Bakery scholarship launched

first_imgRank Hovis has launched a scholarship, open to all students working towards a baking qualification or taking bakery as part of a full-time course.The successful applicants will be given an all-expenses-paid personalised course to suit their interests, ambition and aspirations in the baking industry. The course will run over one to two weeks and can include any combination of learning activities, such as milling, test/development bakeries, plant production and craft production.Applicants will be asked to write in and explain how the award will benefit their career and what areas they would like to cover.For further information contact Rank Hovis technical sales manager Colin Lomax on 07831 099134.last_img read more

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Plaxtol takes top LASER day prize

first_imgThe seventh LASER Golf Day took place on 10 July at Surrey National Golf Club, Caterham. Sixty gol-fers from all sectors of the baking industry took part.The winning team, with 118 points, was Plaxtol Bakery of Tonbridge, Kent (pictured) receiving the Team Prize from LASER president Anthony Kindred. Prizes were also awarded to the individual winners including the longest drive and nearest the pin.last_img

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Supersize PV

first_imgWhen new MD Paul May talks about an “aggressive” growth strategy for Patisserie Valerie (PV), the word jars somewhat with one’s perceptions of the shops. Original owner Madame Valerie was quite happy with one store thank-you-very-much, and it took over 60 years before PV opened its second store. Since 1987, the business has been quietly nurtured by the Scalzo brothers, who took the original Old Compton St shop and added eight more over 20 years. While the one remaining Scalzo in the business, Victor, carries a frame you wouldn’t mess with, this ain’t the kind of aggressive retail expansion form that gets the big high street players running for mummy.Now, with private equity backing, PV has plans for 125 stores in three to five years. That would place it 11th on BB’s Top 50 league table of bakery retailers. “It’s not as daunting as you might think, effectively opening up two stores a month!” says Scalzo, who is adapting nicely to the new pace and appears completely unfazed by the prospect of setting up five new outlets in the next three months.But he was alone among his siblings in embracing the change. The switch in direction prompted older brother Enzo to cash in his chips and retire, while Victor’s twin, Robert, exited five months after Risk Capital Partners – which owns restaurant chain Giraffe and Borders bookshops – bought a majority stake in the business. Risk’s PV Holdings vehicle, which also owns Druckers Patisserie, is targeting 150-stores across the two brands “as quickly as we possibly can”, says MD Paul May.”We did have a growth plan before but it wasn’t as ambitious as that!” chips in Victor, who concedes that brother Robert was unable to embrace the dramatic change. “We were looking to do two new stores every 18 months, but we were particularly choosy about where we wanted to be and it was very restrictive in terms of the management team – it was myself and two brothers. But we still aspire to be the best, to be a market leader and to be aspirational.”Meanwhile, May is keen to stress that stripping out quality to boost profits is not in the game plan. “We’re not looking to mess with that at all,” he states. “We’re very cautious not to change the offer – it has fantastic quality products.” Instead, he’s focusing on transforming PV from a “family lifestyle business”, to a branded chain with systems and structures to match. In fact, one product has even been upgraded at greater cost, with a recent switch to tea brand Suki.”We’re passionate about this business,” explains May. “It’s rare that you come across a great brand – we want to build that brand and from a shareholders’ perspective, we’re not looking to sell.”Broader expansionAfter taking over in September 2006, PV Holdings’ original plans were confined to within the M25. Then Midlands patisserie Druckers was snapped up in May 2007, with an eye to integrating Druckers’ central production facilities and 40 stores into PV. “Sales were quite suppressed [in Druckers] and it was an old offering, so we saw potential to enhance that business and do some store conversions [into Patisserie Valerie],” says May.Since then, three PV sites have opened, two of Druckers’ stores have been converted, and “there are a hell of a lot of new sites in progress”. All the new ones will be PV and not Druckers-branded, with prime high street locations rather than the typical shopping centre sites of Druckers – shopping centres being too restrictive in opening times and costs, says May. Locations will be in upmarket areas of towns with a good mix of residential, office and high street shopping.Two teams of architects are sharing work on bespoke shopfittings for each outlet and the range will be adapted to each site. “We’re not a cookie cutter,” says Scalzo, “and I don’t want every new shop the same as the last – it’s too easy, it’s not challenging. Although we need a strong, branded image, the charm of our shops is that they all have a different feel about them, and that’s linked to premises and store location.”Initially, sites will be focused in London, though five sites have been agreed outside of the M25, with imminent plans to hit the south west. “Every city or major town in the UK has a market for one, two, three Patisserie Valeries,” believes Scalzo. And while the roll-out may be aggressive, the service certainly shouldn’t be: “We want comfortable, attractive rendezvous points – somewhere that you could take your girlfriend for breakfast or your granny for tea.”