first_imgGriffin’s Bakery, one of the oldest bakeries in the west of Ireland, looks set to close when the building it occupies in the centre of Galway is sold early next year, writes Hugh Oram. The bakery occupies a prime high street location and a guide price of E10 million has been put on it for the sale by tender at the end of January. The bakery employs 27 people, full-time and part-time. All its breads, including Irish batch, Irish soda bread, baguettes and rye bread, are made without additives or preservatives. It uses a sourdough system, with a long fermentation time, baking in a stone-soled oven. Griffin’s also does a wide range of confectionery products.The business was set up as a wholesale concern in Galway in 1876 by John Griffin and moved into retailing in the current premises, which are owned by the third generation of the Griffin family, Anthony and Eithne. One of their sons, Jimmy, runs the business. He explains: “My parents, who are elderly, want to realise the value of the buil-ding.” The bakery needs investment, and that pedestrianisation of the area has caused problems, he adds. “It’s becoming impossible for bakeries to function on the high street any more. It has long been a problem in the UK, but I never thought I’d see the day when the same thing happens here in Ireland.” Rates have also increased substantially and it is becoming increasingly expensive to employ people, adds Mr Griffin. He says that if the building, which is a protected structure, is sold, it will depend on how long the purchaser takes to get planning permission for any redevelopment as to how long the bakery can operate. But he concludes: “We’ve no immediate plans for relocating the bakery and it is an awful pity.”The bakery has won many prizes. In the European Bakery Championships in Denmark last year, the Irish team, coached by Jimmy Griffin, won silver.last_img read more


first_imgA new range of slim-line, fully automatic hot drink machines – the Milano Series 3, 4 and 6 – has been launched by Nescafé Coffee Company (York).The automatic dispense machines produce a range of speciality coffees, as well as hot chocolate. Its ingredients come in powdered format, so it is easy for operators to control, without the need for fresh milk, says Nescafé.The Milano Series has been developed in a partnership between Nescafé and machine maker Coffetek. The machines use the Milano range of soluble coffees, dairy whiteners and Aero Hot Choc. They have a backlit front panel featuring a coffee image and feature a stainless steel chassis.The Milano Series 3 is designed for low- to moderate-volume outlets. The Series 4 is for moderate- to high-volume outlets, while the Series 6 offers greater capacity for high-volume outlets, delivering up to 900 cups per hour.Drinks can be pre-set to 9oz or 12oz for the Series 3 and 4 machines, while the Series 6 also has a 16oz option.All three machines can be fitted with cash, card or waiter key control options. They also feature a self-clean facility and an electronic sales and audit system for monitoring the number and type of drinks dispensed.last_img read more


first_imgThis year’s Scotch Pie Champion is Keith Stuart, production director of Fife’s RT Stuart bakery and butchery chain.He picked up the trophy at the annual awards ceremony held near Gleneagles in Scotland on St Andrew’s Day last week.Stuart said he was “over the moon” to be awarded the accolade, suggesting the care and attention he put into his pie had paid off. His pastry shell had been different from “99% of other competitors” as it was more crusty, he added.In all, 34 awards were presented for Scotch pies, Bridies and speciality savouries. A top diamond prize went to last year’s Scotch pie champion Robert Cowan for his bridies. Scotland’s Nevis Bakery picked up a diamond award for its peppered steak and black pudding pie. Irvine’s of Beith won a gold prize for its “man pie” – billed as a pie full of bull.The Scotch Pie championship was the culmination of the first Scotch Pie Week, a charity event in which 228 shops took part.Under the slogan ’Say aye tae a pie’, the event raised money for the Scottish Society for Autism. Event founder Alan Stuart said the week, sponsored by ADM Milling, had been a big success. The money is still being counted, he said, but 100% will go to charity as ADM is covering all administrative costs.He commented: “We are hoping to get 500 shops involved next year, including some of the bigger chains. We are hoping Greggs will take part – it made a donation this year.”last_img read more


