When little Riah Totten decided to bake some scones to cheer up her neighbours during lockdown, she never imagined her touching gesture would turn into a full-time occupation.
But such has been the demand, the eight-year-old now supplies over 700 home-baked scones a week to people in her community, including key workers, pensioners and families using food banks.
The youngster makes all her scones in her mum’s kitchen – and when Belfast millers Mortons Flour heard about her amazing efforts, they agreed to supply Riah with 160 packets of self-raising flour to ensure she wouldn’t run out of ingredients.
Mortons had been contacted by the Belvoir ASD Family Support Group, a local club which helps parents of autistic children. Riah has been attending the club for two years, and founder Allison Breadon says she’s not surprised at how her home-baking has taken off.
“Riah is always trying to please people, and when the lockdown started in March she decided to bake a few scones for people on her street. They proved so popular she was soon sending them to local care homes and food banks, and began regular deliveries to key workers in south Belfast.
“In April we asked Mortons if they could help out, and we were absolutely thrilled when they agreed to supply her with all the self-raising flour she could need.
“Riah absolutely loves baking and she does everything herself. That said, she’s happy to let her mum tidy up the kitchen afterwards!”
Mortons Flour have become synonymous with traditional home-style baking since being established in Ballymena in 1835.
“Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Mortons Flour were contacted by a number of individuals who were supporting their local communities by baking breads, scones and other staples. We are always on the lookout to help our local community where possible and we were delighted to be able to help Riah ASD continue in her incredible baking efforts along with a number of other community volunteers through such challenging times.” Ciaran Harkin, CEO Mortons Flour