Maple LEAF BAKERY has unveiled a new £12m bagel line for the New York Bagel Company at its Rotherham site.The automated line has been installed in a new building and, according to deputy managing director Guy Hall, is believed to be the largest in the world producing bagels by the traditional method of simmering the dough in boiling water.“It’s like a new factory,” Hall told British Baker, “and unique in the UK.” The new line is the second at the company’s Rotherham plant and will provide capacity to meet demand in a category said to be growing 20% year on year. It has created 50 new jobs, bringing Maple Leaf’s total staffing to around 500.New York Bagels are sold by major retailers and contain 2.5% fat and less than 1% salt. The firm also supplies frozen and ambient private label bagels. Hall said that all bagel sales are made in the UK and currently there are no plans to export to Europe, but added “don’t rule it out”.In addition to bagel production, Maple Leaf produces pretzels at its Southend plant, speciality Italian-style breads and hand-held snacks in Workington and sliced breads, bake-off and speciality breads at the former Harvestime factory in Walsall. This was bought out of administration in March this year.
Italian restaurant and deli chain Carluccio’s announced last week that turnover for the 52 weeks ended 24 September 2006 was 24% ahead compared to last year. Profit before taxation for the same period is expected to be slightly ahead of the board’s expectations.The company achieved its target of five new openings in the 2006 financial year, bringing the total number of stores open and trading to 27.Its bakery range includes ciappe Ligurian bread, bruschettine al rosmarino, sandoliva olive grissini and baci di dama – traditional Piedmont biscuit kisses.Locations opened during the year were: Westbourne Corner, Oxford Castle, Brighton, Chiswick and Richmond. The company is currently in the process of fitting out a new store Brunswick, London, and has secured a site in Walton-on-Thames.Carluccio’s gave the update ahead of the announcement of its preliminary results.
Warburtons is launching a new Healthy Harvest loaf, available from 19 February.The 800g white loaf is said to have added health benefits, such as 50% more fibre than a standard white loaf, as well as being low in fat and sugar and containing added wholegrain.A spokesman for Warburtons said the new addition differed from ’All in One’, a white bread with extra fibre and wheatgerm, as Healthy Harvest had extra calcium – two slices provides over 17% RDA. He said Warburtons’ aim was not to replace one loaf with the other, but to give consumers more choice.Sarah Miskell, category marketing controller at Warburtons, said: “White bread with the added benefits of wholemeal is now worth £143m per year, accounting for 10% of total UK bread sales.”Warburtons is also trailing new Fruity Bakes bars in Scotland, available in two flavours: apple and yoghurt and red berry and yoghurt. If successful, Warburtons will roll them out across the UK.
A man has admitted holding up Mr Bunn the Baker in Long Stratton, Norfolk, using a sawn-off shot gun, while high on crack cocaine.Michael Roode appeared at Norwich Crown Court on 21 March and said he and Nigel Bestford, who was allegedly armed with an axe, held up the bakery.After pushing a gun into a bakery worker’s ear, which caused bleeding, Roode said they stole cash from the safe, emptied the tills and helped themselves to cakes and sandwiches. A digital camera was also stolen, he said.Roode said they then ushered the victim, Rosyton Owen, to a cash machine and ordered him to withdraw £200.
