M&S trials Kitchen dining experience

first_imgMarks and Spencer is to trial an M&S Kitchen branded outlet later this month – a cross between its Café Revive format and a table service restaurant.The M&S Kitchen will be a standalone unit next to its store in Canterbury, Kent, with 60 seats indoors and 20 outdoors.It will open at 7.30am and close after the store at 8.30pm. Sunday opening times will be 10.30am to 5.30pm.The Kitchen will have a quick turnaround takeaway section and seating for hot meals. Products on sale will include sandwiches and salads, both prepared on site, as well as soups and pastas.The retailer wants to promote the products that it sells in its stores by serving dishes such as M&S branded lasagne.M&S Kitchen is one of the company’s initiatives to boost sales of its branded products, it said.Its Café Revive concept has been introduced to 220 stores so far. Meanwhile it started trials of a full table service restaurant in Newcastle on Tyne last month.Marks and Spencer posted its interim results earlier this month, for the period ending at the end of September. Sales were up 11% at £3.9bn and pre-tax profits up 32.2% to £405.1m, its highest first-half profit in nine years.New store formats and advertising using 1960s model Twiggy and Elizabeth Jagger have helped to attract customers, said chief executive Stuart Rose. The retailer also said it has now removed trans fats from all its foods and is the first UK retailer to do so.last_img read more

The origami of sugar

first_imgI have been in England for about a year now and, in September, I started studying at Brooklands College in Weybridge, Surrey. I’m doing a cake decorating course at the college, where I learn sugarcraft and how to make wired sugar flowers.I have four three-hour lessons a week and the course lasts six months. Once it’s finished, I’m hoping to do another course in advanced cake decorating. On the course we make flowers and shapes out of sugar paste, which I enjoy very much.I get on well with my tutor, Jane Hatton. She is a lovely woman and I have great respect and admiration for her because she has many good techniques and is very skilful. Overseas fameBrooklands College is famous in Japan. Japanese bakers who have attended the college have returned and written books on cake decorating anad that is why I wanted to go there.When I first came to this country, I did voluntary work in a school, teaching Japanese culture in Northumberland. This inclu- ded topics such as origami. Folding paper is very different to making shapes out of icing sugar, though; using paper is a lot easier because it doesn’t fall apart!When I finished my volunteer work, I wanted to stay in England mainly because of the climate. This may sound strange to British people, but I find Japan too humid. One day, however, I hope to return to my home in Saga, near Nagasaki, and open up a shop there. It’s my dream to have just one tiny business that would sell either wedding cakes or cakes for children.During the first few months of being in England, I was taught how to make a cake; I enjoyed this very much because I had not made one before. Making cakes at home in Japan is not a popular pastime, as it takes too long, is inconvenient and it’s difficult to get the ingredients. So it’s much easier for Japanese people to just buy one.The only negative thing about doing the course is the cost. I have had to work and save very hard in Japan to come to England, so that I could support myself. The course itself is hard work, but it’s definitely worth it. I love what I’m doing and feel confident I made the right decision.I would recommend this course to anyone, mainly because of the good tutors and because it is very rewarding. You learn great skills and techniques. Making baking trendyI wish there were more famous bakers, like there are famous chefs, so that they could make baking and sugarcraft even more popular and trendy.What I enjoy the most about the course is seeing the finished product at the end. This makes me very pleased and proud.I imagine that if I gave a beautifully decorated cake to somebody, it would make them happy. I want to make people smile with this craft.last_img read more

Coming up next week

first_imgl Insider columnist Tony Phillips takes issue with “unnecessary” qualificationsl We explore the facts behind sugar in wholemeal breadl British Baker staff attend Unifine’s Ingredients in Action day at its development kitchen suite in Milton Keynesl And watch out for the snacks column in our regular launch pad sectionlast_img

