Name: GREGORY MOUTRYCompany: MOUL–BIE UK Job title: BAKERY SALES MANAGER Location: WIGSTON, LECISESTERSHIRE5amWaking up gently, I have a strong black coffee and – French oblige – two lightly buttered croissants. I listen to the radio or television to check on the roads’ status, which is very important to me.6amLeaving home, I arrive on the M1, going from Sheffield to Bristol. A craft baker has called us to ask about the Ronde des Pains concept, following a news item in British Baker (September 16, 2005). The traffic seems to be flowing well so far: it will be a good day!As bakery sales manager for Moul-bie UK, I spend a lot of time driving. My area covers England, Wales and Scotland. My car really is my office and I use this time for phone calls.7amFirst phone call with a UK Ronde des Pains member. We talk about the production and process, products, and how the concept is received. This information helps us to drive the concept forward, according to each shop’s location and situation.9amThen I call new customers, to find out how things are going with their new French products: artisan hand-crafted bread such as Campaillette Grand Siècle, a rustic baguette; Campagrain, a seeded bread; or Campaillou, a sourdough loaf.We discuss the production process and how the sales are going.10amArrive at the customer’s premises, thanks to the satellite navigation system (Sat Nav).I present the Ronde des Pains concept, from product development through to merchandising and retail promotion. With free-of-charge membership, this concept supports craft bakers and gives them access to full technical back-up (process and product development), ongoing follow-up, on-site demonstrations by me or my colleague, Claude, and a short course available from EBP, our own bakery school, which is based in Paris.I am a baker by trade, having worked for five years on night shifts in a Parisian craft bakery, specialising in Polish and sourdough breads; Claude is a Compagnon du Tour de France and travelled around France for 10 years to learn all about French speciality breads, so he really knows what he is talking about. For the retail side of the business, a Ronde des Pains member gets access to a range of packaging, point-of-sale material and merchandising equipment.At the end of the meeting, my contact decides to give it a go and join the Ronde des Pains family (now numbering more than 42 shops across the UK).11amBack in the car, I deal with phone messages and plot the Sat Nav for Milton Keynes.English miller FWP Matthews and Moul-bie have organised a Flour in Action day at Unifine Dohler’s premises, with equipment generously supplied by Mono. The first event was very successful, so we decided to do it again. The idea is to demonstrate products such as the Campa range of authentic artisan hand-crafted bread. I really enjoy these kinds of day, as I can talk about bread all day with people who have the same passion as me.2pmAfter all details are reviewed, I deal with messages and set the car’s Sat Nav for the office in Wigston. On the way, I call an industrial baker from the Midlands, for whom I did a demonstration last week. We are working on developing a new process for artisan, pre-proved frozen bread. This process allows you to produce ready-to-bake speciality breads. You store the dough pre-proved then frozen, to be baked on-site in the shop. The bread comes out freshly baked, crusty and full of flavour.3pmHaving arrived at the office, I grab something to eat in the canteen, then send the new Ronde des Pains membership form to Paris. The welcome kit will be sent directly to the bakery in three weeks’ time.I call the bakery school in Paris to talk to Lucien Megel, bakery teacher and demonstrator for Moul-bie in Europe. Lucien was my teacher 10 years ago and we have always stayed in touch. He is one of those who gave me the passion for bread and we now work together. I book a bakery room for three days. In a month’s time, I will visit with customers to show them the exact way we bake bread in France, visit some Parisian bakeries and, of course, being in Paris, go to see the most beautiful woman of the city, the Eiffel Tower.Being a demonstrator himself, Lucien travels a lot in Europe. He keeps me informed about the market and recent developments in the bakery trade on the Continent. I want to stay in touch with products; I am, and always will be, a baker.Then I call a Ronde des Pains customer who has decided to take part in a food festival and wants to include the Campa range. We discuss how the day will be organised. I will give him a hand the night before to produce the Campa range so he can concentrate on his traditional English bread. In the morning, we will go to the festival and I will bring the “French touch” to the show. I will add another point to the authenticity of the range: “Du pain, du vin et tout va bien” (some bread, some wine and all is well). Consumers enjoy talking to me about bread and about France in general.I check my e-mails and sales figures, which I discuss with Graham Emberson, general sales manager for Moul-bie UK. Before leaving the office, I put some flour bags in my car for next week’s demonstrations.4pmMy last call on the way home will be at The Sheffield College, which recently adopted the Ronde des Pains concept for its bakery shop. This time, we will organise a French day for first- and second-year bakery students. We will produce different lines, including pain paysan (farmer’s bread), rye bread, different kinds of French stick and the Campa range.It’s an opportunity for me to talk about the trade to young people, show them breads they didn’t know about and to pass on my passion.6pm The day is over and I head home. The last thing I do is check my agenda for the following day and make sure I get some croissants for my breakfast. Departure tomorrow is set for 7am.
