For light-duty applications, the Sanyo EMS 1000 microwave oven is newly available from UK agent Valera (West Thurrock, Essex).It has a power output of 1,000 watts and includes a stainless steel cavity and external construction. It also features a ceramic base plate and electronic controls with digital display.Measuring 296mm(h) x 520mm(w) x 412mm(d), the oven will hold a 12in plate. The EMS 1000 features 10 programmable, pre-set controls, and 10 power levels, including variable defrost. It requires a standard 13-amp socket and the list price is £449.
French milling company Moul-bie has started rolling out its “Ronde des Pains” artisan bakery concept in Europe, following success in the UK.Commercial director of Moul-bie Europe Michel Nguyen said the first shops have been launched in Ger-many, Italy and Sweden over the last few weeks.More than 1,000 French craft bakers are part of its Ronde des Pains “artisan boulanger” concept, and over 60 craft bakers in the UK now use the brand, which was introduced in this country two years ago.Nguyen said: “We decided to go into the rest of Europe in January, and have now launched four shops in Stockholm in May, five in Germany and five in Italy.”In the next year, Moul-bie is to launch Ronde des Pains in Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Iceland, he added.Moul-bie is using a variety of different business models in the different markets. It has set up management companies in Germany and Italy and partnerships in Switzerland, the Nordic countries and Poland.Bakers in the Ronde des Pains scheme display the concept’s logo and are supplied by Moul-bie with its range of added-value flours.Moul-bie is a division of Grands Moulins de Paris, France’s largest miller with 22 mills. Nguyen said: “We are looking to sign up the best bakers in the best locations to the scheme. We give them money in the beginning for merchandising and equipment, and they make an ongoing commitment to be exclusively supplied by us. There is no minimum term; they are free to stop at any time.”
BAKELS (Bicester, Oxon), a supplier of specialist ingredients to the UK bakery market, has relaunched its Sponge Mix Complete range. Both the Plain and Chocolate Sponge Mix Complete have been reformulated as a result of the company’s drive for innovation and emphasis on manufacturing the best products in the market, says the firm. The new improved mixes have been benchmarked against what Bakels customers felt to be the current market leaders. The perfect sponge needs good volume, consistency and uniformity of shape. This is especially important if the sponge is to be dressed with cream or jam and dusted with icing sugar, says Bakels. Bakels’ benchmarking showed that the new Sponge Mix Complete produces the best volume sponge on the market, says the firm. No colouring or flavouring has been added, which allows bakers to easily adapt the product to their own recipes. The products remain easy to use – just add water and mix. However, the reformulation has seen the cost in use of the Plain Sponge Mix Com-plete fall by up to 15%, as the recommended scaling weight has been reduced from 175g to 150g. The mixes are suitable for all types of mixer and automatic depositor thus making them suitable for use by a small individual baker through to a fully automated operation. Both the Chocolate and Plain Sponge Mix Complete can also be used for the production of Swiss rolls. To tempt bakers to try the new improved mixes for themselves Bakels is offering a £3 per bag discount, available at all Bakels wholesalers throughout July. The mixes come in 12.5kg bags.
As part of the Readi-Bake range, BakeMark UK (Wirral, Cheshire), supplier of bakery ingredients and frozen speciality bakery products, has launched two varieties of coconut macaroon.The Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroon and Cherry Coconut Macaroon are supplied ready-to-bake in pre-cut squares.BakeMark UK has also extended its selection of classic sweet treats, with chewy fruit flapjack, Belgian milk chocolate flapjack and a real butter shortbread.The shortbread bakes for approximately 20 minutes and is finished off with a sprinkle of sugar.
Francesa Tomkins, a Level 2 Bakery Student from the Birmingham College of Food, has been crowned winner of the recent Kenwood ’Let Them Eat Cake’ competition.Regional heats took place at cookery schools across the UK, where students were challenged to bake and decorate a special commemorative cake. Each regional finalist then recreated their cake at the national final, held at Mosimann’s Aca-demy in London.Mark Mosimann, one of the judges said: “Francesca produced a cake that was not only delicious in taste and texture but was also technically perfect.”The competition was organised by machinery supplier Kenwood to celebrate its 60th anniversary this year.
