Dublin-based McCam-bridge Group has acquired Oxford-based cakes supplier Queen of Hearts as it expands its UK operations.The £5 million turnover wholesaler and retail supplier went into administration in February and was bought out by McCambridge on March 17. It will be run alongside the rapidly expanding McCam-bridge Group’s Husseys Bakery subsidiary, based in Berkshire. Husseys managing director Martin Davey told British Baker Queen of Hearts will be run as a separate entity, under his directorship. No changes to the product range are anticipated, and it is “business as usual” for staff, he said.Queen of Hearts employs 80 people at its 22,000sq ft leasehold premises in Oxford, making boxed cakes and patisserie for wholesale and retail customers including Waitrose. It won a contract to supply Duchy Originals branded Christmas cakes and Dundee cakes in Christmas 2005. Commenting on the acquisition, group managing director Michael McCambridge told British Baker: “We are working very hard at our business.” The company is open to opportunities in “many food areas” as it grows. McCambridge has transformed itself from a regional bakery in Leinster, Ireland to a E20m-plus turn-over food business over the last few years, with a series of acquisitions. Earlier this year, the group bought rival company, Gills Bakery in Ireland out of examinership for about E3.5m. It is now understood to be bidding for Dublin’s Cooke’s bakery. It acquired Husseys in the UK in 2001 and also owns West of England Bakeries, which has a site in Plymouth and a depot in Cornwall.
If James Campbell had gone straight to college from school, there’s no doubt he would have been a high-flying accountant by now. As it happened, he missed his place on the accountancy course by a month and was told he would have to wait a year to start again. His parents insisted he filled the time by getting a job – a move that would change the course of his professional life.Now, 14 years after admitting he couldn’t even boil an egg, he is the head pastry chef at one of London’s finest hotels, the five-star Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, Knightsbridge. Heads of state, business leaders, celebrities and even royalty have all stayed in the hotel, with its Michelin-starred restaurant, Foliage..”It’s fabulous,” says Campbell taking in the opulent surroundings. “I guess I wasn’t meant to be an accountant.” But even he is surprised at how his unexpected career has taken off: “It has all escalated at such a rapid speed, but I want to carry on to see where it takes me.”His journey started at the five-star Cameron House hotel on the shores of Loch Lomond, close to where he grew up in Glasgow. That first day, he remembers, was a bit of a shock to the system. “I finished at 2pm, thinking that was it for the day, when I was told my shift started again at 5pm. I was stunned.”But he quickly adapted to the long hours. After working his way around the different food areas in the kitchen as a trainee, Campbell moved into the pastry section and soon discovered where his culinary heart lay. “I just fell in love with it,” he says. “I enjoy the scientific and creative aspect of pastry-making. You have artistic licence to be creative, but you also have to work within certain boundaries and be meticulous about how you use ingredients.”He continued to fine-tune his skills at other hotels in Scotland, before moving south and later taking over as group head pastry chef for Gary Rhodes; the celebrity chef owns two Michelin-star restaurants in London and has brasseries in Edinburgh and Manchester. He worked for the top chef for five years before moving to the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park nearly three years ago as a senior sous chef, taking over as head pastry chef in March.learning on the jobTo get to this level, Campbell has had to work extremely hard – perhaps even harder than most, because he did not go to catering college and had no previous baking experience. So everything he learnt was on the job and he proved a good pupil.One of his role models was another Michelin-star chef, Marco Pierre White. “I am a great fan of his. I like his style of cooking and his attention to detail,” says Campbell. And it is Campbell’s own meticulous attention to detail, hard work and consistency that has also set him apart – plus an understanding of what people want and value for money. As he says: “In order to compete at this level, you have got to be at the top of your game.”Campbell, who is a pastry judge for the Academy of Culinary Arts’ annual excellence awards, has a team of 12 pastry chefs. The kitchen has two bakers in its employment at the moment who get involved in the pastry production, though new recruits