The Pastry Manufacturing Company, based in Salford, which manufactured a range of baked products including pies, has been placed in liquidation.The company, which produced frozen unbaked pies, sausage rolls, pasties, potato-topped pies and fruit pies, ceased trading on January 23 and its 100 staff have been made redundant.The Salford site was the former head office of Fresh-bake Foods, which went into administration in June 2004. Management of The Pastry Manufacturing Company purchased the assets to form the new company.Rob Sadler and Mike Saville of Begbies Traynor were appointed as joint liquidators on January 26. “After lengthy discussions it was agreed that the company was not financially viable and the solution was to place it in liquidation,” Mr Sadler told British Baker. “It is a great shame that financial pressures have led to this situation.”
(King’s Lynn, Norfolk) has launched a new cook-chill capability in partnership with sister Aga Foodservice company, Eloma, and is offering guidance and advice on implementing cook-chill systems for all types of situations for bakery.Cook-chill systems are designed to provide increased flexibility in the kitchen, while ensuring that food safety guidelines are met. The system involves the preparation and cooking of food, followed by rapid chilling or freezing and storage at controlled temperatures. The food is then regenerated before service. The system is safe and easy to use, provided all HACCP guidelines and EU legislation are correctly followed, says the firm.
Retail bakery chain Cooks the Bakery has revealed it currently has 100 outlets, down from 121 at the start of the year.The company, formerly Three Cooks, had 158 shops when it went into administration in November 2006. Chairman Geoff Peppiatt bought 121 of the shops from administrators, renaming the business Cooks the Bakery.He said he has put a store refurbishment project and a roll-out of a new-look ’Cooks’ fascia on hold.Instead, he was “concentrating on other areas of the business”, he told British Baker. He declined to give details, but indicated that these include special projects, such as a healthy canteen partnership at a comprehensive school in Maidenhead, which Cooks introduced in September 2006.
In his articles for British Baker Tony Phillips said what most of us think but are too frightened to say. Not for him a mass of meaningless gibberish and jargon, trotted out on every occasion by many so called business leaders.His writings were full of common sense, a commodity in very short supply. He will be greatly missed.Patrick Sullivan, Managing director, Frigova ProduceRoy Flint, a great asset to the NAMB, lost his fight against cancer on Wednesday 4 February. Roy came up through the ranks of the London and South East Region to become the youngest male NAMB president in 1995. From sterling work as chairman of finance, he went on to be a no-nonsense treasurer of the association.Roy was a craft baker as well as a supplier to some major supermarkets. Initially the business was made up of Roy, his dedicated wife Elizabeth, son William in the bakery and James in marketing. William is now heavily involved in health and safety and James joined the police force.Roy was proud of his family and grand-children. In his spare time, he was also a keen sailor. Roy is another character of the NAMB and will be truly missed by those who knew him.Gill Brooks-Lonican, CEO, NAMBRenowned pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre passed away last month.This was particularly sad news for myself, and Honeyrose, as I had the privilege of doing my apprenticeship with him at his Paris school, Ecole Lenôtre, in the mid-1980s. He took me under his wing, perhaps as I was learning French and new to Paris, and encouraged me to join his staff while I finished my training there. I can still remember when Gaston would make the rounds at his school all the apprentices would be terrified – he did not abide incompetence and was highly vocal, not shying from giving public dressing-downs if he felt they were deserved. But he was equally generous in his praise when he found that spark in a student that had tried, that had “it”. We lived for that praise.Once graduating from Ecole Lenôtre, I was honoured to be asked to join his management team, starting with internal staff training at Lenôtre, and then went on to open Lenôtre’s operations into the German market. I started Honeyrose Bakery in the UK, based on craft baking skills I had learned from Gaston Lenôtre.Lenôtre’s Paris production centre had 500 bakers baking by hand, inimitably focusing on quality and taste. He proved that quality hand-baking can be a scale business by growing the company to over 35 stores in 12 countries, then selling it to the hotel group Accor in 1985.Lise Madsen, Founder and MD, Honeyrose Bakery
