first_imgWholesaler Bako Western has relocated to a new depot on an industrial estate a mile away from its original site in Cullompton, Devon. The new 40,000sq ft building on the Kingsmill industrial estate has a 1,000 pallet capacity freezer, office space and a test bakery. It is set in a 4.5-acre site, which gives the wholesaler capacity for future expansion, Bako Western told British Baker in a statement. The supplier had outgrown its original three-acre site, which opened in 1985. This site had expanded to two buildings and additional leased storage, it explained. The need for further frozen storage capacity had been a key reason for the relocation project.The new site, which opened at the end of May, will enable Bako to obtain bulk purchase discounts, particularly on frozen goods. Frozen and chilled goods now account for over 35% of its turnover.Although the total floor area of the new site is similar to the previous premises, it is a single building, almost double the height and therefore with much greater internal capacity, said the wholesaler.The new facility has been built at dock level with dock seals, which improve the working conditions and the efficiency of vehicle loading and unloading. It stocks approximately 2,500 product lines and Bako Western also organises purchases of a further 1,200 products for direct delivery to customers. The wholesaler employs 65 staff with all employees transferring from the original site to the new one. Chairman Bob Burns said: “The existence and sole purpose of Bako Western is to serve its members.” The official opening will take place on 8 October as part of Bako’s annual trade show, which is being held at the new site. Bako Western will also be hosting the Western Region National Association of Master Bakers’ bakery championships on the same day. Up to 100 trade stands are expected at the event.Bako Western is one of five regional co-ops in the £100m turnover Bako group.last_img read more