tend to come from chef backgrounds.”I’ve worked with pastry almost all through my career but I’ve evolved into a pastry chef since I came here,” he says. “It’s an area that takes a while to get used to – it’s very challenging at first. I don’t think there’s necessarily a divide between pastry chefs and bakers. But I think you certainly become a more successful pastry chef if you have an understanding of baking.”For that reason he believes there’s no great divide between pastry chefery and bakery. “There’s certainly a difference in the way we approach the job and our way of thinking, but as a baker, you have all the fundamental characteristics to become a very successful pastry chef in terms of timing and understanding of product. In both, you have to be very precise and have an artistic flair. Both have very similar components to the make up of the job and there’s no reason why you can’t be as good as one as you are at the other. If you’re a born and bread baker, a bit of pastry work could broaden your horizons and give you more options in the future.”Being part of an international group, Campbell has visited Prague and Kuala Lumpur in 2006 and will be visiting the patisseries of Paris next week to gain inspiration for new pastry products, which are developed as business dictates. “We created a couple of new desserts for Christmas,” he reveals.Everything is baked as late as possible for ultimate freshness, which Campbell says is unusual for a hotel. Lemon tarts for a big function, for instance, would be baked a few hours before serving, rather than kept for two or three days. “We are meticulous about the products,” he says. “Everything is made fresh on the day. If it is not used, it is not kept; nothing is carried over. It does take a lot of advanced planning,” he admits, “but it means the quality of the products is so much better.”For breakfast, the hotel handles up to 200 à la carte covers in the Park restaurant as well as 100 room-service orders. These include homemade brioches and croissants. A further 120 plated desserts are served at both lunch and dinner and there are 120 covers a day in the Michelin-starred Foliage restaurant. Campbell also has to factor in last-minute orders and special dietary requests. For Jewish halal functions, the whole kitchen is stripped back the night before and re-built.Campbell admits: “It can be demanding; people are paying a lot and expect a lot in return. But if you have the right equipment, the right tools and the right people, I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it is surprisingly straightforward.”One of the highlights of the day is afternoon tea. Diners can savour a selection of savoury, sweet and baked items. These include sandwiches – from cucumber to smoked salmon – to cakes and pastries, such as Sachertorte, strawberry tarts, petits fours and éclairs. There are also traditional scones with clotted cream, served with wild strawberry compote and rose petal jam. The chocolate and sugarwork is created in-house, as are celebration cakes.Developing new recipesCampbell and his staff are encouraged to come up with new recipes. “Every couple of days I go to one side and play about with ingredients,” he says. “But I also try and get the guys involved. It is useful having so many different nationalities working in the kitchen, because you get an authentic feel for the product.”Any technical challenges in producing such large volumes of products are met with state-of-the-art equipment in the marble-topped kitchen. Some were installed as part of the hotel’s £57 million refurbishment in 2000. These include a three-deck oven and the Koma computer-run fridge system.As the baking area in the grand Victorian building is small, a few products have to be bought in. Items such as breads for the restaurants are made by specialist companies to specific recipes and delivered daily.For such a high-pressured environment, the kitchen seems surprisingly relaxed, unlike the aggressive antics favoured by some celebrity chefs. “There is none of that nonsense,” says Campbell. “Inevitably mistakes will happen, but if you give your absolute best and are big enough to put your hands up if something doesn’t go right, you make it better the next time.”Maintaining such exacting standards means having a good relationship with your staff, and Campbell says he has the best. “I am blessed to have such a good team. Chef Nichols is also supportive and understanding of what we need to run a pastry operation of this quality. It is very fulfilling to know that, when you come to work, you are with people who are on the same wavelength, who want to do better all the time, and never want to stand still. It makes it challenging but also very rewarding.”