Now we’re not suggesting making the likes of ’hash cakes’ to sell to your customers, but hemp, which has around 20,000 different uses, can be used as an ingredient in various forms (which have no drug content). Hemp seeds can be cold-pressed into oil, which leaves a ’cake’ that can then be milled into flour. Paul Jenkinson of Yorkshire Hemp said that using 5% hemp flour in bakery gives products added colour, texture and a nutty taste. Products cannot be made using 100% hemp flour and Jenkinson recommends using 5-10% hemp of flour weight. Hemp seeds are rich in protein – around 34% – and are gluten-free, so can be used with potato or rice flour for gluten-free products. Shelled hemp seeds can also be added to bread, cakes or flapjacks to add to the texture, or as a topping. However, it loses some of its nutritional benefits as a topping, due to heat exposure in the oven.As well as its nutritional benefits, Jenkinson explained that it has a number of environmental benefits too. For example, it does not require the use of pesticides for cultivation and can prosper on poor-quality land. It is why the Persians call it ’king of seeds, seed of kings’, said Jenkinson.Businesses already using hemp in bakery are Judges Bakery in Hastings, East Sussex, Duchy Originals and Ryvita.For details visit [http://www.yorkshirehemp.com]British Baker’s legal expert Ray Silverstein briefed visitors on forthcoming changes to employment law, warning of changes to grievance procedures (see news section), a consultaton that may result in staff being granted more flexibility in requesting time off for training and also advised on what to do if you’ve lost trust in your employees.He told visitors to Bakers’ Fair that the government consultation over greater flexibility on the right to request time off for training could result in changes to law emerging in April 2009. “Bakeries should review their training programmes for employees at the moment and think about what sort of training programmes you would allow them to go on,” he said. He also advised bakers, presented with a request for flexible working hours, to ensure that “whenever you do agree for someone’s request for flexible working, state, it’s on a trial basis, so it’s not taken as a permanent decision”.When it comes to what employees tell their bosses, too many issues such as sick leave are taken on trust, he said. “There is nothing wrong with hiring a private investigator to check up on an employee who says they are too sick to work and you don’t believe them.”He also said businesses are well within their rights to put up CCTV around the workplace if they suspect theft, but that it’s advisable to make employees aware of it.
There are plenty of opportunities to grow Fairtrade in the bakery sector, according to Harriet Lamb, director, Fairtrade Foundation.Fairtrade has seen a 70% growth in sales over the last year, and Lamb believes it will not suffer in the face of the current financial climate. “We’re just at the start of looking at the bakery sector and how we can scale up Fairtrade within it,” she said.Daniel Buckland, a buyer at AMT Coffee, said his firm found that, with Fairtrade bakery, it’s all about creating demand. “The products we’ve had out there didn’t exist until we created them and they have been successful,” he said, explaining that very rarely does he get suppliers coming to him with a Fairtrade product. “You have to push suppliers and do a lot of the research yourself,” he added.
Palmers’ pie partyPalmers Bakery in Haughley is to celebrate its 140th birthday on 4 December by giving away free mince pies with each purchase. The Bakehouse, established around 1752, was taken over by William James Palmer as a bakehouse, pastry cook, booksellers and newsagents in 1869. The business, which produces fresh breads and confectionery, is now run by father-and-son team Kenneth and Kieron Palmer.Winter warmerBeyond the Bean has launched the ’Hot Choc Box’ deal designed to help add revenue to existing sales of winter beverages. The kit contains 12 new Zuma mugs, six bottles (and pumps) of Sweetbird Syrup including mint chocolate, sugar-free vanilla and butterscotch flavours, chocolate menus, mini marshmallows and counter point-of-sale. It is available for £49.99 when you buy a case of Zuma Hot Chocolate.UK coffee festivalBath is to host the UK’s first coffee festival from 15-16 May, 2010. The outdoor event will celebrate everything related to coffee, and will be an opportunity to showcase and sell products. The main festival area will host around 100 exhibitors, while other events will take place at venues across the city.Valentine’s dayVirginia Valentine, owner of Altrincham cake company Angel Cakes, has won the Spirit of Inspiration Award, sponsored by Barclays, which recognises people who have turned their lives around by starting their own business. Valentine, who also won British Baker’s National Cupcake Week Window Dressing Competition last month, set up the business two years ago, following a traumatic upbringing and overcoming alcoholism.