first_imgThe biggest sales gains in soft drinks last year came from those perceived to be healthier, such as water, juices and dairy drinks, but cola is still the largest sub-category. Jason Roots, sales manager at Bako London, says Coca-Cola and Diet Coke continue to be the best-sellers, but other drinks are making gains. “We have noticed growing sales of water, flavoured waters, juices and smoothies, but the biggest trend is a move away from cans into bottles – and this is good news for retailers, as bottles sell for more than cans,” he says.His view is shared by Russell Jenkins, sales director at 22-store Camarthenshire-based baker David Jenkins. The company has traditionally stuck with the best-sellers – Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite – but is now selling more bottles than cans.Soft drinks are profitable, providing shrinkage is kept under control, and should be sold from self-select multi-deck units, Jenkins states. “We have to keep an eye on them because we do get a bit of pilferage. But if we didn’t sell them from these units, we wouldn’t sell any at all. On pricing we look at what the competition is doing, except for the supermarkets as we can’t compete with them.”As well as the big national brands, the chain supports a local one – Princes Gate water – sourced from a nearby spring, which sells 330ml and 500ml bottles and accounts for a sizeable proportion of sales.David Jenkins is supplied by Swansea-based wholesaler Top Pops, which it has been using for 30 years. “They offer very good prices and a very good service,” he says. “They used to deliver to our central warehouse, but the drinks took up so much room that we now have them delivered directly to stores. Some get two deliveries a week, others just one. But if we run out, they will come out to top us up.”Potts Bakers in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, which stocks soft drinks in four of its five outlets, doesn’t sell cans at all – just bottles and cartons. “We would sell them in the fifth shop as well, but we are restricted to selling traditional bakery lines there,” says Roger Potts, joint managing director. In the other four shops it limits the range to Coca-Cola and Diet Coke – its best-sellers – Fanta, Lucozade, Ribena and Buxton waters, plain and flavoured. Potts says it recently switched to a new wholesaler for drinks called the Soft Drinks Company, which delivers directly to each store once a week. “Soft drinks are a profitable line for us,” he says. “We sell them for more than the recommended retail price and make a very decent margin on them.”Alongside the dominant carbonated drinks, bakers need to make sure they offer bottles of a big water brand. According to Zenith International, UK bottled water sales rose by 5.3% last year, and are expected to rise from 2.1bn to 3bn litres a year by 2010. “Despite phenomenal growth over the past two decades, more consumers are turning to bottled water as their favoured soft drinks choice,” explains Zenith research director Gary Roethenbaugh.According to BMRB International’s TGI survey – figures released by Zenith in April – the percentage of adults aged 15 and over who are drinking bottled water has risen from 35% in 2000 to 55% in 2005, with numbers of male drinkers increasing. For bakers, unless you’ve got a good local source, as David Jenkins does, it may be safest to stick to the big bottled water brands. These include Buxton, Evian and Highland Spring.Evian is the number one brand of water in the UK, while Volvic is the top seller within impulse outlets. The main sales growth is coming from consumers trading-up to the larger sports cap bottles – typically from 500ml into 750ml and even one-litre sizes, which gives retailers a great opportunity to make more cash margin from single purchases.At this time of year, as temperatures rise, so can sales. Water manufacturer Danone’s studies of EPOS data suggest that, for every degree of temperature rise (above 17ºC) water sales increase by 6.2%. This means water sales can double when temperatures hit between 17ºC and 29ºC, so bakers really need to make sure they have enough in stock, and it needs to be chilled.The water companies are taking more of an interest in smaller bakery retailers and other stores. Steve Flanagan, category strategy manager for Danone Waters, comments: “As part of the impulse environment, bakeries are important to us, particularly as we have seen an increase in bottled water consumption in line with the well-publicised health trend. Our recent research has highlighted water as being the drink of choice at lunchtime.” SMOOTH OPERATORInnocent smoothies, made by the Innocent Drinks company (Shepherds Bush, London), are now available to bakers through Bako London. “In May we held a healthy eating day where we showed off low-fat cake mixes and GI bread mixes,” explains Bako sales manager Jason Roots. “On that day we had a lot of requests from customers for smoothies, so we looked into it and opted for Innocent. “The most important thing for us was the fact that Innocent smoothies are all natural products. Shelf life is not an issue, as we get them in to order.”The Innocent range comprises seven flavours and a seasonal smoothie, which this summer is cherries & strawberries. All come in 250ml bottles and the recommended retail price is £1.79-£1.99.FIRST CHOICE TAKES TIGER TO MARKETIt’s business as usual as far as UK bakers are concerned for First Choice Coffee, which was recently acquired by Netherlands-based Drie Mollen International. George Miller, managing director of First Choice says the move will “strengthen and accelerate growth and expansion plans for the brand” as it continues to target bakers. He says the company’s immediate priority is to introduce the new Tiger compact espresso coffee machine. This has been developed with patented milk texturing technology to produce freshly brewed speciality coffee at the touch of a button. Elaine Higginson, sales director at First Choice Coffee, says its Tiger machine was specifically developed for outlets such as bakeries, where a speciality coffee offering will boost profits. “When a coffee is ordered, the operator can fulfil the order while the Tiger grinds and dispenses a freshly prepared coffee,” she says. “Coffee culture has demanded the highest-quality coffee and bakeries can capitalise on this market by offering customers a quality beverage to accompany food. A customer is more likely to repeat-visit an outlet that offers the whole package.” The quality of the raw ingredients is crucial to the finished product, she adds. Grand Café 100% certified coffees from First Choice are sun-dried and slow-roasted to exact specification. The firm also has a range of Fairtrade, organic and 100% Certified Rainforest Alliance coffees.last_img read more