Bakers can expect rising raw material and processing costs as they adapt to Food Standards Agency (FSA) proposals for lowering saturated fats in biscuits, cakes, pastries and buns.Many suppliers of fats and oils have developed new formulations and processes to bring down sat fat levels and are poised to guide their customers through the potentially confusing options but are warning their customers of a likely hike in input costs. The FSA’s proposals outline voluntary recommendations for lowering saturated fat, sugar and portion size among bakery products, chocolate and soft drinks. Consultation on the proposals closed last month and, as they stand, these identify reductions of 5% for non-plain biscuits and 10% across other bakery goods by the end of 2012.While misgivings over the proposals were highlighted in British Baker’s recent The Big Bakery Debate on the topic (BB, 6 November), many bakers and their ingredients suppliers have already invested in new recipes to reduce the sat fat content of their products. “We have the solutions. A lot of the time, it’s just down to how much people are prepared to pay to maintain or improve quality,” says Stephen Bickmore, UK commercial manager of Vandemoortele’s lipids division.A spokesperson says Bakemark/CSM is investigating the potential for launching a new line of lower sat fat products next year. But what fat and oil products are available from suppliers to meet the saturated fat reduction needs of various product groups, whether it is pastry, cake batters, creams or biscuits? For shortcrust pastry and cake batters, there are a range of all-purpose shortenings on the market. “Saturated fat levels vary from around 50% for the most basic offering, through 40% alternatives, with some lower levels being available,” says Jo Bruce, research & development manager at ADM Pura. ADM’s all-purpose shortenings, including Peerless Melva shortening, containing only 35% saturated fat. To achieve even further reductions, NovaLipid shortening contains just 30% saturated fat. All these alternatives are similar in creaming performance, cake volume, firmness, dispersibility and eat characteristics, she claims. “For bakers, it is important to avoid a greasy texture in pastry or a dry or claggy cake. NovaLipid shortening has been developed to match the characteristics of Melva shortening, offering optimum functionality for short pastry and cakes. It is also firm enough for use in sugar and fat ’buttercreams’.”The fat used in puff pastry and Danish pastry is pastry margarine. Most pastry margarines available in the UK contain around 40% saturated fat. It is more difficult to change the saturated fat content of puff pastry margarines, as they need to be very firm and very plastic to withstand the laminating process and maintain separation between discrete layers of dough, says Bruce. “However, it is possible to reduce saturated fat in the oil blend, which reduces the saturated fat content without a noticeable effect on the finished pastry. NovaLipid pastry margarine contains only 33% saturated fat and results in puff pastry with good rise and a particularly clean eat.”One method of cutting back on sat fats is to use more soft oils in margarine and other fats, adapting recipes to use a greater proportion of seed oils and less palm oil, says Vandemoortele’s Bickmore. However, he adds: “Palm oil is cheaper than seed oils, so using less of it has implications on cost as well as quality.” Indeed, industry attendees at The Big Bakery Debate identified likely cost increases of between 10% and 20% for new formulations to lower the sat fat content in bakery goods, and potential hidden costs if consumers respond badly to the product changes.Effect on textureCost is not the only variable to suffer from reducing the use of palm oil as an ingredient. “Using less palm oil has an effect on the texture and mouthfeel of products, and while seed oils may be okay in cakes, puff pastry requires a firmer fat for the layering,” says Bickmore.Many suppliers had turned to palm oil as part of the drive to remove trans fats from processed foods, pushing up levels of saturated fat as a result. “It was right to get rid of trans fats, but trans fat levels were actually lower than recommended thresholds in the UK, whereas saturated fats were higher than the UK recommended levels,” says Bickmore.Vandemoortele also lays claim as a pioneer in reduced-fat margarines and butters in the UK market. “Margarine is generally around 80-82% fat, and what we’ve done is reduce it to 60%, and we talk to our customers about how to utilise it, so that people won’t notice the difference so much,” says Bickmore. “You have to be more creative with the filling, although that is being looked at too.”Having removed or reduced many artificial ingredients, salt and trans fats, and now saturated fats, “it’s going to be a different product with less of a flavour profile,” he says. “With pastry, we have probably gone as far as we can go without additives and to go further, you would have to put flavours and fat replacers in, which would go against clean labelling.” Making small, incremental changes to formulation is crucial to consumer acceptance, says Bickmore.AAK, meanwhile, has also moved from palm oil to liquid oils to cut back on sat fats, advocating its Akofluid Pumpable Shortening as a solution to the FSA’s proposed targets for reducing saturated fats in pastry recipes. A switch from block shortening can reduce overall fat content by up to 25%, according to AAK product manager Daniel Chilvers, with the saturated