* By personal experience I have discovered that nothing is more valuable to a man than courtesy and mildness* In all things there is a kind of law of cycles* Endure a rival with patience * He is rich enough who does not want bread* Observation, not old age, brings experience* Thrift is too late at the bottom of the purse* “A servant must set his mind upon his business; and, above all things, be kept from idleness” – Euripides* Servants are soon infected with their masters’ diseases* “Many things, at the beginning, are counted good; which, at the end, are known to be evil” – Pythagoras
Spring 2008 sees the launch of a brand new four-day food festival in the UK, the Real Food Festival. The event is designed to reflect the focus given to food standards and, in particular, provenance and sustainability in the UK and around the world. Its aim is to bring together producers and consumers in a celebration of excellent produce, reflected in the festival’s profile as both a trade and a consumer show, with a dedicated trade day on the 24th.Hundreds of small producers in the UK and overseas will offer visitors the opportunity to explore, taste and buy their products. However Real Food Festival’s main point of difference is its Selection Panel, which has used unique criteria to appoint small or artisan producers to showcase at the festival. A total of 400 of the most passionate producers have been hand-picked, using a quality and integrity selection process, and the smallest producers are being subsidised to attend, courtesy of support from sponsors Whole Foods Market, Daylesford Organic, Grana Padano and Tyrrell’s.The selection committee is made up of a cross-section of members, who are all passionate about produce. They include Alex James, farmer, journalist and bass player with Blur; Juliet Harbutt, international cheese expert; Matthew Drennan, editor of Delicious magazine; Rose Prince, food writer for The Daily Telegraph and author; Richard Johnson, journalist and broadcaster; Sebastiano Sardo of FooDiscovery; Anthony Davidson of Localfoodshop.co.uk and BigBarn.co.uk.The trade day on the 24th includes a start-studded gala evening.== Bakery exhibitors ==Bakery products exhibitors at the festival include De Gustibus, one of Britain’s leading artisan bakers, Midfield Granola, which produces a range of luxury cereals baked in honey and sunflower oil, and The Flour Station, where Jon Rolfe and his team draw on extensive influences to produce full-bodied craft breads at a company that began life as a ’bakery in a cupboard’ in a corner of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, Fifteen. In total, there will be over 40 producers representing baked goods, cereals and pasta.Other festival attractions will include one of the largest farmers’ markets seen in the UK, the wines, beers and spirits fair, Delicious magazine workshops, and the Real Food Theatre, with presentations from top chefs, such as Raymond Blanc. A small selection of the UK’s most exciting restaurants, including Canteen and the Duke of Cambridge – the world’s first certified organic gastropub – will be serving signature dishes.Tickets to the trade day on 24 April cost £20 (excl VAT). For more information or to buy tickets as either a consumer or trade attendee, contact [http://www realfoodfestival.co.uk]Where: Earls Court 1, LondonWhen: 24-27 April, 2008Opening times: 24 April – 10am-6pm25 April – 11am-6pm26 April – 11am-7pm27 April – 11am-5pm
Online training provider The Bakery School is adding a further module to its 40-module bakery training portfolio. The module Training Matrix will go live on 5 September. Designed to support the employer or supervisor, the module will help them to set up a simple matrix system for bakery training, in an easy to follow format that will enable the operative to see the progress of the training. Current Bakery School customers have expressed their support for the website. Caroline Grant, bakery general manager at Betty’s and Taylors of Harrogate said: “We are always keen to support new training initiatives and have found the Bakery School training website very easy to use, with lots of valuable underpinning knowledge content that complements our in-house craft training programme.”Michelle Ray of Merseyside craft bakery M. Ray said: “The Bakery School is absolutely ideal for our business. We are a small craft bakery, with 14 staff on the production side. We make a huge variety of products, all from scratch. It is all very well showing someone how to make a product. but this needs to be backed up with the theory side so they know WHY they need to make it a certain way. I’m finding the “fault finding” section especially useful, as staff can refer to it whenever they make a less-than-perfect product. I can see us using the bakery school for all of our training in the future.”The site has been set up by Jean Grieves and Albert Waterfield MBE as a low-cost solution to the bakery skills gap.Visit the website at www.thebakeryschool.com or call 01942 704104.
Irwin’s Bakery are a slice ahead of the game, with the launch of its new bread sizes, ahead of a new EU directive in April 2009, which will see historical bread weight restrictions lifted.Irwin’s, based in Co. Armagh, is bringing in new smaller loaf sizes in one of its signature brands and claims it is the first bakery to offer new sizes in Northern Ireland. Irwin’s tested the waters of the non-standard bread weight market this summer by trialling three new smaller loaves in its Nutty Krust range, to gage consumer demand.The bakery decided to make its 600g Nutty Krust Sunflower & Pumpkin Seed, 600g Malted Grain, and 400g Half Loaf permanently available after 300,000 were purchased after the launch.“It’s a major step for any bakery to introduce different bread sizes after decades of uniform weight restrictions, because it involves significant investment in new product development, processing and packaging capabilities,” said Michael Murphy, Irwin’s commercial controller. “We decided to take the step, and to do it as early as we could, because our ongoing analysis is that the traditional ‘one size fits all’ 800g loaf is not what all consumers want.” Murphy went on to say that in Irwin’s British and Republic of Ireland export markets, consumer habits are quite diverse, and these new sizes will allow people to enjoy the bread they buy whilst its at its freshest and will cut down on wastage. Irwin’s also hopes its new bread sizes will help grow its export market.
