Bearsden patisserie crowned best hospitality business

Bearsden patisserie, Helmi’s, has been crowned the best hospitality business in Amy Callaghan MP’s inaugural East Dunbartonshire Hospitality Awards.

East Dunbartonshire MP Amy Callaghan with staff at Helmi's, Bearsden
East Dunbartonshire MP Amy Callaghan with staff at Helmi's, Bearsden

This is an impressive accolade for the popular patisserie which only opened in Bearsden in 2020. Helmi’s, which is owned and run by a family who fled the war in Syria, expanded into East Dunbartonshire after enjoying success on the Isle of Bute.

It has quickly cemented itself as a popular offering in East Dunbartonshire’s hospitality sector.

Helmi’s came top of a final shortlist of five businesses that also included Billington's of Lenzie, Cafe Alba, Melts Milngavie, and The Honeybee Bakery. Nearly 1,500 members of the public voted in the final round in what Amy Callaghan MP described as a “very close-run competition”.

Ms Callaghan has since written to the four runners up thanking them for the “spirit” in which they participated in the awards. In the letter, the local MP said that the “engagement from businesses and the people of East Dunbartonshire was greater, and more enthusiastic, than I could ever have hoped.”

The awards were launched in June to support local hospitality businesses after a tough two years for the sector.

Throughout the awards process, Ms Callaghan has been keen to stress that these were community awards, with each phase of voting asking members of the public to contribute with nominations or votes.

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The awards picked up momentum throughout July, with an initial 500 people nominating their favourite business, 700 voting to create the shortlist, and 1,500 voting for the winner.

The local MP has also used the awards to highlight the struggles facing local families as a result of the cost of living crisis, and for every business she visited she donated a bag of food to East Dunbartonshire Foodbank.

Ms Callaghan said: “Congratulations to Helmi’s on becoming the first winners of East Dunbartonshire Hospitality Awards. It was no mean feat, coming through a crowded field of fifty nominated business, and to rise to the top of a shortlist of five brilliant venues.

“Any one of the five shortlisted businesses would have been worthy winners, and it really was a very close-run competition.

"On the final day of voting, four of the five businesses could still realistically have won. I was on the edge of my seat watching the final votes flood in.

“The whole idea behind the awards was to shine a light on our local hospitality businesses, and to encourage people to try cafes, restaurants, and bars they may not have visited before. The awards might be over, but I’ll keep plugging these amazing venues.

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“We’re so lucky to have such fantastic businesses on our doorstep.

“I’m working hard to support local businesses and the local community – so keep your eye out for other projects like this and, of course, for the next hospitality awards in 2023.

“Thanks to every one of you who got involved. These are your awards, and Helmi’s is your winner.”