—-=== Vital statistics ===History: the chain was founded in 1926 by Belgian immigrant Madame Valerie, and acquired by the Scalzos in 1987. “We took over the original shop, and that was a great success,” recalls Victor Scalzo. “We dragged that into the 20th century, introducing pain au chocolat, pain au raisin – things that were relatively new to the UK at that time. We developed the tea room menu and on the back of that opened more stores.”Products: eat-in sales outweigh take-away at 55%/45%; take-away cake sales represent over 30%, with a quarter of that celebration cakes. The rest is a mix of sandwiches, pastries, ice creams, fruit salads and drinks.Typical customer: a mature, A-B demographic profilePricing: PV is planning to increase prices imminently – something Scalzo admits is a risk given the current economic climate. “Fortunately, we’ve always had very good margins,” he says. “But we would never substitute inferior ingredients.”New store uplift: two Druckers sites in Milton Keynes and Bromley have been converted to Patisserie Valerie, with 100% uplift in sales in the former, and 35% in the latterProduction: larger units will act as hubs, such as its new Spitalfields store, which supplies five shops with fresh deliveries seven days a week; Druckers’ production capacity will be used for some product lines; morning goods are baked-off from frozen on siteAdd-on sales: two cake ordering websites have been introduced for PV and Druckers, for pick-up in stores. “Sales ignited almost straight after we launched it last year, and PV is now getting 15,000 hits a month,” says May[http://www.patisserie-valerie.co.uk]—-=== Patisserie Valerie, Bedford St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9HE ===== The brief ==Patisserie Valerie wants to avoid identikit stores, and is working to a brief of “80% the same, 20% different”. Seating and a café offer is key to the concept, with an emphasis on table service and big portions, though there’s also a drive for take-away sales. Scalzo says the PV concept should separate it from the nearby competition – Paul, Apostrophe and Caffè Nero. “It’s got to have a contemporary, French flavour and feel about it,” he says. “There’s no point just reproducing the 1930s French café look and décor – it just wouldn’t work.”== The execution ==Despite a low-profile, marketing-free launch, 15 gateaux were sold on the opening day alone, while the first press review appeared within three days. It has been open eight weeks now, and is already ahead of target to hit a turnover in excess of £1m. May says: “We have a five-year forecast and we’ve been careful with regards to how we build up to maturity and growth, but this store hit year-three maturity level in its first week!”May acts as a negotiator on property deals, while a single agent is used to do the leg work in identifying sites; Scalzo is very hands-on in the design, layout and staffing aspects. “The architects don’t have carte blanche – I’m on them all the time, changing the design. And I won’t let them influence the way I want the shop to operate and look,” he insists.The store took seven weeks to fit at a cost of £500,000 – longer and costlier than its standard four-week turnaround, due to the site being an empty shell, requiring some construction, air-con and flooring.When completed, a store opening team works on all key areas of the operation until they’re happy with standards; with the KPIs in place, the regional manager takes over running the stores, which have opening times up until 9pm Monday-Saturday, and 8pm on Sundays.last_img read more

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FSA sets new targets for salt reduction in bakery

first_imgThe Foods Standards Agency (FSA) has published new salt reduction targets for food manufacturers for products including bread, cakes, biscuits and snacks. The FSA has launched a public consultation on proposals that will make its voluntary targets stricter. They include tightening 2010 salt reduction targets for 85 categories of food and setting more challenging 2012 targets for 80 categories of food.Bread manufacturers will be asked to reduce the amount of salt they use for 2012. While the FSA has suggested a 2012 target of a maximum of 0.93g of salt per 100g of bread, it is conducting research on whether this is viable.Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers (FoB), said it will be consulting with its members on the targets follo-wing research results. He said: “We have emphasised to the FSA that there are technological challenges in going beyond the 2010 target… the industry needs to be able to bake bread 24/7, 365 days a year and produce premium products that people still want to buy.”Polson said he was encouraged that the FSA had acknowledged the good work done by the industry in meeting the 2010 targets.FSA chief executive Tim Smith said: “The FSA is encouraged that action to reduce the average amount of salt we are eating on a daily basis is clearly having a positive impact. We recognise that the great steps taken by many manufacturers and retailers have contributed to this success.” Smith said there was “still plenty to do” to lower salt consumption. The consultation will close on 31 October, 2008.The government is keen for food manufacturers to reduce salt usage, as eating too much salt is a risk factor in developing high blood pressure.last_img read more

