JG Ross cream rip hessian background
Back in the Spring of 1962 a young married couple from Daviot, Aberdeenshire, George and Betty Ross, decided it was time to achieve their ambition to have their own business. George was a qualified baker and had just completed two years managing a bakery in Braemar, so a bakery business was the obvious choice. They sold their beloved Vauxhall Victor car for £280 and borrowed £4,720 to reach the figure of £5,000 required to purchase the Premnay Bakery. In October of that year along with their 6 month old son, Graeme, they took up residence in Premnay.
The Winter of 1962/63 was one of the worst on record and indeed the roads were often blocked with snow for days on end. However, with their hard work ethic, sometimes working up to 20 hours per day, the business survived and despite the terrible conditions still managed to make a profit. Outside catering was introduced which contributed to the profitability.

Profits were always reinvested back into the business enabling shops in Inverurie and Insch to be opened. Wholesale customers from as far afield as Inverness started stocking Premnay Bakery products. The extra production needed to supply these outlets meant the business was out-growing its premises in Premnay.
JG Ross historic image
In 1972 George and Betty realised that to grow the business further larger premises were needed and relocation may be the answer. George spotted a derelict building in Port Elphinstone. Further enquiries revealed that the building was a bakery, formerly owned by the Don Co-operative. Production had ceased around 1920 just after the First World War. There were four large Scotch Ovens in the building preserved in a time warp which had last been fired up over 50 years earlier. The site also included a house and a shop all in need of major restoration.

Major alterations and improvements transformed the building to a modern bakery, which was completed in 1974. Further outlets were added over the next 20 years. The business changed its trading name from Premnay Bakery to J.G. Ross (Bakers) Ltd in 1978.
In 1997 Betty retired. Sons Graeme and Cameron, who were now working in the business, were keen to expand. George’s pal Leslie Forrest approached him about buying his bakery business. Leslie and George had grown up in the village of Daviot and had served their apprenticeships together. The business of Leslie D. Forrest was purchased and integrated into the company.

Baking continued at Portsoy, under the Forrest the Baker brand for the next 13 years before re-branding to J.G. Ross and relocating all production to Inverurie. To satisfy the increasing need for gluten free products the bakery at Portsoy was refurbished and changed to a dedicated production site baking products free from the 14 major allergens.

In 2020, due to the covid pandemic, the site was closed and production transferred to another bakery business.
In 2007 a 3.5 acre site was purchased at Highclere, Inverurie and a state-of-the-art bakery was built, including segregated production areas for chilled foods and meat products.   The bakery was designed and built in a way that not only complied with but exceeded food safety requirements. This commitment to food standards combined with a commitment to traditional craft baking proved an excellent platform for growth.

Included in the build was a convenience store and a 120-seat coffee shop, which was officially opened by Nick Nairn on 1st June 2007. The bakery was officially opened by the Princess Royal on 7th September of the same year.
Three men standing in office. The Ross family. JG Ross Highclere
Over the following 12 years the business continued to expand. The popularity of our products resulted in an increased presence in some of the larger retailers. In response to the growth and demand for food to go products, partnerships were developed with key retailers to bring J.G. Ross food to go products to a wider community.

The start of 2019 heralded a major refurbishment of our coffee shop and food store at Highclere to create a more relaxing setting, offering an exciting and varied selection of fresh food, working with local suppliers as much as possible. We hope you like what we have done.