Month: April 2021

A day in the life of…Stuart Beattie

first_img8.00pmI get into the car and switch on the radio. A bit of music always helps me to relax. At home I catch up with the latest Sky Sports News, then head to bed. 7.30pmAfter a productive afternoon, I see it’s almost time to go home. I check through all the trays to ensure we have the right numbers for each customer and that all of the products are up to Rich’s standard. Everything looks fine.I have a quick handover to my counterpart on the nightshift, Mark Stewart, who works mainly on the production of our signature mince pie range for a top celebrity chef. Then I leave the bakery to drive home. 2.00pmThe pies have been in for around half an hour and I can see that they have turned a lovely golden brown and are ready to come out. I get them out of the oven and place them on the rack to cool. Once they are at the right temperature, I will move them to the finishing area, where I will hand-sprinkle them with sweet snow before handing them over to our packing team to be carefully packed ready for the next delivery.I’ve been with Rich’s, or David Powell as it was then, for six years now and I’m always amazed at how you start the day with nothing and end it with mountains of delicious products. I was 16 when I joined the business, with no experience or qualifications. I’m now 22 and a qualified baker, thanks to the support given to me by the company, and I take enormous pride in my work. It’s testament to the family atmosphere here that I am just as passionate about my job today as I was when I first started here. 3.30pmIt’s been a busy day so far, but thankfully, we’re well on track. I make a quick check on the trays containing the day’s products to see that they all look 100%.Then I take the opportunity to have a quick break and a bite to eat before heading back down to the bakery to complete our orders for the day. 11.15amTime for a quick team briefing. There are 10 people on my team and as it’s a busy bakery, we work in shifts over a six-day period. I have eight Polish guys working here with me at the moment and, while their English is great, my Polish is not the best.I’ve been trying to pick up a few phrases, but sometimes the words turn out to be not what I think they are, which always raises a few sniggers from the lads. 11.00amI head onto the floor to turn on the heaters for the stampers and the ovens. We’re in the middle of the festive season at the moment, so we’re working on a number of new Christmas lines and there’s a real buzz around the bakery.I’m the day supervisor, responsible for our luxury, award-winning mince pie range. We’re currently producing six varieties, all bespoke for our key customers, and turn around about 15,000 every day.We deliver the mince pies fresh twice a day and, as we take a flexible approach to meeting customer demand, our actual orders for tomorrow won’t come in until around 2.30pm.It’s my job to make sure that we deliver on customer orders, so being prepared for – and reacting to – fluctuating orders is an enjoyable challenge.I take a look at yesterday’s figures and estimate how many pies we will need to make during the day so that we can all get started.One of our major coffee shop customers – a world-leading chain – is having great success with its mince pie range and, with Christmas approaching, I make an extra allowance for an increase in its order for tomorrow. We’re going to be busy.center_img 2.30pmConfirmation of tomorrow’s order comes in and I am pleased that I made extra provisions because, as predicted, our customer has increased its order. I call the team round to let them know the exact figures and reallocate a few tasks. 1.30pmThe first batch of mince pies is in the oven and it’s my job to watch over them. We use deck ovens at Rich’s, rather than modern travelling ones, so it’s vital that I keep an eye on the pies to ensure that they are baked just right – not too pale and not too dark – and that the pastry is light and crumbly to eat. 11.30amThe team is split into two to make our mince pies. As every product is hand crafted and finished, it’s no simple task. I coordinate the first team, who are busy stamping out the pastry cases. We do each one individually as it adds to the consistency of the product.The butter pastry is then individually hand-placed into the foil cases and deep-filled with premium, citrus-infused mincemeat before being passed on to the second team, who put on the pastry lids and top them with sugar. They then go into the oven to bake.The love and attention that goes into every one of Rich’s mince pies is, in my opinion, what makes them stand out from the long-life boxed products that fill the supermarket shelves at this time of year. I challenge anyone to come up with a better mince pie than ours! 10.30amI arrive at the bakery and chat with the guys about last night’s football match. I’m a keen Liverpool supporter and, the previous evening, they drew with Portsmouth, a team that most of the lads here support. I wish we’d won!last_img read more

Plans for Bakers’ Fair take shape

first_imgThe Bakers’ Fair is to take place on Sunday, 19 October 2008, at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium. As the UK’s only autumn exhibition for progressive and professional independent bakery companies, cafés and coffee shops, it comes at a time when key purchasers will be making final decisions about the Christmas selling period, as well as looking ahead to 2009.The Richemont Club of Great Britain will be judging its fifth National Competition at the event, with competing classes putting forward a range of bakery products. It is a great opportunity for everybody in the industry to exhibit, including ingredient suppliers and manufacturers, flour millers, wholesalers, finished goods suppliers, cakes, pastry and biscuit suppliers and coffee, tea and soft drinks suppliers.The event is organised by British Baker’s publisher, William Reed Business Media. To reserve your stand, please contact Jennie Dick on 01293 846520 or email [email protected] Entry for trade visitors is free and it will be open between 9.30am and 4pm. See [] for more details.last_img read more