Celebration cake maker Mich Turner MBE has revealed exciting plans for 2011, including new premium branded cakes for retail, a book, a range of baking utensils and the UK’s first cake-making tuition app.Little Venice Cake Company’s (LVCC) branded cakes feature new packaging and will be priced sub-£10. They arrive following a new licensing arrangement with a cake manufacturer. The cakes include triple-layer couture chocolate truffle cake, decorated with chocolate pine needles and hand-moulded truffle roses; and a triple-layer elegant vanilla velvet cake.An LVCC baking equipment range, to launch in May, will include everything from baking tins to smoothers, knives, scissors, piping bags, nozzles and tools. “We’re looking to upgrade on everything that is currently available, and make it best in class,” said Turner.The smartphone app, set for mid-2010, will feature recipes and how-to masterclasses, with seasonal add-ons, such as Christmas cake decorating. “Our masterclasses have become so popular, not just from people in this country but from overseas, and there’s only so much of me to go around,” explained Turner. “When we have the app, you’ll be able to tap into that expert knowledge, any time, anywhere.”Her next book, Cake Master-class, scheduled for February, is a technical and in-depth series of step-by-step guides. Turner explained: “Being a scientist, it follows quite a scientific approach to the world of baking, filling, frosting, covering and decorating cakes. So there are lots of whys and wherefores behind making things.”l See BB in January for an exclusive Mich Turner masterclass
Nearly 70% of independent retailers are doing well. And, within that 70% figure, independent bakers are among the most popular on the high street, according to a new report from the Local Data Company.Bakery shop closures are cancelled out by the number of bakery shops opening. But it is not all good news. Sales at independent food stores fell by just under 1% and are down 3.4% on the previous year. The biggest year-on-year drop since records began in 1988. The value of food sales rose by 1.3%.According to Local Data’s Matthew Hopkinson: “Location is key, including which end of the high street and certain regions are performing better.”Nineteen per cent of all types of independent shops are empty in large centres in the north west, north east, east and west Midlands. In Yorkshire and the Humber region it is even higher, at 21%. The Kent coastal town of Margate has the highest number of empty shops 34%.Liz Peace of the British Property Federation said: “The challenge for local authorities is to work with businesses, including retailers and landlords, to sensibly manage this transition and to be creative in looking for new roles for empty shops.”Also see feature ’The mean streets’
Craft Week closeDon’t forget National Craft Bakers’ Week kicks off on Saturday 19 September, so make sure you’ve got all your special point-of-sale material ready, and are geared up to show consumers all that you can offer in your shops. A PR Toolkit and poster promoting A Big Taste, the NCBW sampling event, are in this issue of BB.Hovis toasts new lineHovis has relaunched its toasting range, with new packaging and recipes. Its Thick Crumpets, Soft white Muffins, Scotch Pancakes, and Fruity Teacakes, will also feature new packaging, while the teacakes and crumpets, will be made to a new recipe to “improve softness and taste”.Thorntons sees lossThorntons, the high street chocolatier, has marked its centenary year with record sales figures, but posted a loss of £1.1m after it was hit by £5.4m in impairment charges, such as high rents. Revenues increased by 1.7% to £218.3m in the year to 25 June. Pre-tax profits dropped to £4.3m from £6.9m.Morrisons profitsMorrisons has posted a strong set of results for the half year to 31 July 2011. Turnover was up 7.4% to £8.7bn, with underlying profit up 8% to £442m. The supermarket said its promotional offers such as bread and milk for 50p had been “extremely popular”.