first_imgDisgruntled with the humdrum of the busy city life, Barry Hawthorne moved to the Isle of Skye from Cape Town. Captivated by the moody Scottish countryside, it’s here that he set up his pet project – a bakery called The Isle of Skye Baking Company.”I first came to Skye in 1998 and fell in love with the peace and quiet of the countryside,” says Hawthorne. “While living in the city, I never had enough time for my family.”Now, Hawthorne has more than enough time to spend with his wife and daughter, both of whom help him with the bakery, since he does not employ any staff. “My wife does the accounts and I handle the delivery and the baking,” he says.It’s this hands-on involvement that endears him to the local people, concedes the entrepreneur. He pointedly supports local businesses for supplies, which in turn carry his products.However, the Isle of Skye Baking Company does not simply supply its products to local shops. It also has an online shop, where you could order its unique heart-shaped shortbread, as well as oatcakes made with black ale.They also have a new range of products, such as curry oatcakes and gluten-free products lined up for Easter. But, before launching a new product, Hawthorne studies the market through an initial free tasting and constructively uses all the criticism. The tasting also works as a form of advertisement.It’s because of this insight into the market that The Isle of Skye Baking Company was nominated for two awards at the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards, for the Best New Product and Best New Business 2007.”Although we didn’t win the awards, it was such a good feeling to be acknowledged, especially since we’ve only been open for six months,” enthuses Hawthorne. n—-=== Going it alone ===The business: The Isle of Skye Baking CompanyThe brief: Anything that can be baked and may have a gap in the market.Products: Shortbread hearts, seed loaf and oatcakes.Flavours: Raspberry, ginger, lemon, lavender and vanilla shortbread. The biggest sellers are the black ale oatcakes.Finance: Grant of £7,000 from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise Company, given in monthly instalments of £600.Staff: Barry and Liza Hawthorne.Background: Worked as a pastry chef in Cape Town and trained under a German master baker.[]—-=== The pros and cons ===Biggest challenge: It was really hard to get the locals to warm to us. In the Isle of Skye, everyone knows everyone, and if we did something wrong the whole village heard about it immediately.Greatest satisfaction: I absolutely enjoy working with my wife. We are both free to work as and when we want. And, best of all, my little daughter helps us with packing and loves being part of the process.last_img read more

first_imgBakery chain Cooplands (Doncaster) is planning to expand into wholesale for the first time, after being awarded a BRC rating. The company was recently audited against BRC issue 5 and awarded a Grade B.Previously, the firm had only manufactured products to sell in its 75-shop estate, but has worked with the Regional Food Group (RFG) for Yorkshire and Humber for the last three years on moving into wholesale. The RFG aims to develop the region’s food and drink sector by delivering trade development, offered through targeted business assistance.”Our objective over the past five years has been to develop a state-of-the-art pastry department that gives consistent quality and drives down production costs for the supply of fresh and frozen pastries for bake off in our retail outlets,” explained Alan Jacques, purchasing and operations manager.This objective has seen the installation of a temperature-controlled production hall, a new Rondo Pastry Make-up line, a spiral freezer and a 250-pallet freezer. “From the outset we realised that this would give us large excess capacity, and enable us to develop a wholesale business. Our current focus is to make potential customers aware of our move into this market.”Jacques said Cooplands’ main focus will remain on its core retail business, “with no alterations to our existing plans for expansion.” It will treat its wholesale business as a separate entity. “We have also recently purchased two Jiffy vans offering a delivery service to businesses in and around Doncaster,” he added.last_img read more

first_imgWhen doctors and dentists condemn white bread, they are told occasionally by bakers that they do not know what they are talking about; when faddists cry out for “mother’s” bread, attempts are made to show them that baker’s bread is the superior product. At all times, whatever the complaint, the utmost patience is extended towards the complainant. In fact, many a baker’s roundsman, to keep a customer who takes a few loaves a week, has to put up with rudeness that would cause the average docker or shipyard worker to drop his tools at a moment’s notice. And now the President of the American Bakers’ Convention has come along to press a button that illuminates all these shadows. “As the days go by,” he has said, “I am reaching a definite conviction that most of our troubles are not troubles at all, but misunderstandings.” Some of us came to the same conclusion a good many years ago.last_img read more