fat content of Akofluid often less than half that of block shortening.”We work with the customer to devise the best way for them to reduce saturated fats in their products, from advising on our ingredients’ use in recipes to creating and building the entire handling system to use with it,” he says. “The onus is on us to lead the change, not the customer.”Akofluid’s liquid consistency results in more effective mixing of dough, requiring less fat and less working-in, and can be used for cake mixes and shortcrust pastry for pie and quiche bases. AAK technical support is on hand to advise clients on other potential applications and can include site visits to manufacturing plants and bakeries.”It’s about trying to find the best of both worlds,” says Richard Bacon, UK commercial manager of S Black, referring to the difficulties faced by suppliers in maintaining product quality, while lowering sat fat content through a reduction of firmer oils, such as palm. “We have a range of natural dairy concentrate flavours such as butter, cream and cheese, which take the original fat and concentrate it down, giving authenticity and the expected creamy mouthfeel,” says Bacon.In addition to its low fat content, S Black’s Buds range is price-stable and offers a concentrated flavour from very low application levels. Further variants include cocoa butter and olive oil, while the supplier is also working on caramelised and flavoured lines “core products with different tonalities and with the richness and mouthfeel to overcome the fat reduction”, says Bacon. “We are applying existing technology to a new market focus area.” S Black has developed a reduced sat fat concept for muffins, using fibres to create a similar product structure to the full-fat product. “This project also showcases how we are able to combine multiple ingredients to generate a strong solution for healthier products,” says Bacon. “With this work we have been able to avoid the typical light fluffy texture associated with low-fat versions and maintained the full-fat moistness with the combination of Butter Buds and fibres.”The supplier claims not all lower sat fat products are more expensive, with a new biscuit recipe demonstrating the potential to cut costs through butter reduction. “We achieved both a 50% and a 75% butter reduction, replacing the butter with Butter Buds and shortening to balance the structure, texture and flavour,” says Bacon. “In most cases, the replacement of butter with shortening would support a reduced saturated fat formulation.”
What rhymes with brunch? How about drunch and slunch? No, you are not reading Stop the Week, these two are for real.Apparently, after inventing brunch breakfast and lunch the Americans have now come up with drunch, to signify dinner and lunch, and slunch for supper and lunch. Robert Whittle, general manager of Pidy tells British Baker: “They are new terms and represent a new era for buffet eating at different times of the day or just special bakery treats.”Pidy certainly believes they offer up new opportunities for its core range of frozen, baked, ready-to-fill pastry products, which now includes three new launches.Chocolate Trendy Shells are pastry shells that come in three small shapes, circular, triangle and square. They can be filled with fruits, mousses and are stable enough even to fill with espresso coffee! Whittle says they are aimed at bakers who may be short of time but want something eye-catching for buffet orders or consumer impulse buys: “They add a darker dimension to desserts and cry out for a luscious filling,” he says.Tulipe Cups fit into the cupcake category. Small and sweet, the waffle baskets are like mini-cakes or desserts. They come in two versions plain or with a chocolate lining. Both are freeze-thaw stable. Fillings such as crèmes, fruit, ice-cream or sorbets can used as fillings to tempt customers for buffet occasions or a daily treat.A new Filo Cup, which contains 5% less fat and comprises six layers, is described as ’light and crunchy’. Available in mini and large versions, they can be filled with savoury or sweet fillings and used hot or cold. For buffets they can be filled two to three hours in advance, with fillings such as moussaka topped off under the grill with grated cheese. Or for cold, used as a carrier for salads and rice or fruit and mousses. They remain crisp for two hours once filled. All are available from wholesalers, including Brakes, as well as cash and carry.Company developmentWhittle says: “Pastry is an indulgence so of course they contain saturated fats but no trans or hydrogenated fats. We have manufacturing sites in Belgium, France and the US. We are building a new factory in the US over three times the size of the current plant, due to our success worldwide.”At the moment, the company produces and exports filo, puff, choux, and shortcrust ready-to-fill products, among others. Most have a long shelf-life and are freeze-thaw stable. Pidy is also known for meringues and Genoese sponge, but “watch this space”, says Whittle, as “different” new launches are planned for the New Year.
Porter Foods is now offering vanilla bean paste in squeezy bottles, with larger sizes for foodservice available on request.They have been designed to make life easier, by taking away the struggle with fiddly vanilla pods. The paste contains real Madagascan vanilla seeds, and can be used in place of vanilla pods with no compromise to quality or flavour, according to the firm.The 270ml squeezy bottles contain the equivalent of 30 vanilla pods, and cost £9.50 each.