Summer sees mixed results for bakers

first_imgCraft bakers say they put up their prices due to rising costs for ingredients such as flour and butter, following a mixed summer’s trading.Gary Reeve of Salisbury-based Reeve the Baker said sales were up between 5-8% as the cooler wea-ther meant people went to the high street rather than the beaches. But due to high flour and butter prices, the bakery has added between 5-10p on its products.Canvey Island-based BB Grout’s chain of 11 shops saw sales up by about 10% during the summer. “Our hot food range, especially sausage rolls, has done very well,” said MD Giles Grout. Bad weather encouraged customers to buy cakes, pies and pastries, but sales of sandwiches also declined. BB Grout put up its prices by about 4.5%.Mike Holling, retail operations manager of Birds of Derby said it had managed to keep its price increases under 3%. “We’ve absorbed some of the costs,” said Holling.Sales performance was in line with expectations during the second quarter (weeks 14 to 25) with like-for-like sales rising to 4.4%.Trevor Mooney, joint MD of 22-shop chain Chatwins of Nantwich, said that bakery sales were up on last year. The bad weather meant that sales of cream products and savouries did not dip, usually typical during the summer. “We’ve been selling a lot more sand- wiches,” Mooney added. “We recently bought vans, which are doing a great lunchtime trade.”Dawson’s bakery added 6p to an 800g loaf. MD Robert Dawson said the company’s prices will have to go up again in October in line with an increase in flour prices. He said that the bakery had done well over the summer, with like-for-like sales up 4%.John Foster, MD of Foster’s bakery, in Barnsley, said: “The summer’s rain affected us very badly. The floods have made the wheat quality in our area poor and, as a result, we are now throwing away about 5% of our products.”last_img read more

The Customer Focus Award

first_imgT he Customer Focus Award seeks out the most customer-orientated bakery businesses. It was created in recognition of the craft, industrial and in-store bakery sectors’ constant determination to find new ways to improve levels of customer service.”As a company that strives to provide its customers with the best service possible, BakeMark is aware that for those working in the baking industry, simply meeting customers’ expectations is not enough – we need to surpass them,” says John Lindsay, country manager at BakeMark UK, which once again sponsors the award.The company is looking for like-minded businesses that always look to go one step further in the name of service.”Companies that can expect to do well are those that demonstrate an in-depth understanding of customers’ needs, as well as innovative and swift approaches to solving problems or adapting to issues that might arise,” says Lindsay.According to Lindsay, a combination of a strong heritage and a forward-thinking attitude helps BakeMark in its research and development. “We have well-established Arkady and Craigmillar brands and are also constantly looking at new ways to provide bakery solutions for our customers; updating and developing key lines to move with the market and help our customers stay one step ahead,” he says.”For all those who do the same and would welcome recognition of their efforts, the Baking Industry Awards have long been recognised as the benchmark of excellence in the sector.”All bakery businesses, large or small, may enter this award, and you do not have to be a customer of BakeMark UK to take part. Entrants must be able to show that they provide excellent customer service and work to surpass their customers’ expectations.last_img read more

Sandwich guru

first_imgOver the past months, we have been working flat out at the Soho Sandwich company, making thousands and thousands of sandwiches for many of the very special events that have taken, and are taking, place up and down the country during the summer, writes Adam Gilbert.The particular favourite event that we cater for is the test match that has just been played at Lord’s Cricket Ground and for which we create what could be considered the ultimate in traditional English afternoon tea finger sandwiches. I am referring, of course, to the cucumber sandwich, which, believe it or not, is one of the most complicated sandwiches we make, due to the fact that the cucumbers have such a high water content, which can end up making soggy sarnies.Our process is that we first remove the skin from the cucumbers, using a potato peeler, and then leave the cucumbers in a fridge overnight to allow sufficient time for them to dry out somewhat and to avoid the bread from becoming damp.Once dry, the cucumbers are cut laterally and all seeds are removed; we then mix low-fat cream cheese with finely chopped chives, spring onions and cracked black pepper, all of which is spread on the bottom slice of sunflower and pumpkin seed bread, and the laterally sliced and de-seeded cucumbers placed on top.Finally, we use wild English rocket, which is in plentiful supply at the moment and provides an excellent finish to this wonderful cucumber sandwich. The sandwich is a superb accompaniment to a glass of pink Champagne.== Ingredients Quantity ==Peeled English cucumbers 70gLow-fat cream cheese 50gChopped chives 10gSpring onions 10gWild English rocket 5gCracked black pepperSunflower/Pumpkin loaf 2 sliceslast_img read more