William Reed Publishing has announced that Bake & Take magazine has moved to the company as a sister title to British Baker. The consolidation will see monthly title Bake & Take continue to be published alongside the sector’s flagship brand British Baker. The International Milling Directory, The Food Ingredients Directory, two regional bakery shows, plus Food Ingredients and Analysis, and Ingredients Health and Nutrition bi-monthly magazines have also moved over from Bake & Take publisher Pearl Media.Bake & Take will be edited by British Baker deputy editor Anne Bruce, who will work across both titles. The magazine will continue as a controlled circulation monthly publication, covering the needs of the independent craft baker. It will focus on good practice and how to exploit growing markets as well as in-depth product news.Pearl Media publisher Mike O’Brien has joined William Reed Events as show director for Foodex Meatex and will continue to have responsibility for the regional bakery shows in the short term.Bake & Take associate publisher Sonia Young commented: “We are delighted to welcome Bake & Take to William Reed. It will strengthen our interaction with the bakery market and will enable us to enter an exciting new phase of development.”
Food Standards Agency (FSA) chair Dame Deidre Hutton told last week’s Federation of Bakers conference that the agency wants to be “porous” and “as open as possible to external views” on key issues.She urged some 140 delegates at the event in London to keep working with the FSA on topics such as salt, folic acid and other dietary debates, and to maintain the existing “constructive” relationship.She called on attendees to inform the FSA of any bugbears in regulations. Some 95% of regulations in the UK came from Europe, she said, and the FSA’s mission was to keep things simple for businesses.Hutton joined speakers including Oxford Brookes head of nutrition and food science Professor Jeya Henry, Ed Garner from TNS and Ian Bentley from M&S.l See pg 13 and next week’s issue for coverage of the conference.
MY: Nothing beats the “real thing” – if your counters look great and your products appetising, they should sell themselves. But we do use our menu boards to reinforce our products, with strong photographic imagery, and this helps to increase the appetite appeal.BA: Packaging and POS are all part of the brand experience, second only to serving an authentic product via great customer service. It all helps the consumer make that speedy decision on their returning visit with the reassurance of a standard guarantee across our brands. Consistent standards are vital.FP: Branded packaging is important, as often, products can be taken back to work premises to consume and others will see the branding. We try to keep POS in one part of the shop so that customers are not bombarded and stop reading it.SW: Branding is of key importance to our business. We have just re-branded and modernised our logo. We have brought in new packaging to include a heat sealable sandwich wedge. Wenzel’s also tries to use bio-degradable packaging where possible.—-=== Industry bread-heads ===Michele Young [MY], retail & brands director, BB’s Coffee and MuffinsBritta Ashu [BA], brand manager, Upper CrustFiona Phillips [FP], development director, AuldsSarah Wenzel [SW], owner, Wenzel’s Bakery
The Worshipful Company of Bakers has announced the winners of its awards who will all get the chance to attend a course at the Richemont school in Lucerne, Switzerland.The Joseph Travelling award was won by Teresa Grant of Bakemark; the Piero Scacco award was given to John Breach of Reeves the Baker and Gabrielle Baxter from Tameside college; and the ABIM accolade went to Trevor Spinks of Dunn’s of Crouch End.Accolades were also given to the following students: Harry Clegg – Thameside College; Susina Maiden – University College Birmingham; and Holly Blackman, Nathan Giles and Mark O’Neill – The National Bakery School, London Southbank University.Blackman was crowned the top student at The National Bakery School 2009 and will be presented with the Freedom of The Worshipful Company of Bakers at the October court meeting.* There are also places available on a two-day bread and confectionery course at The Richemont school in October 2009. For further details please contact [email protected] or [email protected], or call Christopher Freeman on 07776 480 032.
The director of a Leicester-based cake-making company has been named East Midlands Businesswoman of the Year.Debbie Bass – who runs the Sugar and Ice business – beat 80 other entries to scoop the prize in the Women of Worth competition.When she bought the firm nine years ago it was specialising in cake decorating. But Debbie has expanded its premises in the city-centre, more than doubled turnover and successfully moved into party supplies, mail order and cake-decorating courses.She has also opened a shop in Coalville and plans to open a third outlet this year.“I’m absolutely delighted and over the moon,” said Debbie. “It’s such an honour.”