As the yellow Chinese dragon reared its head and the drumming of the band became more frenzied, passers-by stopped to stare at the spectacle threading its way through Manchester’s busy streets. Behind the dragon was a formation of British and overseas members of the International Richemont Club, on their way to a special Chinese banquet to kick off a three-day gala, hosted by the British members.Around 90 top patissiers and chocolatiers from 10 different countries came to enjoy a special series of events, hosted by the British Richemont Club and its president Dawn Van Rensburg. Together with patissiers John Slattery and Liz Davidson, the event, which took two years to plan, saw guests tour historic Manchester and then visit Waterfields Craft Bakery of Leigh, where sandwich demonstrations included a Lancashire Cheese and Real Ale Chutney Sandwich, winner of the ’New Sandwich of the Year’ accolade at the British Sandwich Awards.After a superb buffet, everyone moved on to the famous Old Trafford football ground, to tour the home of Manchester United, or else visit local bake-ries in town.In the evening, a fantastic dinner took place in Manches-ter’s gothic-style town hall, where guest numbers swelled to 140 and included many sup- pliers. The decorative table-tops were all hand-crafted by Slattery’s and featured a patissier at work. Entertainment was provided by a young opera singer and a ’swing singer’ of the rat pack era.Further visits took place to Chatwins Craft Bakery at Nantwich and two of Chatwins’ shops, hosted by joint MD Trevor Mooney. Both shops had cafés and visitors saw a superb array of baked goods in the well-stocked outlets.The final visit was to Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier in Whitefields, where international members started taking photos of the celebration cake window display before they had even entered the building – a converted Victorian pub.Following a buffet lunch, there were workshops representing the four corners of the British Isles: Irish potato breads by Robert Ditty, Welsh cakes by Dawn Van Rensburg, Scottish shortbread by Ben Milne, and English breads by Chris Rose.In addition, Stephen Hallam demonstrated hand-raised pies and Slattery staff showed sugarpaste modelling and chocolate work.The visit ended with a medieval dinner at the 14th-century manor house, Samlesbury Hall, near Preston, where guests expressed their thanks for the marvellous tours, demonstrations and hospitality.—-=== Waterfields’ recipe ===Lancashire Cheese & Real Ale Chutney Sandwich(The British Sandwich Association New Sandwich of the Year Winner 2007)This sandwich is based on the tradition of eating fruit with cheese at Christmas== Ingredients ==Vine fruit bread (contains 25% fruit – sultanas 15%, currants 10%) 2 slicesReal ale chutney 20gLancashire cheese 2x 30g slicesBlack pepper to tasteLettuce leaves and rocket to taste== Method ==1. Butter two slices of the vine fruit bread. This creates a barrier and stops the bread from going soft.2. Spread 20g of the real ale (traditional beer) chutney on one slice of bread.3. Add two slices of creamy Lancashire cheese (white mild).4. Season with black pepper.5. Add mixed lettuce leaves and rocket to balance for a more bitter taste.—-=== Sponsors of the British Richemont Club gala event included: ===British BakerBakeMarkBakelsBakelineBakoHeygatesRank HovisReynardsCorunnaRenshawRondo Doge
A lot of the hype in the coffee shop market at the moment surrounds the much-trumpeted so-called ’third wave’ of coffee shops. In case you missed the memo, the third wave refers to a band of quality-obsessed indie artisans currently germinating in the capital. These follow the second wave the emergence of the big chains, Costa, Starbucks and Caffè Nero. And the first? Pretty much everything that came before. “The third wave is about real authenticity, it’s about love for what you do. It’s about environment and theatre. For the first time in a long time this is being led by independents,” said Jeffrey Young, MD of market analyst Allegra Strategies.”In Huddersfield we’re still struggling with the ’first wave’,” noted esteemed coffee shop consultant Paul Meikle-Janney, putting this somewhat London-centric observation into context. Nevertheless, he believes the phenomenon of artisan coffee shops will spread beyond the ghetto-ised clusters of coffee nerds in London. So what does this mean for food sold in coffee shops? The high-quality ethos driving the successful emergence of the third wave is, in turn, shaking the big three from their complacency to the point where we could finally gasp see them move on from done-to-death muffins and paninis.”I’ve never made a panini at home,” stated Meikle-Janney. “It’s a product that has grown with the café chains, which don’t really want to be based in food. You can buy them in, slap them on the contact grill and you don’t need to have any catering skills or knowledge. Yet is it really what our customers want?”John Derkach, MD of Costa, does not shy away from the question of an over-reliance on tired products. “The issue we face in the category is that although the average quality of food in coffee shops has improved over the last few years, we’ve probably been too internally focused and spent too much time copying and leapfrogging each other,” observed Derkach at the Allegra Coffee Leader Summit in London. “We need to break out of that paradigm and there are great independents showing how that can be done. Usually it’s with more skilled people than we can engage in all of our stores, doing more preparation