More than 200 staff have been made redundant at the Peter Hunt bakery, after it ceased trading on 7 July.Administrator BDO Stoy Hayward (BDO) has been unable to find a buyer for the Bolton-based business, since parent company Lyndale Group went into administration in June. BDO had initially hoped to sell the pie and pasty manufacturer as a going concern. Business restructuring partner Dermot Power said: “We have worked hard to find a buyer for the Peter Hunt business in the face of challenging market conditions and it is regrettable that we have been unable to do so.”Power said that TUPE liabilities – laws designed to protect workers if a business changes ownership – had “proved to be an insurmountable barrier to a going-concern sale”.John Higgins, full-time officer at the Baker’s Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), confirmed the employees had been officially informed of their redundancy on the morning of 7 July, and were given advice that day to fill in ’development forms’.He explained that, although the workers had been expecting this for some weeks, it had come as very unwelcome news and feelings were raw. “We’re asking for an investigation into how the company handled the situation,” said Higgins.Former Lyndale-owned Hampson’s bakery and 158 Hampson and Sayers stores were rescued from adminis- tration last month, when Sayers chairman Sandy Birnie and chief executive Michael Quinlan formed new company Sayers the Bakers.—-=== In Short ===== Brace’s redundancies ==Brace’s bakery will be making some of its staff redundant as it restructures its business. The redundancies could hit staff across both of its plants in Crumlin, Newport in south Wales. A spokeswoman said: “The slowing economy and increasing manufacturing costs, such as spiralling fuel and wheat prices, have been well-publicised. There has been a huge impact on business and we are no exception.”== Champions’ league ==Ludlow craft baker Price’s has made it through to the finals of the Made in Britain Food Champion of the Year competition, with its new Perry and Pear Loaf. The awards, formerly known as the Small Producers Awards, are run by Waitrose and Country Life magazine.== Oasis promo ==Coca-Cola has launched an new advertising campaign for its adult juice brand Oasis. The campaign – ’Run Cactus Kid, Run’ – aims to build on the brand’s positioning for people who don’t like water. It will encompass outdoor, web and TV advertising and is aimed at driving brand recognition with its 20-something male and female target customer base.== Pupil bakers ==Pupils at Freeman College in Sheffield will have the chance to learn about baking, thanks to a £20,000 donation by The Hilton in the Community Foundation. It will enable the college, which educates young people with learning difficulties, to build an on-site bakery for its students, including new kitchen equipment and ovens.== Snacktime for Gibson ==Gibson Foods is to supply Food Service Centre’s own-brand Snacktime range, after winning a £3m annual contract, to be its sole supplier.
Délifrance UK has reappointed Ian Dobbie as MD, as it moved to complete the purchase of the speciality bakery companies Le Pain Croustillant and Sofrapain from Premier Foods.Dobbie, who resigned as MD of Délifrance UK in October 2008 to head up ingredients company British Bakels, has returned to oversee the integration of Le Pain Croustillant, once it has been purchased from Premier Foods. The deal to buy the two companies is expected to be completed within the next two months.Premier confirmed in its recent trading update that it had received an offer of around £8m for the companies from Délifrance’s French parent company Nutrixo. Le Pain Croustillant employs around 600 people and supplies retailers and foodservice custo-mers with speciality bread from a bakery in Southall, London, while Sofrapain’s 400 employees produce frozen speciality bread and Viennoiserie for retailers in France and the UK at three bake-ries in France. Délifrance UK, with 140 staff, has two bakeries in Leicestershire, supplying foodservice and retailers with a full range of bread and Viennoiserie.”This is a fantastic and exciting opportunity,” Ian Dobbie told British Baker. “There is a good product and trade fit between Délifrance and the two firms – they complement each other well.”British Bakels said it was “sorry to lose Ian, but recognises the opportunity presented by the new company and fully understands his decision to take it”. He has been replaced by Ade Abass, who takes the position of general manager. Previously financial controller, Abass joined British Bakels in 2002, leading the recent £7m factory extension and implementing an IT system to integrate all areas of the business.In related news, Premier Foods has announced it has received a firm offer of E50m (£45.1m) from private equity group Cerea Capital for its Martine Spécialités business, the remaining part of its specia-lity baking group in France.
Swedish bakery company Peter’s Yard, which opened an upmarket bakery and coffee shop in Edinburgh last year, has moved into wholesale in the UK for the first time with a range of traditional Swedish crispbreads.Harrods and Fortnum & Mason are set to list the crispbreads, which are handmade with natural ingredients such as milk, rye flour, honey and sourdough. The products, currently baked in Sweden, will soon be made by a third-party bakery in London.Peter’s Yard, headquartered in southern Sweden and founded by entrepreneur Peter Ljung-quist, set up a bakery and café in Edinburgh’s Quartermile development in January last year. It bakes Swedish artisan pastries and breads on-site, such as rye, kavring and sourdough, and sells a range of premium biscuits and biscotti.Joint-MD Wendy Wilson-Bett told British Baker the crispbreads are aimed at top-end retailers, such as food halls and delis. the range would be expanded later in the year. Wholesaler Heider and Clarks will distribute the crispbreads, which retail in four different formats.
Stop The Week has had its share of toaster stories over the past year, but we feel it our duty to let you know about the latest must-have gadget for Star Wars fans – just in case there are any of you out there in the bakery world!Lucasfilm has developed the Darth Vader, a toaster clad in a black plastic mould that resembles the Star Wars’ antihero’s famous mask. But in case that were not enough, as it toasts your morning bread, the gadget burns an image of Darth Vader into it. Nifty, eh?
Greggs 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. l 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.