0

Asda awards own-label bread contract to RHM

first_imgAsda has transferred own-label business worth an estimated £10 million a year from Allied Bakeries to RHM Bread Bakeries.Allied will stop supplying private-label to Asda at the end of February, apart from two lines – its “Big Loaf” in medium- and thick-sliced. It will continue to supply a range of branded goods.The loss of volume, which could be up to around a million loaves a week, will mean Allied will have to review its bakery operations, speculated baking industry city analyst David Lang from Investec. “Allied’s new CEO Brian Robinson will want to have a look at restructuring to bring throughput in line with capacity,” he said.Allied recently picked up a chunk of Tesco’s business from Harvestime (2005), which would mitigate the loss of volume, he added. Asda bakery director Huw Edwards told British Baker the decision to transfer to RHM was taken on a “whole range of issues”. “We never look at it purely on price. It’s about quality and service as well,” he said. Asda’s own-label range will remain as it is after the transfer, Mr Edwards added. However Asda will update packaging to bring it in line with its new-look morning goods range, relaunched in Autumn with brighter packaging. “We are taking the opportunity to make the range look more contemporary,” said Mr Edwards.Allied took over the Asda business about three years ago. In a statement, it confirmed the changes, but noted: “Allied continues to supply Asda with a wide range of bakery goods, including brands such as Kingsmill, Allinson and Burgen.”RHM said it did not wish to comment.last_img read more

0

First winners at Firkins bakery

first_imgStaff of Firkins bakery’s Cannock branch are to go an all-expenses-paid shopping trip, as part of an incentive competition devised by the Midlands-based firm.Each of the six staff at the Market Hall Street branch were also given a £100 profit-related bonus for providing good customer service. Manager Lesley Rimmer said: “When we were told, at the end of last year, that we’d be rewarded with bonuses and treats if we improved on past performances, we thought it would be great if we managed to get the prize. Now we’ve won it, we’re really chuffed and I know we’ll try even harder to win again. I think it will be harder in future, as the other stores will step up their game now.”last_img read more

