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Scoffable BREW: Now available in selected takeaways across Scotland

  • Announcements
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Keep your loved ones sweet this Valentine's Day

Love is in the air. Cakes are on our website. It's a match made in heaven. Whether you are celebrating your besties for Galantine's Day, honouring your long term love or trying to make a good impression on someone new, this week is the time to show someone you love how great they are. That someone might even be you. (Let's not forget the words of the great philosopher RuPaul: "if you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love anyone else?" Show yourself some Valentine's Day love instead, guilt free.) Originally known as the Feast of St Valentine, February 14 was connected with food long before giving cards and flowers were ever considered. Combine that with the latest research from Vypr where 60% of those surveyed said they would be staying at home to celebrate this year and we're seeing some cosy nights in with a takeaway on the horizon. There's plenty choice at Scoffable whether you're looking to spice things up with an Indian takeaway or go the full "That's Amore" with a pizza. Whatever you do though, don't forget a delicious dessert. We spoke to Lyndsey Gillhaney, owner of Scoffable partner Cakes and Shakes in Kilsyth, to find out what she's preparing for the week ahead. "I started out baking from home, and it was a dream of mine to open a shop one day. And now here we are! I opened Cakes and Shakes in March 2022, so this will be our first Valentine's Day. "My niece and I run the shop, and I do a lot of the baking myself. We're excited to be making treats for our customers and their loved ones this year, there's something really nice about knowing that what we've made is being given to someone and making them smile." Most days are busy for Lyndsey and the team at Cakes and Shakes, and she's expecting Valentine's Day to bring in a few new customers as well. Lyndsey starts the day out and about buying ingredients and stock. Then it's back to the shop to get organised for opening, making cheesecake pots, restocking the wide range of delicious ice creams and toppings on offer and preparing for orders for delivery coming in. She has big ambitions for 2023: "We've had a great start with Cakes and Shakes and I'm excited to see where things go in future. I'd love to see us continue to grow in 2023, as word spreads to new customers about what we've got on offer." Stuffed croissants from Cakes and Shakes Our customers are amazing and I genuinely appreciate everyone who's helped us get this far. We're looking forward to welcoming more and more cake and shake lovers in 2023! So what should you be considering for your Valentine's Day treat from Cakes and Shakes? Lyndsey does an amazing range, including different sweet munchie boxes for each day of the week! But when we asked Lyndsey for her personal recommendations, here's what she told us: "Our best sellers are our amazing sundaes and delicious homemade cheesecake pots. I sell out of cheesecake pots every week, people just love them. "Personally, I really enjoy making the sundaes. I love making all the layers of ice cream, sauce, toppings. Getting the right ratio of the different parts is key. It's like a work of art when finished. "It's hard to recommend just one thing without knowing what people like so I've got two to suggest. First our Galaxy Caramel Milkshake with cream on top. It's rich and creamy and you definitely feel like you've been spoiled. Put it together with one of our most popular cheesecake pot flavours, Kinder, and it's a match made in heaven. They never disappoint. "But if you're looking for something with the wow factor, then I'd recommend our filled croissants. I'm really proud of these because I designed them myself. We can do cheesecake filled ones, which are amazing, or if you've got a really sweet tooth, we have the Toasted Goodness. It's a croissant filled with Nutella sauce and megamallows." If you've been inspired to treat yourself, a pal or a loved one, order from Cakes and Shakes with Scoffable.

Feb 13, 2023
  • Insights

2023 promises peace, positive relationships, and amazing food, according to the Chinese Zodiac

This is the Year of the Water Rabbit, but what does this mean for us? Chinese New Year starts on 22 January 2023, with the promise of colourful, flavourful and joyful celebrations all around Scotland. Each Chinese New Year starts a year of a new symbolic animal. This year is the Year of the Water Rabbit in the Sheng Xiao (or Chinese Zodiac). We asked Scoffable partner Tai Chen, Head Chef and Business Partner at Mrs Chan's Chinese Food Bar in Whitburn, to tell us more about the Zodiac: "Sheng Xiao is a significant tradition in Chinese society and, despite being very old, is still very much respected today. There are 12 animals in the zodiac - Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each is said to have their own turn of fortune. The animals are paired with one of the five elements (gold, wood, water, fire and earth) to make its year more unique. For example, 2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit, and this is quite different to the Golden Rabbit in 2011. By having these combinations, it takes 60 years for the cycle to repeat, so it will be 60 years before the next Water Rabbit comes around." Traditional Chinese lanterns There are 12 animals in the zodiac - Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each is said to have their own turn of fortune. According to, the Rabbit represents peaceful and patient energy, while the water element brings inner peace. The year of the Water Rabbit promises a focus on relationships, diplomacy and communication, as well as bringing good luck and unexpected opportunities. The Sheng Xiao is so engrained in Chinese society that it is often used instead of asking someone how old they are, and serves as a way to get to know someone. Tai Chen explains: "It is common for people to ask which zodiac are you instead of which year were you born. I think using an animal makes people connect themselves easier." We'll have to wait and see if predictions about the Year of the Water Rabbit come true, but it could be argued that recent times have followed zodiac expectations. Tai Chen says: "Historically, the Fire Rat years have been plagued by war or famine. 2020 was the most recent Fire Rat year, and we saw unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 across the world. We can't say that a rat or dragon is a good or bad animal, they all have their turn to meet with the right element to bring fortune, or indeed misfortune, that year." You can read more about Chinese New Year traditions in our first interview with Tai. If you'd like to try some of his excellent Chinese dishes, you can order from Mrs Chan's Chinese Food Bar with Scoffable.