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Health drives soft drinks sector

first_imgHealthy option soft drinks look to be the key driver in terms of the UK soft drinks market, according to a new report published by Zenith International.”Health, wellbeing, functionality and convenience have been the key factors shaping the UK soft drinks market,” said Zenith market intelligence director Gary Roethenbaugh. “Premium health and wellness drinks led the way. Chilled juice, smoothies, still juice drinks, energy and sports drinks witnessed the highest growth last year.”Carbonates continue to claim the largest market share, accounting for 42% of consumption in 2007. Ready-to-drink dilutables had a 24% share, followed by bottled water with 15%, fruit juice/nectars with 11% and still drinks with the remaining 8%. Sales of smoothies have benefited from consumers’ interest in health and wellness products, seeing a 44% rise in volume sales. Research by the drinks consultancy also revealed that despite the wet summer of 2007, soft drinks sales took less than a 1% dip, achieving a retail value of £12.9bn.Despite price pressures, Zenith expects that total soft drinks consumption will exceed 15,000 million tonnes – the equivalent of 249 litres per person – by 2012.[http://www.zenithinternational.com]last_img read more

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Consumer watch Men and children first?

first_imgAs we all know, the out-of-home market has grown substantially over the last 10 years and both chains and independent outlets have enjoyed a period of high consumer “affluence”. But what happens when finances get tight and the first thing to be cut is discretionary spending, such as the out-of-home eating and drinking that has fuelled this growth?For the next 12 months, things are going to get a little tougher. Now, more than ever, it is important to understand customers’ needs to maximise your sales. But far too often, operators neglect the most vital questions: what are they buying; how do they choose what to buy; are they impulsive; how much do they spend; how often do they visit; do they notice promotions or other signage; and how do customers rate the outlets for customer service, cleanliness and toilets?Each year him! speaks to thousands of customers while they are eating and drinking in food-to-go outlets, such as Greggs, Pret, Burger King and Subway, and coffee chains, such as Costa, Caffè Nero, Starbucks and Coffee Republic, to understand their motivations and behaviour.By speaking to 1,300 coffee chain customers, for example, him!’s Coffee Chain Tracking Programme shows that the average customer is female (60% of customers). They are 40 years old and of a higher social class (25% are AB). These customers are more likely to be visiting on their own.However, customer demographics do differ by time of day or day of the week; more 25-34-year-olds will use a coffee chain on a Saturday and Sunday compared to 35-44-year-olds during the week. And during the week customers are generally on their own, but at the weekend they are in groups or have children with them.It is important to understand these different customer groups so that we can adapt the atmosphere, offer and sales promotions to suit them. These examples alone highlight opportunities to get more men and families into the coffee chains.Over the next few months we will be sharing with BB readers exclusive insights from him!’s food-to-go and coffee chain programmes, looking at everything from purchasing decisions to staff behaviour, promotions to failed purchases, in a little more detail. So keep an eye out.last_img read more

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More cafe and sandwich chains make FSA healhy food pledge

first_imgFour more café chains have agreed to work with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to promote healthier eating through their shops. Camden Food Co, John Lewis Partnership Cafés, Sainsbury’s Cafés and Upper Crust have followed big chains such as Greggs and Starbucks in announcing various healthy eating commitments in conjunction with the FSA. Initiatives focus on reducing salt and saturated fat, providing more nutritional information and promoting healthier options on menus. Upper Crust, which is owned by travel food retail operator SSP and has over 60 shops in railway stations and airports, plans to develop a programme of recipe amendments on items that do not meet the FSA salt targets or which earn ‘red’ traffic lights by 2010. The company will also investigate calorie content labelling and better nutritional labelling.Sainsbury’s, which operates 242 cafés, plans to cut saturated fat by 18% by changing the cooking oil it uses in its cafés and will trial milk with a 1% fat content rather than semi-skimmed.All four café chains will regularly report to the FSA on the progress they are making with their initiatives.last_img read more