first_imgTheo de PencierFreight Transport AssociationNew chief executive of the Freight Transport Association is Theo de Pencier, who will succeed the existing CE Richard Turner in July. De Pencier is currently chief executive of Bibby Distribution and a director of Bibby Line Group. He has over 20 years’ board level experience in the logistics and supply chain industry, working for NFC and Danzas before joining Bibby in 1999. His early career was spent in sales and marketing with food and drink manufac- turers Heinz and Diageo.Jonathan Buckley, Gill Wallace, Stacey GoodridgeUnifine Food & BakeThree new appointments at Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients are designed to build the team following the company’s move to purpose-built premises.Jonathan Buckley joins the company as quality coordinator, with responsibility for all aspects of quality control, technical administration and customer service. He previously worked as sales administration manager for Avico UK, a sister company within the Cosun ingredients group.Gill Wallace succeeds Lisa Wilks as marketing coordinator, with a brief to drive the group’s marketing projects and support the sales team, as well as coordinate new product development activities.Credit control and customer queries will be handled by new office assistant Stacey Goodridge.Thörsten FockingDomino Printing SciencesInkjet and laser firm Domino Printing Sciences has appointed Thörsten Focking as product director for Laser, taking international responsibility for the firm’s complete laser product range. Focking most recently worked as Laser business development manager and has over 10 years’ experience in the laser industry.Paul BeesleySevenThe Seven group has appointed Paul Beesley as business development manager for Seven Transcan, with responsibility for promoting the firm’s range of temperature recording instruments and remote temperature monitoring and vehicle tracking systems. He joins the firm from Trumac Group.Mark RandallThomas Food PartnershipSpecialist quiche manufacturer Thomas Food Partnership has appointed Mark Randall as its financial controller. TFP is part of the Thomas Food Group which also operates the Meadowbrook Bakery quiche manufacturing facility and supplies other related pastry products to major multiple retailers. Randall joins the com-pany from construction firm Dew Pitchmastic, where he was also financial controller.Alex SimpsonBritish & Continental Food BrokersAlex Simpson has been appointed commercial director at British & Continental Food Brokers, based in Nottingham. Simpson was most recently a senior sales exe-cutive at Oakdale Bakeries and previously worked for many years with RHM’s Cake division. In his new role, he will work alongside managing director Clive Betts and sales director Mike Gilmour. Tony Lane remains development director. The company was recently appointed exclusive UK importer and distributor of all the bakeries in the French company Harry’ n.last_img read more


first_imghas recently been bought out by Dienst Verpackungstechnik, located in Hochheim near Frankfurt, a German manufacturer of end-load cartoning systems and high-speed carton erectors.”This important marriage of skill bases and expertise enables the Dienst Group and UK agent Partners in Packaging to offer the most comprehensive range of packaging lines for either cartonboard or corrugated board, of any company within the industry,” says Duncan Macintyre, MD of Partners in Packaging.last_img read more


first_imgOne day, it’s my dream to open up a patisserie and chocolate shop in Australia. I’ve wanted to live there ever since I went with my family a few years ago.In the past, I have had a job in a food manufacturing, factory-like environment. But I only did this for a short while, because I really didn’t enjoy it that much. Although the workers are looked after well, I don’t like doing the same thing every day. I want to be more creative and use my baking skills to the maximum. I want to learn new things every day and then have the chance to put what I’ve learnt into practice.At the moment, I’m studying an NVQ Level 1 in Bakery at Tameside College in Manchester. Here we make a variety of bread buns, Continental bread, baguettes, white loaves, brown loaves and croissants. We also make a lot of morning goods and pastries as well as decorate cakes and create chocolate and confectionery items.After I finish the course, if I don’t get to Australia and open my own shop, then I would love to go into teaching.I get on really well with my bakery tutors, particularly Lorna Jones. I think that she has a great job, which she enjoys very much, and I think that I’d enjoy teaching too.I’ve had a number of jobs, but there’s nothing I’d rather do than be a baker. While I’m at college, I also have a job as a shop assistant during the weekend. Recently I was involved in, and won, a California Raisins competition, with two other students in my class. We were so proud.For a while, we had to stay late every evening in the college to make sure that we had the winning recipes. We also had to undertake practice runs so that we could make our chosen bakery products without any hiccups, as the competition was live.We are so excited because, as our prize, we won a trip to Switzerland to the Richemont School. It’s an amazing opportunity and we really can’t wait.What I’m looking forward to the most, is seeing how things are done out there, as I think this will change my style of baking and increase my skills. It will also look fantastic on my CV, when I start applying for bakery jobs, because I will have trained with the prestigious Richemont School, which is thought of as being one of the best in the world.Before I enter the industry – and take on Australia – I would like to progress on to aLevel 3 NVQ Bakery programme. By that time, I will have had a lot more training and gained more experience. nlast_img read more


