The Buttercup: The remarkable story of Andrew Ewing and the Buttercup Dairy Company

History, Biographies & Memoirs

By Bill Scott

Publisher : Leghorn Books Ltd

ABOUT Bill Scott

Bill Scott
I was born and brought up on the Clermiston Mains estate, which was the home of Andrew Ewing for over thirty years. My grandparents, mother and other relatives worked for the Buttercup and my aunts were Andrew Ewing’s housekeepers. Although I was very young at the time, I still have cl More...



Bill Scott's heartwarming tale 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.

This is also a beautiful book, being colour printed throughout on high quality paper, to bring out the best in the 90 plus photographs and illustrations

This is the lost story of the man who built an iconic Scottish business before giving it all away in his final ambition to die a poor man. It also tells the inside story of the people who worked for him, based on personal interviews staff who worked for the Buttercup as far back as the 1920s. I wrote the book because I was one of the few who knew the story and had access to the associated photographs. I also knew that if I didn't do it, the story may be lost forever.

"A tremendous piece of storytelling."

"A cracking book, and story...entrepreneur who absolutely insists he wants to die poor? Gold dust."

"Bill Scott tells Andrew Ewing's heartwarming story and the eventual demise of the Buttercup Dairy. Well written and well worth a read."

"A fascinating tale which restores a lost piece of Scottish history, while also telling the story of the man who quietly gave away a fortune in his ultimate desire to die a poor man"

"Andrew Ewing was as much a philanthropist as Carnegie"

"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." 

SHIELDS GAZETTE "It really is a fascinating story"

"A truly wonderful story of a man whose generosity to people less fortunate than himself was incredible"

"I love this book, I've read it twice. This is social history with a difference, written in a more personal way, allowing you more than a glimpse into the life of an extraordinary man, Andrew Ewing ... The book includes many lovely stories from the memories of customers and employees. 

"Beautifully written with superb pictures. A wonderful insight into a man whose generosity of spirit helped so many less fortunate people."

"I loved this book... I found in places I could not put it down and that I was on a journey into the past with a very remarkable man"

"By the time I had finished reading your book I felt the same warmth for the very human Andrew Ewing that all that knew him seemed to feel."

"For a man to have done so much is inspiring".

"'Your book is a work of art - beautiful paper, font, layout and reproductions." 

"It's excellent. I'm really enjoying the stories and the photographs.. A great tribute to an amazing man".

"The quality and attractiveness of the book is quite stunning"

"It's a fantastic story"