In 1898 JOSEPH WALKER lived with his family in the beautiful highlands of Scotland and had a happy and ambitious dream of producing the finest shortbread in the world. Though only 21 years old, he set about with determination to develop nothing less than a recipe that would result in a perfect and delicious, all natural shortbread.
To his delight, Joseph Walker succeeded in creating a lasting culinary legacy that became, first, a regional favorite. From his small bakery shop in the charming village of Aberlour-on-Spey he created cookies that soon became popular throughout the highlands. A faded photo of Joseph’s first delivery wagon pulled by his black horse “Luvie” is today a treasured family heirloom. Little did Joseph realize that over 106 years later, his original recipe shortbread would still be baked in Scotland, but now loved the world over.
Today, Joseph’s grandchildren Joseph, James and Marjorie carry forward the family tradition from Abelour. They now operate from one of Europe’s most modern bakeries, combining the latest state-of-the-art technology with traditional methods and offering over 50 varieties of shortbread and many other baked delicacies. Walkers shortbread is the best-known and leading food brand exported from Scotland. It is distributed to over 60 countries and has received numerous awards for excellence–and yet it is baked as it always has been, using the finest pure creamery butter, flour, sugar and salt without any preservatives, colorings or flavorings. The cookies are prepared in small batches so that they receive the utmost attention and are packaged in the company’s signature red tartan plaid cartons and tins with ribbon logo at the peak of freshness.
Because of the care given to the selection of the finest quality ingredients and to each and every step in the baking and packaging process, it was a smooth transition for Walkers to offer kosher products and reach an even wider consumer audience. All of Walkers baked kosher products are prepared under the supervision of the Kosher Division of the Orthodox Union and proudly bear the widely recognized OU symbol of certification.
The Walkers kosher line includes such popular varieties as Shortbread Fingers, Shortbread Petticoat Tails, Highlander Shortbread, Shortbread Rounds, Almond Shortbread, Chocolate Chip Shortbread, Hazelnut Shortbread, Wholemeal Shortbread and Royal Shortbread, as well as a variety of Oatcakes (Scottish crackers) which are delicious with a range of toppings from hard and soft cheeses to jams and other spreads.
For 2004 the bakery has introduced two more kosher products. One is adorable little animal shaped shortbread cookies in the forms of Teddy Bears, Highland Cows, Scottie Dogs and Sheep. Walkers Animal Shapes Shortbread are bound to appeal to children, parents and grandparents alike. The new product is packaged in a 6.2 oz carton and contains 12 of the cookies, three in each shape.
Another new offering this year has the aromatic flavor of America’s favorite spice–cinnamon–baked into Walkers new Cinnamon Shortbread Rings. Twelve of the classic scalloped ring shaped cookies are topped with Demerara sugar for an extra delicious crunch and are packaged in a 5.3 oz carton.
When asked to what he attributed Walkers’ longevity and success, James “Jim” Walker responded, “We’re still a village bakery and we’re still a family bakery. We’re run by bakers and not accountants. It is the product that is paramount. There aren’t any compromises. Quality is our only goal.”