first_imgEnjoyment, indulgence and the growth of the café culture are the main ingredients of the recipe for muffins’ booming success. One measure of this is the decision by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) last month to add them to the basket of goods it uses to determine the retail price index.Research carried out by TNS Worldpanel on behalf of Rich Products charts its meteoric rise as, together with cookies and other bakery products, muffins are fast becoming the ’must-have’ social accompaniment to a cup of coffee. The increasingly social aspect of these buying habits is underlined by the research finding that one-third of all cakes and pastries are now purchased from coffee shops.This trend towards consumption for pure pleasure is further reinforced by the fact that 85% of doughnuts, 83% of cake muffins and 61% of cookies are bought for enjoyment. Meanwhile, 42% of muffins (47% in-store), 55% of doughnuts and 41% of cookies are, says the research, consumed for indulgence, compared with 36% of croissants.But while the research shows that the value of the retail muffins market has grown by 6.4%, the actual volume of sales has remained static. Gail Lindsay, marketing director at Rich Products, says the growth in value is down to consumers “trading up” and paying a higher price for their muffins, often sharing them as a treat.Meanwhile the burgeoning out-of-home market has implications for the in-home market. She adds: “The café culture is having an effect on the take-home market. People are used to a higher quality, larger product in a coffee shop and that’s having an effect on the retail environment as well.”For Michele Young, retail and brands director at BB’s Coffee & Muffins, the fact that muffins have been added by the ONS to the basket of goods for the RP Index shows that muffins have “very much come of age”. She too points to the social side of muffin consumption as a key growth factor. “As café culture has taken hold in Britain, the habit of ordering a muffin, cake or pastry with a drink is becoming more entrenched. At BB’s, 90% of the sweet snacks we sell are muffins,” she says.Young notes that BB’s is actively expanding its take-home market and adds: “We believe this is a trend that can only accelerate, as formal dining at home decreases and consumers like to take home the brands they enjoy in the café.”The research by TNS Worldpanel charts the changing habits of consumption and preferred flavours across a range of cakes and pastries and indicates areas of growth, where penetration and frequency have risen and fallen and where the prime opportunities for expansion exist.The study shows that the growth in sales of muffins has been driven predominantly by older children and young adults, but points out that the penetration and frequency of consumption had “plenty of room for growth” among men and older women, mainly through “flavour targeting”. However, Lindsay says that so far there has been some resistance to switching to more “adventurous” flavours, with a tendency to stick with long-time favourites, such as blueberry and chocolate.The Rich report confirms that, despite the potential for growth, penetration and frequency “have in fact declined of late”. Penetration of muffins has fallen from 4.1% in 2004 to 4% in 2007, doughnuts from 10.1% to 8.8%, while cookies have risen from 8.9% to 9.3%. These compare with bagels, which jumped from 1.5% to 3.6% and brownies which rose over the same period from 0.7 to 1.7%.However, Lindsay says: “We believe the research shows more opportunity both out-of-home and in the retail environment to increase the frequency of purchase, which will drive more growth.” Rich concludes that if consumers had half a muffin more over a two-week period, it would be worth an additional 38 million occasions, equating to a potential 24% year-on-year growth.Young, who describes the typical muffin customer as “female, aged 25-45, with kids”, expects the market to grow by 10% this year and reckons that an increasing proportion of it will be made up of speciality – “low-fat, extremely indulgent or savoury” – muffins. Currently savoury muffins account for less than 5-10% of BB’s total sales, but she adds: “We believe there is a great deal of potential growth in the savoury sector and are actively researching new flavours and fillings.”In its breakdown of data relating to penetration, the Rich report reveals that out-of-home consumption is building strongly while pene-tration decline is driven partly by the fall in frequency, arising from fewer muffins being put in lunchboxes. The research queries whether this drop in frequency is as a result of format issues or the introduction of the muffin bar. But Lindsay says the often-strict health messages relating to obesity, conveyed by schools to parents about what their child should and should not eat, had also contributed to a fall in the number of muffins being put in school lunchboxes.The research also provides a detailed insight into when people buy and eat their “treats”. Most consumption takes place between mid-to-late morning and early afternoon, while cakes and pastries are largely consumed at weekends, particularly on Saturdays. According to Rich’s report, 30% of muffins are eaten at the weekend, compared with 26% of cakes and pastries, 12% of cookies and 21% of doughnuts. The proportion of morning goods consumers of muffins also falls with age.The trend towards out-of-home consumption has led to recent value and volume growth for cookies, which has “contributed to the longer-term success of muffins”. Lindsay says: “From an in-store bakery perspective, we have seen the value of the cookie market go up by nearly 11% – £3.45 million – over the last year and the total value of the cookie market is now £35.1m.”She says this growth is mainly because consumers are trading up and opting for premium brands, with growth in this area of 28%. “The number of occasions has gone down but again, in a reflection of what is taking place across a range of markets, the consumer is looking for a better-quality product. They buy it less frequently, but when they do, they want to enjoy it,” she adds.While standard cookies grabbed the largest portion of the market, the strongest growth was seen in the premium sector. Lindsay says that data on sales in the major supermarkets revealed a slight decline in Tesco but strong growth in Sainsbury’s and, in particu- lar, Morrisons.In a summary of the prospects for sales of muffins, Rich’s research concludes that weekend breakfasts and weekday lunches and lunchboxes “provide the best opportunities for expanding occasions”. But producers will be watching most closely to see whether the refinement of the market – with people opting to pay more for a better quality product – continues and to what degree it will fuel expansion of the retail market.last_img read more