0

Labour of love

first_imgThe coffee shop culture is not a new concept in the Lake District National Park, but recently, the trend has been reaching out to those in search of more than just the afternoon treat of tea and scones. Forward-thinking bakery owners Phil and Ruth Eastwood, a husband-and-wife team, say they will soon be accommodating ’Stitch ’n Bitch nights’, in a newly opened café area next to their Oak Street Bakery in Windermere.Named Coffee Bar 7, it opened just in time for Christmas. It serves Fairtrade coffee, freshly made cakes, soups and sandwiches, all prepared in its bakery next door. On windy, wet days, which occur far too frequently in the Lake District, the coffee shop is a welcome addition. Its walls are painted with vibrant colours, using red tiling and warm finishes, giving it a Moroccan and contemporary feel.”It’s those little details and finishing touches that we’re proud of,” says Ruth. “Everything is a labour of love, down to the individual fresh flowers presented on each table, to the choice of music buzzing away in the background.”The bakery next door has been open for seven years. “We wanted to do something a bit different,” says Phil. “I didn’t want to just make a white, a brown and a Granary.”After being a production manager at Sayers in Liverpool for over nine years, Phil decided one day to take the plunge. He and Ruth headed for the Lake District National Park. “We wanted a complete change and a new life. It’s the attitude and atmosphere that we love; it’s so beautiful and laid back.”The move to open Bar 7 follows the controversial opening of Costa Coffee and Tesco Express in Bowness last year. The multi-million-pound Tesco and Costa developments have transformed the town and have met with both resentment and excitement. “Although the Tesco Express does have a bakery, it doesn’t seem to be affecting us at the moment,” says Ruth. “But it’s causing real misery to some of the delis and sandwich bars in town.”According to the Eastwoods, the most regrettable part of their job is when, at least once a week, an ex-baker comes into the shop. “You can spot them a mile off,” says Ruth. “They start poking their heads around the corner, looking at the ovens and asking lots of questions about the breads. It’s always the same story – a supermarket has opened up near their bakery, putting them out of business.”The Eastwoods’ strength lies in making a wide range of artisan breads, from chocolate bread to Polski chleb. The only other bakery nearby is a Greggs shop two doors down. “We do compete for business,” says Ruth, “but at the end of the day, our offering is completely different to theirs. One of our sandwich offerings includes humus and salad in a Mediterranean bread. It’s delicious.”Oak Street Bakery makes about 30 different types of bread on a rotational basis. But on any day, Phil will make up to 18 different loaves. One of the most popular is a Mediterranean bread, made with olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, basil, cheese and olives. Commenting on the bread, Phil says: “We’ve recently been varying these ingredients and have produced a tinned bread with roast peppers and ham running through the middle of it. It’s like a meal in itself.”The bakery charges £2.95 for this particular loaf and it’s extremely popular, adds Phil. He explains that his customers are not at all fazed by paying high prices for quality artisan bread. “It’s actually our customers that tell us we should put our prices up,” adds Ruth.A lot of the bread at Oak Street Bakery is made from scratch, but Phil occasionally uses mixes from Ireks and Puratos. “Someone from Ireks showed us a spelt and honey bread, which was very popular,” says Phil. “We need to use these mixes sometimes, as the keeping quality is greatly improved.”Half of the bakery business is wholesale. Its biggest customer, Lucy’s of Ambleside, comprises a deli, café/restaurant and a wine bar. The strange thing, explains Phil, is that Oak Street has never marketed for wholesale. “It has come through word of mouth. We’ve had to turn down work, as I already work too many hours. That’s what I was trying to get away from.”== finding staff ==Oak Street has had problems recruiting staff. In Windermere, property is expensive and workers are usually only available during the holiday seasons. “We have employed chefs in the area who have baked a bit of bread, but when they come to work here, it’s a completely different profession,” says Ruth. “The last chef lasted about 12 months and said he didn’t realise there would be that much volume.”Now, however, the bakery has a committed driver and three bakers helping Phil. The three new recruits are all Polish. “We are slowly going to let the lads introduce more Polish breads into the bakery,” says Ruth. “The custo-mers love it.” nlast_img read more

0

Watch out for changes to grievance law

first_imgBusinesses should be aware of changes to grievance procedures, warned legal expert Ray Silverstein, in a talk on employment law at the Bakers’ Fair in Sheffield.He told visitors to the event on Sunday, 19 October, that from next April, current statutory minimum procedures will be replaced by a revised Code of Practice, to be introduced by the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), together with non-statutory guidance.Most businesses currently follow a standard three-step procedure – a written statement, followed by a meeting, then an appeal meeting. According to ACAS, the new system will offer “greater flexibility”, but Silverstein believes it is “pretty vague”. He said he would advise businesses to continue to follow the current three-step procedure alongside any new guidelines.last_img read more

0

Vortex brings in green spin

first_imgSAVortex, a company founded by Syed Ahmed, a participant in BBC’s The Apprentice, claims to have launched the greenest hand-dryer – The Vortex. It features unique patent-protected spinning air technology, using no heating elements and recovering energy as it works.The Vortex can dry hands in 10-15 seconds and its low heat emissions can help reduce electricity bills. It has the lowest carbon footprint dryer in its class, said the firm.The hi-tech aluminium casing is coated with an anti-bacterial layer for hygiene.’’www.savortex.com’’last_img read more

0

Baking Industry Awards seats sell out!

first_imgTickets for the Baking Industry Awards have now sold out! Those of you who have secured your seats for the industry’s premier event, hosted by top comedian Ronnie Corbett, are sure to have a fantastic night, and we are delighted to announce that Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing will provide entertainment on the night. Darren, who now dances with his wife Lilia, won the second series of Strictly Come Dancing with Jill Halfpenny and recently starred in the third series alongside Gloria Hunniford.The 1930s-themed awards, which take place at the Park Lane Hilton, London, on Tuesday 8 September, will be full of all the top names from the industry, so provides a great opportunity to network.last_img read more