Premium café chain Patisserie Valerie is on target to have 125 stores by 2013, with at least six opening this year.Shops in Leeds, Bath, and London will soon follow those recently launched in Cambridge and Canterbury and the firm is in negotiations to open even more in 2010. There are already 29 Patisserie Valerie shops out of a total of 68 owned by Patisserie Holdings, which also includes stores under the Druckers and Baker & Spice brand. It has also opened two franchised Patisserie Valerie stores in Dubai and two in Bahrain, and expects to have 15 in the Middle East in the next two years.The company is owned by Risk Capital Partners, which is bankrolling the expansion said CEO Paul May. The fact the brand was well-known in London had resulted a good response when opening in new locations, while it did not have a direct competitor, which also helped, he explained. “We sell affordable treats and don’t rush people out. We also haven’t changed our offer outside London.”He added that there was no reason for the company not to continue opening new stores, but that finding sites was the biggest issue. “I’m very disciplined about costs and we look to open in reasonably affluent locations.”
Allied Bakeries reported considerable success for its Kingsmill Little Big Loaf, as parent company Associated British Foods (ABF) announced its results for the year ended 18 September 2010.ABF achieved a 7% increase in revenue in its Grocery business, to £3.4bn, but said the higher wheat costs seen towards the end of the year would put pressure on margins for 2010/11.It ingredients arm also achieved an increase in revenue of 8% over the past year, with operating profit up 18%. This improvement was driven by a strong performance from its bakery ingredients and enzymes businesses.“The yeast and bakery ingredients business of AB Mauri achieved a good result,” according to ABF. “Bakery ingredients had another strong year of growth by concentrating on expansion of its range of icings, toppings and fillings in the UK, as well as major new product launches into the craft bakery sector in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Colombia, which drove growth in South America.
Don Williams, CEO of brand and design consultany Pi Global ponders the recent success of gluten-free goodsAbout seven years ago, we started working for a tiny little brand called Mrs Crimble’s. At that time, it was worth in the region of a cup of tea and a pack of digestives and you could find it snuggled in English Heritage and National Trust outlets. Today, with no support other than the hard work of the management team and a tiny sales force, as well as some assistance from the identity and packaging oh and a damn good range of products this gluten-free bakery brand is listed in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose, and is worth around £15m.As each day passes, so our cotton wool-wrapped consumers become more irrationally paranoid about… well, pretty much everything. It seems like everyone I meet has an ’allergy’ or intolerance to something or other. In all likelihood, what they actually have is, at worst, a slight sensitivity to certain foods and, at best, a psychosomatic belief that they have such an intolerance. As we raise another generation of precious things, so sanitised that their immune systems will be as effective as George W Bush’s English teacher, I don’t see the situation changing any time soon.This is, of course, great news for Mrs Crimble’s and her ilk. For example, Genius bread, helped by the backing of Bill Gammell, is doing incredibly well. Private-label is also investing massively, with Sainsbury’s trying the shock-and-awe technique of blocking the fixture with an army of army-green packs. New players are vying for precious shelf space such as Hale & Hearty, which is injecting a light-hearted, apron-festooned offering into the category and everyone seems to be gearing up for a gluten-free battle of biblical proportions.Of course no one is going to get seriously rich unless the wheat and gluten intolerance epidemic becomes a pandemic, or gluten-free finds a way of becoming… erm normal.When we ’marginalise’ food, we somehow make it a little alien, not quite normal, even a tad ’Frankenstein’. But if we look at it objectively and dispassionately, it’s just food that happens to be wheat-free. The problem is, the minute you label a food ’free from’ something-or-other, it sets alarm bells ringing on the old taste buds front, because we all know that when you remove certain ingredients from food sugar, fat, wheat, dairy the compromise is that the taste usually goes with it.In the case of gluten-free products this isn’t necessarily so; sure, no-one has cracked every product 100%, but there are some great-tasting products out there. But getting your average punter to believe this and give gluten-free a whirl, is not the easiest thing in the world, particularly if the goodies are imprisoned in the free-from fixture, which doesn’t have the footfall that regular food enjoys.Yet when “Britain’s favourite baker” gets in on the act, you know this is a serious and growing category. Warburtons’ move into gluten-free could signal the start of a ’normalisation’ process, which might sort the men from the boys. Bring on the gluten-free mince pies!
Fears that bakers could be forced to print impractical country-of-origin labelling on products containing Swiss and Belgian chocolate have eased after the EU decided the proposals needed further investigation.As reported in British Baker, MEPs wanted to extend labelling legislation to include products containing specified origin chocolate, such as Belgian and Swiss chocolate. Because these are made with a blend of cocoa beans from several different countries, bakery products would have been forced to carry impractial labels listing every single country of orgin.However, the proposals proved unacceptable to MEPs, who agreed that the Commission should conduct impact assessments on the feasibility and potential costs of such labelling requirements.“We would hope that the impact assessment would prove that the extension of COOL to primary ingredients is not feasible and that level of detail is not relevant,” said a spokesman for the Food and Drink Federation.The EU’s proposed legislation on food labelling is now mostly agreed and is awaiting approval from Parliament at a vote in July. Once the legislation is adopted, food businesses will have three years to adapt to the rules.