Jan 20, 2023
  • Behind the Cuisine

Food and family are the heart of Chinese New Year traditions

We've been talking to one of our Scoffable Partners to find out more about the traditions and symbolism behind this annual celebration. Chinese New Year takes place this month, and we've caught up with Scoffable Partner Tai Chen, Head Chef and Business Partner at Mrs Chan's Chinese Food Bar, to hear about what Chinese New Year means, and how he plans to celebrate. "Chinese New Year is a 15-day long festival that dates back thousands of years. There are lots of different types of celebrations within the New Year, with many traditions. Traditionally in China, the celebrations start on New Year's Eve with a reunion dinner. This is a family gathering, everyone takes the day off and we exchange blessings. It brings together the whole family in a harmonious, happy atmosphere. It's my favourite part of the whole event. Then on New Year's Day we wear new clothes to celebrate, greet each other with lucky words and give red envelopes with gifts to children and older people. After that we spend the days visiting friends and relatives, until the 15th day when we have a closing celebration called the Lantern Festival. Colourful Chinese New Year celebrations Chinese New Year is a 15-day long festival that dates back thousands of years. There are lots of different types of celebrations within the New Year, with many traditions. The Lantern Festival takes place at night, and people from across the community come into the streets with lanterns they have made at home. There might be lion dancing, or dragon dancing, and it's noisy and bustling with people. Traditionally, we end the whole festival by eating sweet rice balls - these symbolise a blessed and unified family. These kinds of celebrations are standard across China, although there is a difference in the food between the north and south of the country. In the north, dumplings are a common festive food, whereas in the south, poultry and seafood are the preference. New Year cakes (usually made from sticky rice) are a favourite across China but they come in different shapes, textures and flavours depending on who makes them and where you are." Tai celebrates both Chinese New Year and Hogmanay. But Chinese New Year is the bigger of the two festivities for him and his family. We asked him about what a typical Chinese New Year celebration is like in Scotland: "In the UK, we usually celebrate in big extended family groups, and sometimes with friends. Food is at the heart of our gatherings, and we cook lots of our favourite dishes and have a jolly time together. Different events happen in different areas here, depending on the size of the Chinese community, and whether the local council get involved. Many local Chinese communities such as Chinese schools or churches and temples organise dance performances and lion or dragon dances. Some councils also promote Chinese culture with food, dance or music events as well." Given the importance of food in the celebrations, Tai is positive about the impact Chinese New Year will have on his business: "More and more people in our area, and in Scotland as a whole, are aware of the Chinese New Year and want to celebrate the occasion with us, so business is on the upwards trend. Some businesses may choose to close for the full holiday, but we are open as usual. We are looking forward to our own celebrations and welcoming customers to join us for some amazing Chinese food." To sample some of Tai's cooking for yourself, order from Mrs Chan's Chinese Food Bar with Scoffable. If you're a takeaway or restaurant business, you can find out more about becoming a Scoffable Partner on our website.

Jan 20, 2023
  • Behind the Cuisine

Takeaways and restaurants are keeping high streets thriving

The number of food businesses in local communities is growing ahead of the big cities, and customers continue to order takeaway online. The decline of the high street has been a popular talking point in many communities in recent times. But new research from the BBC shows that, while banks are closing, takeaway business is booming. Between 2020 and 2022, there was a 22% increase in the number of chip shops in West Lothian, well ahead of the 6% Scottish average. It's a similar picture in East Lothian with 25% more chip shops, and a 10% increase in food and drink businesses overall. The highest increase in the UK is in East Dunbartonshire, where there are nearly 16% more restaurants, bars and takeaways than there were in 2020. Do you have a favourite local chippy? Between 2020 and 2022, there was a 22% increase in the number of chip shops in West Lothian. The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on hospitality. Restaurants, bars and cafes closed, and even when they reopened, people were more cautious about being in busy public places. We saw a considerable rise in customers using Scoffable for the convenience of being able to order takeaway food for delivery online. It meant they could enjoy a treat, but it was brought to their door safely, and it enabled them to support local businesses when everyone knew it was tough. Interestingly, the BBC research shows that high streets in local communities are performing better than city centres. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow city centres are seeing lower growth in food and drink businesses than the Scottish average. There's lots of factors that might be affecting this, but one of the biggest is probably the number of people who have continued to work from home after lockdown. There's fewer people commuting into the big cities, and so there are fewer meals with friends after work, fewer colleagues going for a drink before the train home and correspondingly fewer businesses catering for them. It was great to see interest in Christmas nights out picking up again towards the end of 2022, but the number of people choosing a takeaway isn't going down following the pandemic, which is great for small food businesses. We have supported takeaways across Scotland since 2010, so we have a perspective long before pandemic restrictions. While the media might report the findings of this research as worrying for the high street, it perhaps just signals a different type of high street for smaller communities in particular. Big brands may be moving far more business online at the expense of brick and mortar stores, but local hospitality businesses have the best of both worlds if they partner with a company such as Scoffable. They can continue to be a vibrant and loved part of the local community, but enable online orders which help to boost their sales.

Jan 13, 2023
  • Viewpoint