Wholesale bakery The Bread Factory has opened its new 18,000sq ft bakery, after a year of planning and six months of building. The company, which won British Baker’s Speciality Bread Award in 2005 (sponsored by Tesco), has moved its three bakeries from Stanmore and Park Royal in London to one Hendon plant. Trading director Tom Molnar said the £1.5 million investment had allowed the company to bring all its talented bakers together, to share expertise and create new products.The Bread Factory has been baking breads and morning goods for over 15 years. It currently offers a range of 300 products, including British, French, Italian, sourdough breads, bread rolls, specility baps, sandwich loaves and morning goods. Its client list includes first-class hotels and high-end retailers.The firm, owned by Ran Avidan and Tom Molnar. both formerly of management consultancy McKinsey & CO., and Gail Stephens, founder of The Bread Factory and Baker & Spice, has 90 employees, including 40 bakers.
ADMINISTRATORS are in exclusive talks with a potential buyer for Birmingham baker M Firkin. They hope to sell the business as a going concern in the next few weeks. The 136-year-old firm, which has 53 shops and a central bakery, called in administrators on January 10.
I have just read Sylvia Macdonald’s Viewpoint (British Baker, 29 June) and the last two paragraphs were a breath of fresh air.It is about time that this industry spoke up with one voice. For too long we have had various sectors just putting forward their own parochial points of view, without looking at the wider picture.Which body will lead this move? It needs a heavyweight organisation or person from this industry to push this idea forward, so that we can talk to the government and bodies such as Improve with one voice.You have raised the issue. It is now up to the industry to get its act together before it is too late.Henry Jefferies, EddingtonHungerford, BerkshireIf you feel strongly about the views expressed in these letters or have any other points to make, please email us on [email protected]
Warburtons is kicking off a national promotion of its wholemeal range this September, in order to give the nation a ‘fibre boost’. It is also launching a mini online drama called ‘The Seeds of Love’ featuring its Seeded Batch Loaf. Warburtons’ Fibre Provider campaign follows on where its 2007 campaign, ‘Are you getting enough’ left off. Its aim is to raise awareness of the importance of fibre in peoples’ diets. The Nation’s Fibre Provider is running across its wholemeal range, and emphasising its recently launched Wholemeal Fibre Boost.The campaign will incorporate press ads, a sampling roadshow and the launch of a microsite www.fibreprovider.co.uk. The website will offer tips from a health expert as well as recipes and a fibre intake monitor. “The viral mechanic for the ‘Seeds of Love’ campaign is a first for Warburtons and allows us to engage with our target consumers of women aged 35-64 in a more interactive way,” said category manager, Katie Rowson. ‘The Seeds of Love’ mini drama series can be viewed at www.bitesizedpassion.co.uk. The campaign will be promoted on-pack, via a viral email and on-line.
Enzyme price riseAB Enzymes is increasing the price of most of its baking, food and speciality enzyme products by 10%, with immediate effect. All prior contracts will be honoured and are unaffected by the increase. Eric Marks, vice-president of business operations, said: “The price rises are necessary to cover part of the cost increases in raw materials, energy and overhead costs, incurred in recent months.”Focus on British FoodBritish Food Fortnight, which runs from 20 September to 5 October, is into its seventh year and is encouraging all sizes of business that make and serve British food to get involved. For more information on how to get involved, see [http://www.britishfoodfortnight.co.uk].Dessert indulgenceColchester’s Indulgence Patisserie is launching premium frozen desserts in the UK and France. At present, Booths in the UK and Auchan in France have listed two of the retail products – Tiramisu and Milk Chocolate Cheesecake.Scone madJackie Nevin from Nibbles Café in Newbiggin, Northumberland has created 42 different varieties of scone, including Turkish Delight, Mint Chocolate, Hawaiian (cheese, ham and pineapple), Plum and Cheese & Chive. Her customers tell her she should be in the Guinness Book of Records, but she plans to concoct a few more first – perhaps up to 57 varieties.Pro2Pac’s new sitePro2Pac, an exhibition focused on processing and packaging in the food and drink industry has launched its new event website – [http://www.pro2pac.co.uk]. The next biennial exhibition will take place at ExCeL, London, from 15 to 18 March 2009, alongside IFE09.