0

Riverside Bakery for sale as administrators called in

first_imgMiddlesbrough-based Riverside Bakery has gone into administration, leaving 35 jobs in the balance.Accountant Baker Tilly has been appointed administrator and hopes to sell the business as a growing concern.The firm has traded as a wholesale baker of bread buns for 25 years, supplying schools, colleges, sandwich shops and other food retailers.Joint administrator Mark Ranson said the bakery had found the current economic conditions increasingly difficult.”However, we are optimistic about selling the business as a going concern and safeguarding jobs.” he added. “In addition to being well-established, the bakery has a strong reputation across the north east and, in recent years, has invested in modern production facilities.”last_img read more

0

Winter warmers

first_imgBy Max Jenvey of Oxxygen Marketing Partnership, a strategic management agency that delivers business acceleration processes and brand development within the foodservice, bakery and convenience retail sectorsWith all that wind, rain, sleet and snow it’s a miracle anyone ventured out over the holiday season, but thankfully they did and most of them were looking for winter warmers! Our colleagues from market research firm him! found that 78% of café and coffee shop customers enjoy their food in-store, spending up to 45 minutes to relax and unwind. Knowing that customers spend a little longer in-store during the winter months, it’s important to increase their average spend. Him! said that 49% of café and coffee shop visitors would take advantage of a discounted refill; so half of your customers would potentially spend more if you combined two or more items for as little as a 10% discount off the total price.Turn the coldest time of the year into your opportunity to sell more than the competition, with comforting winter warmers along with hot drinks. If you don’t already sell coffee, then now is the perfect time to start.Warm up your customers with some traditional British winter warmers; popular favourites are soup and a roll, toasted sandwiches and the classic sausage roll. Also, consider the different times of day, as it’s important to promote the right products, at the right time, in the right place. Starting with the morning, according to him!, on average people leave their homes 13 times a month without breakfast. So why not offer different toppings and fillings for croissants baked beans, cheese, bacon or sausage, for example, to improve your breakfast menu. Regarding lunch, him! reminds us that not everyone eats between 12 and 2pm, so ideally, winter-warming lunch food should be provided between 11am and 3pm every day.At supper time, it’s about the combination of comfort food with a healthy twist for example, vegetable hash or sticky warm flapjacks made with fresh oats and honey. Or why not capitalise on the nation’s weakness for apple and cinnamon combinations?Start 2010 off with a bang. Review your offer now, look at what you are selling, what sells well and what opportunities exist to increase sales. This is an ideal time of year to plan ahead.last_img read more

0

Firkins announces shops closures and planned openings

first_imgTroubled bakery chain Firkins is closing three of its stores, just a few months after the chain was bought out of administration for the third time.However the West Midlands company – now trading as Newbridge Bakery – is set to open six stores in the region and insists it is trading positively.The 28-strong chain has closed shops in Kingstanding, Stourbridge and Harbourne in the last week, claiming they were “no longer appropriate for the needs of our growing business”. A spokeswoman said: “In Stourbridge, we are currently looking for new premises; in Harbourne, the deal has already been done for a relocated store that will be opening soon.” She added that the business was currently trading positively and that it was in advanced negotiations for a further five shops within the region. “We cannot reveal their location yet for commercial reasons.”There are no plans for further closures.The firm and 200 jobs were rescued by MD and sole director Ian Bolderston in December 2009, following his recovery of Firkins Bakery in 2006 and again in 2008.last_img read more

0

9 September, 1938: A weighty sack

first_imgOne of the features of the Baking Exhibition is the fact that bakers from all over the world congregate there. The British Baker stand seems to be the meeting place of all the interesting folk in the bakery world, and it is well for those of us who have to do a bit of writing that it has its secluded portion, where we can work undistracted by the interest we cannot but feel in all the bakers from far and near who are to be found around it. On the stand of the Millers’ Mutual Association was an outsized bag filled with flour. Everyone making a donation of three pence for trade benevolence was invited to guess the weight of flour contained in this tremendous sack. Whoever guesses correctly gets the flour as a gift. One tough old baker held it lovingly within his grasp and, with florid face, gave it a hearty wrench to see if he could move it. As it must have weighed about a ton, he did not move it very far. Whoever wins, we hope they will not have to carry it out of the hall themselves!last_img read more

1234