California dreaming for prize winners

first_imgChester based-bakers craft bakery P&A Davies teamed up with California Raisins at a local Chester radio station, DEE 106.3, to help publicise California Raisins’ £1,000 prize trip to the USA.P&A Davies was promoting its hot cross buns, made using California Raisins, in a live radio interview between Simon Hazlett, managing director at P&A Davies and Peter Meadows, marketing director at California Raisins, and DJ Mike James.James mentioned the promotion, which California Raisins is running, offering consumers purchasing 4-packs of the hot cross buns the chance to win a holiday to the US worth £1,000.Each pack features a sticker containing competition questions plus a tie break for the chance to win. The competition will be judged a week after Easter.Meanwhile, in the same week, California Raisins presented Nottingham resident, Lily Buck, with a cheque for her £1,000 prize holiday to California, after she won California Raisins’ Christmas competition, featured on boxes of Dawsons Bakery’s Indulgent Mince Pies.The promotion took place in all 13 Nottinghamshire Asda and Walmart stores with 17,000 packs sold over the four week Christmas period featuring on-pack stickers.Meadows said: “A similar promotion is being discussed for Christmas 2009 on the back of the success of 2008.”last_img read more

McCambridge saves costs in management shake-up

first_imgA shake-up in personnel at McCambridge, the Irish bread company that acquired Inter Link Foods in 2007, has seen CEO Gavin Cox leave the company with Andrew Coppel combining the role with his position as executive chairman.The move follows a restructure at the company to “deliver greater accountability”, which has seen the creation of four divisions, each headed up by its own MD. The new management structure has enabled the company to make cost savings by combining the CEO and executive chairman roles, HR director Nick St John-Moore told British Baker.Cox joined McCambridge in November 2007 as chief financial officer before becoming CEO. Andrew Coppel was named exe-cutive chairman in October 2008, after previously holding the position of non-executive chairman at the London Irish Rugby Club and Irish Tourism.”Previously, the company had 17 different business units reporting in to the CEO. There wasn’t the accountability for these sites, so we have reorganised with four divisions, each with their own MD,” said St John-Moore. “With this in place there wasn’t the need for two people at the same level. Andrew will be able to combine both roles.”McCambridge’s four new divisions (and MDs) are: own-label (George Walsh); Soreen (Paul Tripp); Ireland (Michael McCam-bridge); and niche (Martin Davey). The niche arm covers the firm’s bakery in Poland, Creative Cakes in Salisbury and five smaller bakeries in the south.last_img read more

National Doughnut Week raises over £25,000

first_imgAlmost double last year’s number of bakery shops took part in National Doughnut Week this year, and raised over £25,000 for charity The Children’s Trust.The fundraising event, sponsored by BakeMark UK, was founded by Christopher Freeman of bakery Dunn’s of Crouch End. For every doughnut sold during the week, a donation goes to The Children’s Trust – a charity, now in its 25th year, which provides specific care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities.The week was publicised on television, national and regional radio programmes and in the press. It also gained celebrity endorsements from Terry Wogan and Ainsley Harriet. At a ‘grand tally’ event to count total money raised, Freeman was presented with a certificate in recognition of his contribution to the annual event.last_img read more

Greggs leads major new UK bakery league table

first_imgGreggs held on to its position as the UK’s largest bakery retailer by the narrowest margin in British Baker’s new BB75 league table for 2010.The chain currently has 1,419 UK shops, just 10 more than sandwich chain Subway. The latter opened 125 sites last year, closing the 119 store gap a year ago to just 10. Last January, Subway predicted it would overtake Greggs by summer 2009.Greggs’ chief executive Ken McMeikan said he was delighted to maintain Greggs’ position as the nation’s largest bakery retailer, particularly in view of Subway’s ambitious targets. Greggs plans to open a net 50-60 shops this year as it steps up expansion, with a target of 600-plus extra shops in the UK. “It is important to focus on the quality of the shops, this is not a race for space,” said McMeikan. “When we sign a contract, it is usually for 10 years, with a break at five years. We want to find really good-quality units as we are in it for the long term.” Subway development agent Neil Black said he was pleased with the pace of store development, “achieved despite the recession and a tightening of available finance”. Subway had also taken advantage of the competitive property market to relocate and redevelop a number of stores, he added.The expanded BB75 league table – formerly the BB Top 50 – covers the 75 biggest bakery retailers in the UK. The table shows Costa Coffee (at number three) was the fastest-growing coffee chain in the UK, adding 185 sites over 2009.Among the big losers in 2009 were BB’s Coffee & Muffins and Coffee Republic. Both went into administration and significantly reduced their number of franchises. The new list also sees many traditional bakers holding steady and even expanding amid difficult economic conditions. • Greggs’ sales in the Christmas week were up 6.5% and like-for-like growth was 4.4%. It also saw a 3.1% rise in total sales for the four weeks to 26 December 2009. The chain sold more than one million mince pies a week, up 6% on last year. Demand for savouries was strong, with like-for-like sales up 10% and sales of its Christmas festive bakes up 23% on 2008 figures.To view the BB75 2010 click herelast_img read more

