Délifrance UK Ltd (Southall, Middlesex) has launched two pastry options, ham and cheese-filled croissant and a raspberry-filled croissant.The company claims they are in line with growing consumer demand for continental products that can be enjoyed on the go.Produced from French flour to an authentic recipe, the flaky croissant pastry encloses a creamy cheese Béchamel sauce with chunks of ham and is topped with grated Emmenthal cheese.The raspberry croissant is covered in layers of soft, light pastry with a sweet raspberry centre, finished with a sprinkle of crunchy crystallised sugar.
Wholesale Polish bakery T&W Bakeries says it is considering moving after being targeted by local yobs.The company, which employs 20 staff in Sevenoaks, Kent has had windows smashed and staff have complained of racist abuse directed at them.CEO Monika Wodke told British Baker the company moved to the premises last May and has been targeted by gangs of 15- to 16-year-olds. Her 24-hour operation was an attractive target to them as the other buildings on the industrial estate were closed overnight, she suggested.She said: “Over the winter it was quiet, then they came back about a month ago and, since then, they’ve been coming back every single weekend.”The thugs smashed seven windows and four windscreens at the site in just one night last month. Police are investigating the attacks. (See T&W recipe, pg 26)
Heavy rain during the summer means there is probably not enough UK wheat to produce bread to our exacting quality standards in the coming year.It is now generally agreed that 2007 has been a poor harvest for both quality and quantity in a number of regions of the UK. This is a problem because in the past few years we have been using up to 80% of the UK wheat harvest for breadmaking. This situation inevitably has made us more vulnerable to year-on-year variations in the UK supply. It’s not a surprise, then, that we sometimes have to top this up with imports.Despite the unusual summer weather and the wider problems of wheat supply and demand for food and non-food uses, our millers are able to provide flour of consistent quality for breadmaking by buying wheat from other countries.The situation is not always so good in other parts of the world. Many countries in the Middle East and Africa have to rely almost completely on imported grain, arriving through a long supply chain. This can lead to inconsistent performance in the bakery. As a result, adjustments have to be made to the recipe or breadmaking processes. The result is extra time and cost in the bakery and products that vary on a regular basis.It is a tribute to our millers that they are able to supply breadmaking flour of consistent quality, whatever the UK climate throws at us. It also reflects well on our bakers as they know the flour quality needed to make their products.
“Aaaaaarrgh ****! Somebody PLEASE make it stop!”- BB features editor Andrew Williams goes into panic when a glitch in his out-of-office reply starts spewing out emails to every single message in his inbox, some dating back to 2005, with one baffled recipient hit with an astonishing 109 emails in 10 minutes”These rare coffees have been slowly hand-roasted for around 12 minutes to ensure that we maximise the potential of each coffee. The final roast colour is quite dark to ensure that the espresso is perfect for a smooth latte or cappuccino.”- David Cooper, creator of Caffe Raro, thought to be the most expensive coffee in the world, selling for £50 per cup at the Peter Jones department store in London. What he fails to say here is that the coffee is made from… dung! Asian palm civets dine on the ripest coffee berries, digest the flesh and poo out the beans, which are then collected, washed and roasted. Yum, can’t wait to try it
Vera Foreman, training manager – apprentices, Morrisons”I’m in favour of a Bakery Academy, but they must listen to members of the industry.”Mike Hollins, tutor, Tameside College”It’s important that any industry has its own identity. We really endorse it. It’s the way forward. The industry has been in decline and we need to look at what we can do for the future.”Gordon Sibbald, tutor, Leeds Thomas Danby “Further education colleges will all welcome this. It will mean we can start pushing for real qualifications.”Christopher Freeman, director, Dunn’s Bakery”Either we go with this and make it work, or the government imposes it on us. If the government ends up running things, that will not solve the problem and we will end up worse than we are.”
New regulations mean that drivers of commercial bakery vehicles will need to be even more careful if they are to avoid roadside fines of up to £200.The graduated fixed penalty scheme went ‘live’ in May, which means Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) enforcers can now issue fixed penalties to drivers for infringements detected during roadside checks. Last year, 15% of HGVs received prohibitions for drivers’ hours and tachograph infringements – a tachograph records the vehicle’s speed and whether it is moving or stationary – the average fine being £190, with a maximum of £5,000. For bakers looking to squeeze more value from their supply chains and keep the cost of bread down, tachograph performance is, therefore, a fundamental area not to be overlooked.Employers also face fines, licence suspensions and revocations if their Operator Compliance Risk Score is impacted – worryingly, the number of prohibitions issued rose by 50% from 2007 to 2008. Drivers can help reduce potential tachograph infringements, with one of the biggest reasons for non-compliance being failure to produce tachograph charts. However, tachograph information is useless unless it is interpreted intelligently, so it pays to select a provider based on more than just initial cost. Tachograph customers should ask their supplier if it can offer on-site analysis and staff training, as well as just a range of data solutions. For more information on tachograph compliance, visit www.fta.co.uk/services/tachofta.