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Starbucks to develop local stores

first_imgStarbucks is to give its UK stores a facelift in a bid to make them more local and less global.The coffee shop chain is reviewing its approach to store design, and aims to put a bigger focus on “local relevance and environmental responsibility”.Darcy Willson-Rymer, MD Starbucks UK and Ireland, said its new global store design strategy set the stage for a “reinvigorated customer experience”. He said: “The new designs aim to reflect the character of each store’s surrounding neighbourhood and help to reduce environmental impacts. Further announcements regarding the development of this strategy in the UK will be introduced over the coming months.”In an interview with The Independent, Willson-Rymer said there was no single design in mind when deciding how to decorate UK shops, but that bolder colours, local artefacts and even second-hand furniture were all being considered. Starbucks currently designs stores using colours and furniture from a central corporate palette.last_img read more

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Out with the old

first_imgD ividing and moulding by hand is no longer always realistic, when high volumes and consistent output are an economic necessity.Nowadays, high-spec machinery is par for the course. European Process Plant (EPP) cites the recent launch of König’s latest industrial automatic divider-rounder, the Industrie Rex Hyper. The machine was developed after extensive surveys revealed customers wanted to save time, increase productivity and run machines that were easy to clean to the highest hygiene standards.Stewart Morris, EPP director, says it can be taken apart for cleaning in 15 minutes and can be jet-washed. “This is a major step forward in roll plant design,” he says.König’s Grande Rex has been developed to cater for “extremely large” weight ranges, processing dough pieces up to 320g, which can be used for producing pizzas, baguettes and bread products on multiple rows. And EPP says another machine, the König Mini-Rex, which can produce up to 4,000 dough pieces an hour and is suitable for bakeries where space is a premium, has been continually improved.The materials, the controls, the accuracy and gentle dough treatment have been “radically” upgraded and the weight ranges have been extended to handle anything from 13g to 140g. A new design for the pistons and rounding system gives a bolder mould to dough pieces, EPP says.Benier UK believes industrial bakers are looking for ways of automating the processing of artisanal breads. “They have been able to make the bread look artisanal with clever moulding, but the problem has been getting the bread to taste artisanal as well,” says MD David Marsh.The major problem associated with automating this process is that the dough used to make artisanal products is much more fluid than the dough used in standard breads. “These doughs will not go through mainstream dividers and moulders,” Marsh says.Benier’s new Dough DrieMer uses dough sheeting technology so that bakers can produce doughs to an artisanal recipe and, for example, can produce up to 6,000 baguettes an hour, he explains. And moulds can be made for all shapes and sizes of bread. “This is the first system to automate the production of artisanal breads, which means the end products look and taste as if they were handmade. The system is so new that it has only just been rolled out on the Continent and is just now being launched into the UK,” he reveals.Other new Benier products on the market include the Doughmaster. This comes with Dough Related Software that manages the divider servo drives’ settings so even highly delicate dough with long fermentation times and high water content can be processed as gently as by hand, according to Marsh. It also offers “exceptional” accuracy, he says.However, London Food Machinery MD Ian Ort says new developments in this market tend to be small. The supplier of Rheon machinery says with volumetric equipment, companies started working on oil-less systems a few years ago and using metallic parts less, so costs could be minimised, easily replaced, and less pressure put on the dough.He says that, when it comes to stress-free doughs, the developments have been mainly in weight control to try to iron out the difference between volumetric and stress-free systems. “We have intelligent systems that can vary the dimensions of a product by 2ml while trying to gain very accurate weights,” he says.It is a far cry from the days when Ort’s father, Ron, started out 70 years ago. Then, the dough was mixed, rested and divided by hand to get the right weight and then moulded by hand. “This gave no stress to the dough, wouldn’t destroy the gluten structure and did not need lots of yeast or additives. Rheon has reproduced that as much as possible with machinery using no pressure or stress to portion that dough. It then offers bakers the choice of hand moulding to the desired shape or they can use attachments to mechanically gain the desired