Ross's of Edinburgh Confectionary company up for an award at the East Lothian and Midlothian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2017.

An iconic confectionery brand, which had been destined to disappear after over 100 years but was saved by a local businessman, is now in the running for an award at this year’s Midlothian and East Lothian Business Awards.

Ross’s of Edinburgh – known by many for creating Edinburgh Castle Rock, and a variety of fruit flavoured creams, toffee, fudge and tablet – was founded by James Ross in 1880 and remained in the Ross family for four generations until Graham Ross’ retirement in 2015.

At that time the firm was taken over by local entrepreneur James Anderson, who had fond memories of the sweets and didn’t want to see them disappear.

He told the Advertiser: “Ross’s was destined to disappear from the streets after over 100 years and it would’ve been a shame for the iconic brand to disappear.

“Also the skill base, some with service in excess of 30 years, would’ve disappeared with the loss of 12 jobs.

“Having grown up with Ross’s confectionery, I thought it was a great opportunity to continue the brand.”

And in December last year, the team moved into new premises in Bonnyrigg which gives an opportunity for the business to expand, and it has also enabled James to recruit more staff.

“We are looking to grow our current customer base and the premises in Bonnyrigg is ideally suited to accommodate this,” he continued.

“We recruited new staff after moving as we anticipated a busy summer with this year being the 70th Edinburgh International Festival and the effects the exchange rate has had on export demands.

“One of our projections for the growth of the company is to create a visitor experience, to offer visitors an intriguing behind the scenes experience of production, and explain the heritage of Ross’s of Edinburgh.”

He said there are also plans to include a coffee shop and factory store: “The visitor experience is still at the early planning stages, but once up and running will also create job opportunities in the area.”

The company has also recently launched an updated website and have introduced a sweet subscription club.

James added: “We’re really excited to be nominated for the SME of the Year award and are looking forward to the evening.”

Ross’s of Edinburgh is one of four local businesses in the running for the SME of the Year award at the Midlothian and East Lothian Business Awards later this month.

It faces tough competition from ETS Electrical Testing, AM Bid Services and GMP Print Solutions.

ETS Electrical Testing provide professional electrical testing, maintenance and repair services across Scotlandand the north of England, while AM Bid Services helps both the public and private sector to write competitive bids.

GMP Print Solutions are specialists in direct mail print and large format print, who also offer general print services.

The winner will be revealed at the award ceremony at the Brunton, Musselburgh on October 26.