An increasing number of Waitrose bakery products look set to hit the market as the supermarket announced plans to increase its presence in the UK convenience market.Through a development of new formats and channels, Waitrose aims to make its stores “accessible to more customers”. It plans to ramp up its convenience store openings, and has announced plans to trial smaller 2,000-4,000 sq ft convenience shops, with the potential for 300 outlets in total. So far it has opened two 5,000-7,000 sq ft branches, in Trinity Square, Nottingham and Clifton, Bristol, with two more planned to open this year.It also plans to open a further nine motorway service station sites as part of its franchise partnership with Welcome Break, following the successful trial of two outlets, on the M40 at Oxford and the A1-M25 at South Mimms. Its convenience stores currently offer a range of bakery products and a patisserie counter, which sells freshly made sandwiches and baguettes, for example. Its service station outlets do not have counter facilities but offer a range of sandwiches, said a spokesperson for the supermarket.Managing director Mark Price added that the supermarket had already broadened the appeal of its brand, with innovations such as Essential Waitrose, the ‘Seriously’ range of indulgent cakes and desserts and Duchy Originals from Waitrose.
We recently secured a new site to add to our existing portfolio of iCafé stores. For me, the past few weeks have involved constant meeting after meeting to make sure our new flagship store is the best it can be in every aspect.There are many different factors that play into building a successful store and each of them carries a lot of weight. While the right location is vital to the success of a new store, building a store that draws loyal, regular customers takes a bit more than just location. Factors that add to the success of one store may not necessarily do the same for another. However, there are some fundamental basics that have to be spot-on for any independent coffee shop or café to grow, regardless of their size or number of stores.Here are some essentials that one should have at the top of the list:1 Delicious desserts are the ideal accompaniment to great coffee. Sandwiches, paninis and other light snacks are also a great addition to the menu when open through the lunch or dinner time. Make sure to buy the best ingredients or options available from your suppliers. A muffin is not just a muffin; some are mouth-watering and delicious, when others are just not. Careful planning will make a huge difference. Taste each product before selecting this for your store.2 Friendly, skilled baristas, not just button pushers, are the heart of a successful store. Skill is important, but people really respond to a friendly greeting and a smiling face. Skill can be taught through barista training, but the personality of the baristas is a major selling point for a successful store.3 Excellent coffee drinks are vital, of course, but not just any coffee will do. Be sure to source the best freshly-roasted coffee available. Fairtrade and organic-certified coffees are sure customer-pleasers. At iCafé, all our coffee is triple-certified (Fairtrade, organic and Rainforest Alliance).4 Wifi access used to be a nice “extra”, but these days free internet access is nearly as important to the independent coffee shop as good coffee. At iCafé, we not only have free wifi but also terminal access for those without a laptop and it does make a big difference.5 A comfortable atmosphere will encourage customers to linger and enjoy the coffee and desserts. Large tables with plenty of room to play games or open a laptop invite customers to linger and get to know each other.Other factors that are very important are the type of lighting we have in a store with different levels of dimness depending on the time of the day. The type of music also determines customer buying behaviour. The store layout and queuing at the till are important, as well as good and comfy seats. A recent survey of 1,500 people by Mintel showed that 37% of the customers walked out without a purchase due to long queues and not finding a table. As a business, as much as queues and being busy are good, there is a limit to everything. A careful seating plan will ensure we do not lose that extra custom that comes our way.If the store is open late as ours are until 11pm nicely lit candles are a great way to create a cosy mood, especially in winter. The music should change to a more relaxed one. The lights should be dimmed to create a homely feel and of course, the cafe should be nice and warm during those winter nights.There isn’t a rule-book for having a successful coffee shop and one rule certainly does not fit all, as there are different factors involved in the success of individual coffee shops. But what is important is the thought process and the implementation. At the end of the day, planning could be perfect, but it’s no good without successful implementation.I’ll leave you with a final thought: a good idea is about 10% implementation; hard work and luck are the other 90%.
Macadams Baking Systems has introduced an “advanced space-age insulating material, created for the space shuttle when it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere” to its latest range of ovens. Called LDB Powersaver, test results, revealed at this year’s Iba exhibition, show a single rack oven fitted with the material gives a 20kw per hour saving across an eight-hour baking day. Other benefits are said to include: quicker oven recovery times after placing products in the baking chamber; improved steam generator recovery times; quicker heat recovery between baking cycles; greater overnight heat retention; and more fuel-efficient products with a reduced carbon emission footprint.
Hovis has relaunched its Best of Both brand in time for the new school term. With a focus on “putting goodness back into lunchboxes” the relaunch encompasses a new recipe, revamped packaging and two additional Best of Both lines.Best of Both Seeds (800g) and Best of Both Little One (400g) have joined Hovis’ existing Best of Both range, with the launch to be supported by a TV sponsorship campaign.Hovis is to sponsor a new prime-time Sunday night ITV quiz show, called ‘Holding out for a Hero’, where contestants play to win money for a deserving person with an amazing story.The Best of Both brand will be positioned as ‘the family hero’ with the format of the show integrated into the theme of each ident, said the firm. It will air for seven weeks from 11 September. According to Hovis, six million lunchboxes are taken to school everyday, creating a £1.23bn sales opportunity as the cost of school dinners rise. “Best of Both bread is our biggest sub-brand after Soft White, and as such is perfectly positioned to reinvigorate the segment (lunchtime occasions) and drive sales at a time when mums are making decisions about what to give their kids for lunch,” said marketing manager Sioned Winfield.Commenting on the new SKUs, she added: “We have developed consumer-driven NPD in response to trends that we had identified to premiumise the category.”