Thursday, September 01, 2011

The remarkable story of Andrew Ewing and the Buttercup Company - The Scotsman


Once upon a time he founded the Buttercup Dairy company, which at its peak boasted 250 shops across Scotland. Now a new book tells Andrew Ewing's largely forgotten story, which did not have a happy ending
HE CHANGED the face of Scotland's high streets and was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his time, but few today would recognise the name Andrew Ewing. His life story is one of riches to rags, for Ewing died virtually penniless, having given away almost all he owned.

As the founder of the Buttercup Dairy empire, Ewing made an important contribution to history. But, as the shops disappeared from our streets, so too did their story.

Only those with very long memories would today recall a retail empire that, at its peak, boasted 250 shops across Scotland, employing hundreds. The Buttercup Dairy's livery was near-ubiquitous in much of Scotland's Central Belt and lasted more than 60 years. But ultimately this is a story of a successful business that was eventually undone by the generosity of its founder as much as by increased competition and bad luck.

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