in the store itself. I’m not sure we could do that. Nonetheless, we could be bolder than we have been and get out of the silly cycle of launching a meatball panini and calling it an innovation, because it’s not. It’s just another panini.”About 25-35% of people visiting Costa buy food, but its dependence on lunchtime trade stands in the way of a breakout from the rut, he said. “We so desperately need that lunchtime business to make the economics work that we end up with a broad range of sandwiches that, to some extent, stops us from really exploring the opportunities for better breakfast products and more imaginative afternoon cake-type products. [Bakery] Konditor & Cook, for example, has shown how far you can drive coffee shop food.”Outside competitionThe coffee chains are finding more competition from the likes of Pret A Manger, a sandwich chain that is winning plaudits for its coffee. It was the most admired brand among coffee shop executives, according to Allegra’s research, notching up double-digit like-for-like growth in the first quarter of this year. It grew comparable store sales by 2.6% last year and EBITDA by 11%. “The fast food or sandwich-based coffee shop operators are critical, because they seduce new users into the category new users who will continue to fuel growth in the future,” said Derkach. “That’s absolutely vital, because 53% of people don’t currently visit a coffee shop.”It’s no wonder coffee drinkers are viewed as “users”, given the market for this addictive drug grew 5.6% in a recession, accor-ding to Allegra’s analysis of the branded coffee shop market; penetration was 47% of British adults; they visit about twice a week and are very loyal. Around nine out of 10 visits are made by people who visit coffee shops weekly about 27% of the population.Despite this, the market could be reaching a tipping point. A sign of market maturity is fragmentation a classic indication being one artisan coffee shop in London opening solely to cater for cyclists. “That’s a sign of a mature market and it plays to the strengths of the independents, who will find it easier to create that type of environment,” said Paul Ettinger, head of international food and beverage at Caffè Nero.”We all assume it is going to carry on growing forever, and there’s no law that says it will. Is the market saturated? The UK has about 1.8 coffee shops per 10,000 people, so we’re getting close.” In London this rises to 3.5. “Maybe we’re in a mature part of the market and growth will slow down. What are the implications? It certainly means profits will be harder to make. New players are going to enter the market and the independents will drive quality and new ideas.”The successful indies, such as Kaffeine, Taylor St Baristas, Tapped & Packed, Flat White, The Espresso Room and Sacred in London, are thriving by tempting customers to spend more per visit. “They’re as good at food as they are with coffee,” said Meikle-Janney. “If you look at Kaffeine’s website, its display and merchandising of food really draws you in. [Bakery] Ottolenghi has great displays of food.”Where does this leave those bakeries not yet up to speed with their coffee offer? “The risk is if you do the bread extremely well and the coffee is rubbish, it lets the whole brand down,” cautioned Barry Kither, sales and marketing director for coffee supplier Lavazza. “Le Pain Quotidien and other foodservice brands are getting better and better and better at coffee.”But before you get set to jump on the third-wave bandwagon, hold your horses. Inevitably, we’re already talking about the fourth wave. “I want to get there before anyone else does!” exclaimed Allegra’s Young. “The coffee wave, which is some years out, is about the science of coffee, the perfecting of coffee through machinery, vacuum-packing and playing around with roasts.”And the fifth wave? Down-loading caffeine directly into your brain via an iPhone. You heard it here first! Why focus on coffee when you make bread? Given the competition for coffee on the high street, Le Pain Quotidien (LPQ), the bakery café-restaurant with 15 outlets in London and over 140 worldwide, is raising its game. Director of operations Steven Whibley said that while bread was the company’s passion, there was a black seam of coffee running through the business, accounting for a big chunk of profits: 40% of LPQ’s sales are from beverages, 60% of which is from coffee. “That means we’re in the beverage business,” he said. Twenty-five pence in every pound spent in LPQ is on coffee; the gross profit effect of that means coffee accounts for a third of profits. “The average coffee shop takes in around £7,500 per week. We take in four times that, so our average shop is selling as much coffee as your average coffee shop.”One of the challenges is providing a quality coffee when it’s not the core business focus. “I’m not 100% proud of our coffee,” he admitted. “Most days it’s pretty good, some days it’s very good it’s never as good as we want it.” LPQ currently sells triple-certified (Fairtrade, organic and World Land Trust) Puro coffee, made on Faema X5 bean-to-cup machines, with the supplier providing two-hour service call-outs and barista training. “After five years we have a very good relationship and we’re pretty happy with the coffee; now we’re starting to look at really improving it and getting up to the level of the indie guys. I don’t think we’ll get there, but at least we’re going in the right direction,” he said. This means a switch to manual machines for its next store, opening in Borough Market, London Bridge.