AAK to offer sustainable palm oil

first_imgFats and oils supplier AAK Bakery Services is about to receive its first shipment of sustainably produced crude palm oil at its Hull-based refinery.A founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2004, the company will be one of the first to receive Europe’s initial shipment. The oil has been produced in Malaysia by United Plantations, the first palm oil producer in the world to have been successfully audited against RSPO’s rigorous new sustainability criteria.”It means that, for the first time, our customers can purchase palm oil that has been independently verified as having been sustainably produced,” explained marketing manager Janet Murdoch.AAK supplies 60% of all oils, fats and processing oils used in the UK’s baking and confec- tionery industry.last_img read more

Baking industry in limbo as salt goals stay unclear

first_imgThe Food Standard Agency’s (FSA’s) long delay in publishing revised 2010 salt targets has left the baking industry in limbo, with companies unsure how much to invest in product reformulation as time runs out before the deadline. After first agreeing 2010 salt reduction targets with industry three years ago, the FSA launched a consultation last year, looking at further lowering these targets for some foods, including cakes, pasties, sausage rolls and pies.The revised 2010 targets, along with new targets for 2012, were meant to be published in December, but the FSA has still not yet revealed what these may be, with time now running out for companies to meet them.Chris Morrant, chairman of the technical committee at the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers, said that some of the targets being proposed by the FSA were “totally unrealistic”. “The FSA has lost credibility with industry in the way that it has handled the new targets. The timescales for achieving them are unrealistic. We have to gradually acclimatise consumers to less salt.”Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Sector manager Barbara Gallani told British Baker that both the revised 2010 targets and the 2012 targets went “too far”. “We have come to a technical limit and the texture of products will be compromised with the proposed targets. Our members will find it difficult to meet them,” she said.”The FSA has shifted the goal posts on targets, but has left the industry in limbo,” added Elizabeth Ardoh-Kesson, technical manager at the British Meat Processors’ Association, which represents savoury pastry manufacturers. “Our members don’t know whether to start making changes now or wait to see what the new targets will be. The problem is that there is not enough time to imple- ment changes.”A spokesperson for the FSA said the delay in publishing the new targets was due to the large number of very detailed responses received during the consultation and the need to consider “complex issues” with stakeholders and government departments.”Part of this has included further work to assess the costs associated with reformulation and to finalise the impact assessment, which accompanied the consul-tation document,” she said.last_img read more

Giles Foods to expand sweet bakery plant

first_imgGiles Foods plans to strengthen its position in the sweet bakery market by increasing space at its Warminster factory by a third.A new 6,550sq ft unit will be added to the bakery, which produces Danish pastries, croissants, tarts and buns for supermarket ISBs and foodservice distributors, following a £1.5m equipment investment programme.In the past 18 months, the firm has invested in a Comas pie and tart line and a new croissant line and pastry brake. New icing technology will be installed by the end of autumn. The factory extension “will enable our improvement programme to really pay dividends”, said sales and marketing director David Marx.last_img

City of South Bend launches new tool to help young people find employment

first_img Google+ Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Previous articleMore than a dozen employees at Tysons Food facility in Logansport have tested positive for COVID-19Next articleThousands of job openings posted across Michigan Carl Stutsman City of South Bend launches new tool to help young people find employment (Photo Supplied/City of South Bend) Youth Jobs SB is a new initiative through the City of South Bend Venue Parks & Arts, that hopes to get more area youths the tools they need to find work. That includes workforce training, employment boot camps, and job readiness programs.To take part all they have to do is load up the website, begin the application process and then choose the program they want to be involved with. They are targeting ages 15 to 21.Employment Coordinator Kintae Lark says they are hoping to make an impact in the inner city area and reach young people to let them know there are opportunities out there. To find out more visit youthjobssb.org Pinterest Twitter By Carl Stutsman – April 21, 2020 0 351 IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Google+ WhatsApp Facebook Facebooklast_img read more