first_imgA bakery in Felling, Gateshead has closed voluntarily following an outbreak of E.coli in the area. Myers Bakery is currently being investigated as the possible source of the infection, which has so far been confirmed in nine adults, with six other possible cases in the Gateshead area, as British Baker went to press. All seven confirmed cases had purchased cooked meats or sandwiches from the shop before it closed on Wednesday 11 November. Dr Kirsty Foster of the Health Protection Agency said: “Myers Bakery’s owner is co-operating fully with the investigation and the shop remains closed while this continues.”last_img read more

first_imgCoffee kiosk and cafe operator Puccino’s Ltd has gone into administration, following the sale of leases for 43 of its units to Puccino’s Worldwide. Its 29 remaining units ceased trading immediately.Puccino’s, which previously had 86 coffee kiosks and cafés, entered into an agreement with Puccino’s Worldwide on 8 December 2009, said administrator Tenon Recovery. Under the agreement it sold “parts of the business and certain assets” to Puccino’s Worldwide, which included the leases for 43 units, which are mainly located at train stations in the south-east.“Over the months prior to this, Puccino’s had already closed 14 of its units,” added Tenon.Kenny Craig & Tom MacLennan of Tenon Recovery were appointed as joint administrators of Puccino’s Ltd on 10 December 2009.In its financial statement for the year ended 31 December 2008, the company experienced a loss before tax of £1,657,251 compared to a loss of £793,762 in 2007. Turnover stood at £4,086,926 compared to £4,072,028 in 2007.last_img read more

first_imglCelebration cakesWhat’s hot in the world of wedding cakes? We speak to suppliers and cake makers to find outlEgg and dairy replacersSubstitute ingredients are often regarded with suspicion, but with new clean-label products on the market, is it time to look again?lNational Craft Bakers’ WeekWe introduce this year’s event, where bakers will be looking to build on the success of last year’s national celebration of craft bakinglast_img

first_imgSavouries giant Ginsters has opened its first-ever retail outlet at Manchester’s Victoria railway station.The 450sq ft hot food outlet, branded Ginsters, went on trial late last December at a high footfall site at Manchester’s second-largest station.The pilot unit sells a range of hot products, including hot drinks, pasties, panini and hot slices as well as Ginsters’ new Bara product. Ginsters’ channel controller Angus Fewell said: “It is a test scenario, but so far it is proving extremely successful and shows there is a customer demand for hot products.He explained that Ginsters would be refining the offer before starting any roll-out. “You cannot roll it out until you are sure it will be profitable. It might take a year until we even consider opening further sites.”Ginsters said it would look for partners to open any further sites with. The initial trial is a partnership with Manchester Convenience Stores.>>Ginsters broaches NPD with dough-based snacklast_img read more

first_imgPlug for Welsh pastyCaerphilly bakery Peter’s Food Service has launched a campaign to have the corned beef pasty recognised as a Welsh national dish. The product, popular in Wales since the 1940s, was often eaten by miners, according to Peter’s. As part of the campaign, it will conduct tastings in Tesco and Asda stores, as well as launching an online petition and lobbying politicians for support.First for IrelandA new eco-village in Ireland, Cloughjordan, is to see the Republic’s first commercial wood-fired bakery, according to Joe Fitzmaurice, founder of the business. Construction began in April and it due to open in three months’ time.Cake shop closureSterchi’s cake shop in Filey, North Yorkshire, has closed after 85 years of trading, although the firm’s chocolate shop will continue to trade. “You look at the accounts and takings and the simple fact is that, over the last three or four years, the cake shop has been struggling compared with the chocolate shop,” said owner Phil Camish.Burton’s accoladeBurton’s Foods’ finance director Jim Green has been recognised as Private Company Financial Director of the Year at the FDs’ Excellence Awards 2011. The firm, which produces Cadbury Biscuits, Maryland Cookies and Jammie Dodgers, launched a new business plan in 2010, focusing on its ’power brands’ and increasing NPD investmentHigh street reviewThe government has appointed TV retail guru Mary Portas to lead an independent review, designed to identify what government, local authorities and businesses can do to promote the development of more prosperous and diverse high streets.last_img read more