Enter the BIA without delay

first_imgMake sure you get your entries in for the Baking Industry Awards. The Awards, now in their 23rd year, celebrate the best of the British baking industry, and are attended by key players from across the industry.Open to businesses of all sizes, the awards now include two new categories: In-Store Bakery of the Year, sponsored by Dawn Foods; and Speciality Bread Product of the Year, sponsored by Bakels. Deadline for all entries is 7 May, apart from these two awards, for which the deadline is 21 May.For details on how to enter, see pgs 16-17 of this issue or go to Or you can email Kelly Langridge on [email protected] or call 01293 610422.last_img

Opportunist theft: who covers the losses?

first_imgAn opportunist thief has stolen an employee’s bag from your workplace; it contained their railcard, mobile phone, house keys and £100 in cash. You are as upset about it as they are, but can they claim on your insurance?Sadly, opportunist theft occurs all too often. One of our members recently suffered such an incident. The back door to the premises was left open and someone snuck in and stole an employee’s bag. It contained several personal belongings, which will prove rather costly to replace. But who is responsible for covering this loss?Responsibility for employees’ personal effects at their employer’s premises has always been a difficult issue, particularly where expensive items are involved. Although you are under a legal duty to provide a safe working environment for your employees, you are under no obligation to replace, or bear the cost of replacing, any of their possessions stolen, or removed, from your workplace, or damaged while on-site.The insurance positionA typical commercial insurance policy, which covers the contents “owned by the business or for which it is, or may be, responsible”, will include an element of cover in respect of employees’ belongings. However, it will contain a number of limitations.Cover usually only operates if the items are “not otherwise insured” for example if they are covered elsewhere say, on an employee’s home insurance policy. In addition, a relatively modest limit will apply for any one loss; this is usually around £500 to £1,000 and any claim made will probably be subject to an excess,.Yet this type of cover will generally only pay out for a theft that involves a “forcible entry and/or violent means”. So if you have a break-in you are probably covered. But leave a back door open, as in the case of our member, and you won’t be. There may also be a specific exclusion regarding theft by any of your own employees.Employees bringing their belongings into work should be made aware of the need to take all necessary precautions to protect their personal property while on the business premises. Disclaimers should be prominently displayed around your workplace stating you “accept no responsibility for any loss or damage to personal effects brought on to your premises”.Staff should also be reminded of the need to take out their own insurance for items they take away from their home.last_img read more

National Cupcake Week hits the internet

first_imgNational Cupcake Week is now in full swing after getting off to a bang when it was featured on television and radio.The week long celebration of all things cupcake features special events and promotions taking place in craft and high street bakeries across the nation, alongside a series of special programmes on Food Network.What is more, the internet is buzzing with talk of the week, seeing the National Cupcake Week Facebook and Twitter page featuring more than 2,000 and 3,000 members respectively.Martyn Leek, editor of British Baker, said: “The interest generated behind National Cupcake Week has been phenomenal, but there is still time to get involved. Please visit the website, register and get involved.If you are doing anything for National Cupcake Week then email us at [email protected] or [email protected] or tweet us @CupcakeWeek.For more information on the week, or a chance to get free bunting, please visit: read more

Pandemic having an impact on the race for Indiana Governor

first_img Google+ IndianaLocalNews Facebook WhatsApp By Network Indiana – August 4, 2020 6 1089 Google+ Facebook Pinterest Twitter (Photo supplied/State Of Indiana) The coronavirus pandemic has certainly had an impact on the race for governor in Indiana.Gov. Eric Holcomb is seeking another term as governor as he has accepted the Republican nomination. State Democrats are putting forth Dr. Woody Myers, former Indiana state health commissioner, to challenge Holcomb.With exactly three months to go until Hoosiers go to the polls on Nov. 3, Purdue University-Fort Wayne political scientist Andy Downs believes Gov. Eric Holcomb has all the momentum on his side.“The governor has more than enough cash to run a campaign, a very good campaign, in Indiana,” Downs told Indy Politics. “Woody Myers is struggling to raise that cash, and he really has not broken through with his message about how he would do things differently during the pandemic.”Downs said Holcomb’s clear showing of unity within his administration on how to handle the spread of coronavirus in Indiana gives him a leg up with voters, especially with his weekly updates on the pandemic.“It’s clear he’s in control of those events,” added Downs. “He differs to experts when appropriate. The experts are in line with what he is trying to do and the plan he has put forward so you don’t see infighting so to speak.”Downs feels the governor’s handling of the pandemic has been “well received,” but he does acknowledge the push back Holcomb has gotten from conservative voters over his statewide mask mandate. Downs said though Holcomb may lose a few voters because of it, he doesn’t feel very many conservative Hoosiers will be willing to vote for the Democratic alternative in Myers.The Libertarian candidate for governor is Donald Rainwater. Twitter WhatsApp Pandemic having an impact on the race for Indiana Governor Pinterest Previous articleSoul Takers Acres taking the year off due to COVID-19 cautionNext articleTuesday is Primary Election Day in Michigan Network Indianalast_img read more