“MONEY in the bank doesn’t mean happiness,” says Sir Boyd Tunnock, owner of the Tunnock’s tea cake empire. “Happiness is being respected by your staff.”

Speaking on the Go Radio Business Show with Hunter & Haughey, the 88-year-old entrepreneur joked that he was disappointed if he didn’t get two or three bids a year to buy the business, which was founded by his grandfather, Thomas Tunnock, in 1890.

“If I get a bid, I just put on it ‘NIMT’ and I send through to my secretary, who types the letter: ‘No interest meantime,” Sir Boyd said.

“You daren’t actually go into negotiations like that. They maybe put a lot of pound notes in front of you. And you’ve had a bad week, [so you might say] why am I working here when I can have all this money in the bank?”

Donald Martin, editor of The Herald, noted that Sir Boyd had been blessed with three daughters, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren, so the Tunnock dynasty would be around for a long time.

Sir Boyd said his daughter Karen was his “right hand man” and that his family was taking the lead. But he added: “Before they do anything radical, they always run it in front of me just to see what I think – and on 99 out of 100, they’re right.”

Asked whether the business, which is based in Uddingston, had ever had tough times, Sir Boyd said: “Ten years ago or so, we were making money – and we’ve always managed to make money – but it was a bit tighter.

“And if things get tight, you’ve got to say, right, how can we be more efficient?”

In response to Covid-19, Tunnock’s ceased production to protect its 600 staff.

The factory reopened several weeks later after social distancing measures were put in place.

Sir Boyd said: “Touch wood, so far we’ve managed to weather the storm this year. We were closed for four and a half weeks, completely stopped. And then by the time you start up again, and people are off…But the government have done a great job by giving us furlough money. It’s kept many of us afloat.”

He added: “You make your own luck. I remember an American tell me that business was 95% hard work and 5% luck, but you needed the 5% luck more than anything.”

Sir Boyd said it had felt “wonderful” to receive a knighthood in 2019, but he was always sorry that his father, Archie, had never received an honour, because he did so much.

“He served his time as a baker and went to Hamilton night school,” Sir Boyd said.

“I remember him telling me that his father said to him, remember Archie, if there’s any spare icing, bring it back and that’ll do for the empire biscuits tomorrow.

“Before the First World War, father had a Ford Model T and was also doing taxi hiring at night.”

Sir Boyd said he never knew of his father borrowing money. “He worked within his own means. And our factory was working 24 hours a day for about four days a week.”

Sir Boyd said his own daily routine generally involved getting to the office before 6am.

“I’ve seen me occasionally go in at half past four, but that means you’ve got to go home and get an hour in the chair and sit in front of the fire,” he quipped.

The biggest pleasure he gets is giving somebody a job. Being nice to people is important, he said.

“You’ve got to treat people as you would like to be treated,” he said.

“You’ve got to remember the people who helped you on the way up, because maybe on the way down, it might be more difficult. And we all know that circumstances change.”