Fisher and Donaldson bread for Swiss sailors

Fife family bakery business Fisher and Donaldson has received many unusual requests over the years, but there has just been a seagoing first for the business.

When director Eric Milne picked up the phone at Cupar HQ he was met with a request for “20 pounds of bread” and at first thought he was dealing with a prankster.

His caller, however, was aboard the beautiful and imposing tall ship Thalassa. The barquentine is one of the fastest and most beautiful sea sailers of the Dutch fleet, and it combines adventurous sailing with comfortable enjoyment.

The three masted ship, breaking a voyage from Invergordon to London, had anchored just off St Andrews, and one of the passengers, Hans Held, took the opportunity to order some bread from one of Scotland’s largest independent bakery firms.

Eric said that he had been really surprised to receive the call.

“We were delighted to help and we handed over a selection of our speciality breads when crew and passengers came ashore to visit the town.

“It’s pretty unusual to see a sailing ship anchored in the bay, and it looked stunning.”

Hans explained that he is part of a group of nineteen friends from the small Swiss village of Seltisberg.

“We do our own cooking and with the help of our skipper and crew, we set the sails. We organise trips every 2-3 years.

“At St Andrews we needed bread, we were lucky to find the very best bakery in the area, and Ben Milne delivered the bread to the pier.

“His wife Olwen spontaneously offered to do a guided tour. It was excellent and amazing.

“She showed us the old cathedral, the university (where she studied), the golf course, and at the end she showed us a lovely pub for a drink of delicious beer.

“We left St Andrews with very positive impressions and we are sure that we know more than the average tourist thanks to Olwen. She was interesting and funny”

Fisher and Donaldson is headquartered in Cupar, and employs well over 100 people in its seven shops and four cafes in North East Fife and Dundee.

The main photograph shows Thalassa at anchor in St Andrews Bay, the others show Olwen and Hans, and the view from the ship towards the town and cathedral


1 reply added

  1. Held Hans September 7, 2017 Reply

    Dear Gordon
    Thank you very much for your article. We shall print in in our turn-report (with your permission). Thank you also for the name of Olwen. If you see her, please give her our regards – she was a super guide for our group and we appreciated her interesting comments.

    Greetings: Hans

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