first_img“It was the first time I had been to an awards night, but I felt very much at ease all evening, and I really did enjoy it. It was nice to meet people, because the baking industry is an incredible trade – you can still go to bed at night excited about what you’re going to do the next day. One thought I had at the awards, when I looked around the room at everyone there, was: ’Blimey, I hope I can be as good as all of them’.”- Alan Pearce, managing directorlast_img


first_imgThe Food Standards Agency has commissioned research into consumer undertsanding of salt labelling on food, ahead of proposed EU legislation to force all prepackaged food products to carry front-of-pack information highlighting salt content.Key findings from the research included confusion among consumers over the relationship between salt and sodium, with a strong overall preference for the use of the term ‘salt’ rather than ‘sodium’ on labelling information. Earlier this month, an Environment Committee of MEPs voted in favour of the draft legislation, with a second vote due in May. A similar discussion is under way in the Codex Committee on Food and Labelling, which is currently considering the nutrients that should be listed on labels as part of the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. In February, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey reported that bread is still the largest contributor of salt to people’s diets, accounting for 17% of salt intake for children and adults. Changes to salt and sodium labelling on food products are currently being considered both within Europe and worldwide. The European Commission is currently considering a proposal for a new regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, which proposes food products carry front-of-pack information on energy, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates with specific reference to sugars and salt content.last_img read more


first_imgWe’ve all seen them, clinging to the sides of buildings like fading relics of a bygone age. Many of these hand-painted ads still survive, but are quickly disappearing, as weathering and property development overtake them. For the last year a nationwide effort has been under way to archive these ’ghost signs’.Among them, bread and bakers dominate, and notably Hovis, alongside one-time competitors Daren, Golden Harvest and Whitton’s. “These brands aimed to build awareness through locally trusted outlets, with bakers offering their customer base and the space for advertising. In return, flour companies footed the bill for painting the sign,” says organiser Sam Roberts.”Some exist on old bakery sites,” adds Sara Reid, marketing manager of project sponsor Rank Hovis. “We feel that this collection is priceless as it harks back to a simpler era of communication and branding.”www.ghostsigns.co.uklast_img read more