So you want to know about how we got to where we are today? You've come to the right place. Get yourself a cuppa and a piece of shortbread, and catch up on the last 45+ years at Dean's.

1985 - Ten years on from our beginnings in Helen Dean’s kitchen and after securing two retailer listings, we moved into a converted grocer’s shop to cope with increased demand.

1992 - We relocated to our purpose-built factory, where we remain today. We also produced our first premium tin range this year. Almost thirty years later and it's safe to say our tins look a little different today!

1993-9 - In 1993, we reached and important milestone by achieving £1million in turnover and the following year, HRH Prince Charles officially opened our purpose built bakery. And finally, in 1999 our first TV ad aired in Scotland and the Gift Shop was expanded to cope with increased popularity.

2006-7 - Continued growth led us to significantly expand our warehouse and distribution unit to 20,000 square feet and our production facility to 60,000 square feet.  The expansion of our premises resulted in our employee numbers growing to around 140. One year later, we opened Scotland’s first visitor attraction dedicated to shortbread incorporating a factory viewing gallery, gift shop and bistro.

2011-12 - We built our new amenity and office block, incorporating a new canteen, changing facilities, laundry, open plan office, boardroom and new reception area. During this project an important part was preserving at least some of the front garden area that was iconic to the approach to Dean’s and reflects what you can expect inside the building. This new development improved working conditions for most of the core team, from factory operators to Directors. In order to complete this construction we had to buy a stretch of land from our neighbours, around half of which forms the team car park and bike shed and the office block sits on the other half.

2013 - Our mascot Shortie, joined the family and we released our latest advert on STV. Visitor numbers continued to grow leading to investment in a major refurbishment of our popular café bistro and gift shop.

2015 - Happy 40th Birthday to us! We celebrated 40 years with the launch of our first gluten free shortbread range and a delicious whisky fruit cake, in collaboration with Tomatin.

2017 - As part of our future plans to extend the production space, we completed our Linnorie warehouse project. The near 20,000 square foot internal space now forms our main warehouse facility and includes staff facilities also. The warehouse roof has a 50kW solar array on it that helps power the facility during daylight hours. A couple of years later we added our Ecommerce fulfillment facility, that has since been extended in 2022.

2018 - Our hugely successful Steven Brown Art range was launched with new designs being created in 2019 and 2020. The range remains one of our most popular lines across the UK and internationally.

2019 - We launched an Oor Wullie shortbread keepsake tin in 2019, in celebration of this fairly local loon. 

2020 - Following the success of Steven Brown Art and Oor Wullie, we collaborated with Peak District photographer Villager Jim featuring stunning images in a unique, keepsake slider tin.

2020-21 - We followed up the Linnorie warehouse project by converting warehouse 2 at Depot Road into Bakery 2, and installed a new process in the same factory...chocolate enrobing! The new facilities also include a purpose built NPD (New Product Development) kitchen. 

2021 - We launched this brand new website! Our new CHP (Combined Heat & Power) plant was commissioned, which uses natural gas to generate electricity for the site and the residual heat is used to heat water and for heating Bakery 2. 

2023 - Our new Shortbread Hearts launch in time for Valentine's Day and prove extremely popular, being enjoyed all year round. 



Helen Dean

About Image

Helen first started baking her delicous shortbread to raise funds for Huntly Pipe Band.