shape,” Ort says.Reiser, supplier of Vemag Systems, says the company is always developing new dividing equipment. MD Ken Mosser says the company’s Waterwheel flow divider can handle all types of doughs from stiff to soft, and weight accuracy is guaranteed across multiple lanes without adjustments. Reiser does not use oil in its dividing system and precise weights and versatility give Vemag the edge, he claims.Mono Equipment believes people are looking more at stress-free systems and adding more water to the dough, which gives a better texture and a more artisan-type product with economical benefits. It markets Paneotrad, and Mono has developed a manufacturing process for bulk processing of dough that facilitates fast turnaround of bread.”If a customer comes in and you’ve run out of bread, you can have more bread within 22-24 minutes depending on the shape of the product that’s quite revolutionary,” says sales manager Chris Huish.So what do you choose and how do you choose it? David Dunne, sales director of Interbake, which supplies Daub, says the first point is to ascertain the level of production you want to achieve the number of pieces of dough and the weight.Next, consider the type of dough you want to divide. “Some dividers knock the hell out of dough. You need something that’s gentle for making artisan bread. If you just buy off a brochure, you might buy the wrong machine which becomes an expensive exercise.”Benier’s Marsh says that, if the equipment cannot divide the dough pieces accurately, it is simply a waste of time. “It would make no sense to purchase a divider that turns out 2,000 dough pieces an hour when a bakery only needs to produce 1,000,” he says.Other issues include reliability both mechanical and electrical and service support from the suppliers, as well as how easy is the equipment to load, unload and clean.”With moulders, the most important decision is that they mould the bread into the shape that you want with the crumb structure you require. Likewise, robustness is key. As with dividers, hygiene and ease of cleaning are very important.” Bakery equipment proves its worth BB Grout, the Essex bakery chain, has a Mono plant, König Mini Rex and Mono stick machine. Director Giles Grout says the machines are in operation six hours a day, six days a week and, when things go wrong, he goes to EPP, which acts quickly. “You get an engineer that has been trained with the machine and they know which part needs replacing. You are not wasting any time. They can normally get a new part sent overnight.”Jonathan Brace, director of plant bakery Brace’s, in Crumlin, South Wales, has around eight dividers and seven moulders across its three sites and four plants. It has a moulder from Benier and dividers from Baker Perkins. He says: “With dividing it’s about making sure you control your scaling weights. It’s a constant battle to ensure you have the correct weights and you are dividing as gently as possible, so you do not damage the dough pieces. With moulding you want to make sure you roll your dough out gently.”The running costs of all Baker Perkins’ Accurist dough dividers can be reduced simply by fitting new design dies. Oil consumption, waste and downtime are all reduced by the patented new design, while reduced dough build-up improves weight control, extends cleaning intervals and prolongs die life. The improvements have been achieved by reducing the contact area between the die and the machine by 50%, along with a self-cleaning feature that disposes of dough passing the die face, rather than allowing it to accumulate. The new die is compatible with all Accurist and Accurist2 dividers.last_img read more

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BMV to open another 73 branches Monday

first_img Twitter BMV to open another 73 branches Monday IndianaLocalNews Facebook Google+ Pinterest (Photo supplied/Elkhart Truth) 73 more Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) branches will open Monday for appointments.This brings the total number of open branches to 128.Customers can only schedule an appointment for transactions that cannot be made online, which include the following:Knowledge TestingCommercial Driver’s LicenseNew Driver License/Learn Permit or Identification CardAmend a Current Driver License/Learn Permit or Identification CardReplacement Driver License/Learner Permit or Identification CardTitle TransferUpdate to an Existing TitleNew RegistrationDisability PlacardBMV Connect kiosks located at open branches will also be available. Driving skills exams are still unavailable to take at all BMV locations.You can get more information here. Facebook WhatsAppcenter_img By Brooklyne Beatty – May 8, 2020 0 379 Google+ Twitter TAGSbmvbureau of motor vehiclescoronavirusCOVID-19IndianaMondayopen Pinterest Previous articleBremen boy struck by car, injured while riding bicycleNext articleBerrien County launches website to offer guidance for local businesses seeking to reopen Brooklyne Beatty WhatsApplast_img read more

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