The Buttercup tells the heartwarming story of poor farm boy, Andrew Ewing, who made his fortune by building an iconic grocery empire, before giving it all away in his final ambition to die a poor man. His amazing generosity, included the donation of 100,000 eggs a week to local hospitals and charities. During the depression years of the early 1930s, many a person would also find a small packet slipped into their pocket, containing half a pound of butter or some rashers of bacon The book also tells the inside story of the company, covering its rise and fall, its wonderful design and the personal memories and stories of former staff, much of it dating back to the 1920s and earlier. Illustrated with over ninety photographs, the book is beautifully written and designed, using premium quality paper to bring out the full quality of the images.
Bill Scott was born and brought up on the Clermiston Mains estate in Edinburgh the 1950s, which was also the home of the Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Ewing. His parents and grandparents worked for Andrew Ewing's Buttercup Dairy Company - a once famous chain of Scottish grocery shops, recognisable by its wonderful tiled décor.
During his childhood, Bill was regaled with tales of Mr Ewing and the Buttercup and can still vividly recall his trips to the company's head office in a Buttercup van, as well as his regular encounters with 'the boss', who would always give him half a crown whenever their paths crossed on the estate. Bill also remembers the amazing generosity of Andrew Ewing who, because of his Christian principles, would not charge for eggs laid on a Sunday and gave away a fortune in his ultimate desire to die a poor man.
As his life moved on, Bill progressed to a career in economics and finance, but he never forgot his idyllic upbringing at Clermiston Mains or the remarkable old man who had made such an impression on him.
Following his retirement, Bill's interest turned to his family history, which caused him to discover that very little was publicly known about Andrew Ewing or his once famous chain of Scottish grocery shops. This came as a great surprise, since the Buttercup was once such a major presence on Scottish high streets and Andrew Ewing's life was quite extraordinary. So with tremendous help from the Ewing family and former Buttercup employees, often over tea and cake in various living rooms, Bill began to uncover the remarkable story of the company and the man who built it. The result was his first book - The Buttercup: The Remarkable Story of Andrew Ewing and the Buttercup Dairy Company, which was published in 2011.