Scottish coffee chain Beanscene has been sold to the entrepreneurs behind Glasgow’s Fifi and Ally restaurant chain, securing 130 jobs in the process.Fiona Hamilton and Alison Fielding will take control of the 14-strong chain, which will see the company treble its turnover to £6 million. Restaurant and retailer Fifi and Ally launched in 2005 and currently has two outlets in Glasgow.”Initially, we’ll extend the food offer,” said Fiona Hamilton. “The two brands complement each other – Sex In The City meets bohemia. Some branches will rebrand as Fifi and Ally’s new express food concept, while others will retain the Beanscene identity.” She said they have a loyal customer base, strong funding and a new management structure.KPMG became administrator for Beanscene on 24 July after its former owners hit difficulties.
The British Society of Baking’s (BSB) annual golf day will be held at the world-famous Belfry on Tuesday 28 April, teeing off at 1.30pm in a shotgun start. As last year, it will be played over the Brabazon course.The day costs £125 per person and includes coffee and bacon rolls on arrival, a token for the driving range, 18 holes of golf, a three-course dinner, prize-giving and entertainment with an after-dinner speaker. The BSB has been offered a deal for accommodation on the Monday evening at £139 per person B&B. Golfers who want to book a room can contact the Belfry direct, mentioning the BSB.For a place, contact Keith Houliston on 07885 652039.
Are you a plant baker with a green conscience? Do you ever worry about what happens to all those plastic bread bags used to sell your loaves in the supermarkets? Are yours recyclable, for example? Or do they go straight to landfill?Well, Stop the Week has come across a nifty idea from Malaysia, that might just catch on: why not recycle used plastic bread bags by weaving yourself a basket! And not only that… bread bags make the basket nice and soft – ideal for delicate shopping items such as eggs. Okay, so you do need a couple of other items, such as a few stakes and possibly a base to weave the bags around, but just look at the colourful result you can achieve. Hey, when it come to linking recycling with bread bags and shopping, you can rely on STW to come up with a snappy solution!
Craft bakers are using an innovative website as a low-cost way to help advertise their business.The website www.mypersonalbakery.com, which was launched last year by bakery ingredients supplier CSM UK, allows bakers to produce bespoke point-of-sale materials in a range of sizes from A1 to A5, which can be used to create posters, counter-top displays and wall-hanging designs.The developement of the site, which was sparked by National Craft Bakers’ Week last year, is designed to further support craft bakers across the UK, said CSM.Many including Andrew Hallett, general manager of Malcolm Barnecutt Bakery in Cornwall, have reported a positive response from their customers.Hallett said it had previously been too expensive for a family-run artisan bakery to get individual bespoke POS materials. He added: “Using window posters to attract passing trade and counter displays to influence customers in-store, we can confirm that the displays did actually work and resulted in additional sales that we can attribute directly to the use of point-of-sale.”
Reports are surfacing that staff at Fox’s Biscuits’ Batley site will ballot for industrial action, following their rejection of a 1.5% pay offer, with additional performance-related bonuses.However, a source said that at a recent meeting with union members, the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) representative did not get the support for industrial action that he wanted. “We’ve offered employees a 1.5% pay increase guaranteed, with an additional 0.5% if Fox’s achieves its yearly targets, and additional bonuses if the firm exceeds them,” said a spokesperson for parent firm Northern Foods. “The BFAWU has asked for a flat 3% increase, but in reality workers could earn upwards of 3% with our offer.” The proposed wage increases would take effect from April, to coincide with the new tax year. “All other unions across our other sites, including Uttoxeter, have accepted this offer,” he added.A BFAWU representative was unavailable for comment.>>Bakery sales up at Northern Foods