One of the things enjoyed in the ’community’ of baking is the chance to network, share ideas, and enjoy good food and wine. There is a real ’warmth’ in the bakery trade that you don’t find in other sectors, said a Sainsbury’s buyer recently, and this was apparent at the British Society of Baking (BSB) conference.Held on 4-5 October under the chairmanship of Bakels’ Keith Houliston, the event saw several speakers deliver very different papers that enlightened delegates and broadened horizons.As an audience of around 100 took their seats at Ardencote Manor in Warwickshire, grocery guru Ed Garner of Kantar Worldpanel kicked off proceedings and whizzed delegates through how different supermarkets were performing and how their niches were perceived. “One thing is clear,” said Garner, “the 2008 recession is over premium is back! But how long for? We wait to see the results of spending cuts. But ’free-trade, free-range and local’ are all selling points.”Kantar assembles its supermarket sales information every four weeks. “Ignore what shoppers say, watch what they do,” said Garner, making a succinct negative point about focus groups.Research showed that Asda is perceived to focus on price or quality, with too many promotions and discounts, even on its Extra Special range. Sainsbury’s reputation is for balancing value with values. It offers the largest Fairtrade range, but is seen more as giving value-for-money rather than low prices. In this, Justin King has been very successful in targeting middle-class shoppers, said Garner.Morrisons is strong on its ’Market Street’ retail theatre and provenance with its ’Ask the Baker’ slogan, for example. It also performs particularly well at Christmas in getting shoppers in, and their spend up.”Recession and Waitrose do not mix,” said Garner. But since 2008, it has been the fastest-growing grocer, regarding itself as the ’connoisseur’ of food. It is the only store in which organic is growing and is perceived as ethical, with always a good food ’story’ to tell.Aldi is currently losing ground, while Marks & Spencer shoppers have always needed to shop elsewhere as well, he added. But watch this space! M&S is now fighting back and introducing more brands.Tesco is biggest on internet shopping, but with most growth coming from premium. It still maintains its ’ethical’ stance.”What can be done about promotions?” asked a BSB delegate. “NPD and strong branding especially strong branding,” answered Garner. He cited Warburtons as still being an industry leader in this respect.He also mentioned promotions “buy one, watch the second one rot!” as a key to why Sainsbury’s had pioneered a mix of products on offer, which was proving very successful.Health and psychologyHealth and wellness are here to stay, said CSM Europe’s Roel Orsel. Look at them as an opportunity, he told delegates. “Fewer people are on a diet; instead they are trying to eat more ’better for you’ products,” explained Orsel.Shoppers are increasingly looking for low-calorie, reduced-fat or ’lite’ products and there is great interest in fortification, with vitamin, calcium and wholegrain claims helping sales, he added, saying: “Bakery products can deliver all these fortifications.”Orsel said that, in the US, 85% of the population has a fibre deficiency something that has not yet been focused on here. And he pointed out that people are very visually driven. On labels, they want to see ingredients such as proteins and vitamins but less fat and less sugar.Taste is king, but wellness also applies to indulgent products, so suppliers must look at reformulation and communicate positives such as ’natural flavours’ he said.Kevin Kingsland, a business psychologist who counsels and develops individuals or companies to become more fulfilled and successful, told BSB delegates he was interested in the construction of reality, saying that it helps individuals to have insights into themselves. A really authentic person is one whose inside thoughts and feelings are consistent with their behaviour. He then took delegates through the history of branding, explaining that the future is ’authentic branding’, which adds value and matches consumers’ needs. Kingsland explained the history of PR, begun by Edward Bernays, the father of spin, who wrote a book, Propaganda, read by Goebbels. He gave several examples of its influence: Bernays told suffragettes that cigarettes were ’torches of freedom’, which is why so many later died from lung disease. And Bernays explained that consumerism (consumptionism) is the science of compelling people to use more and more things “that is how you control them and get rich!” He also warned delegates to watch the economy in February, it would be a real danger time.On a more historical note, Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, David Goddard took delegates through the history of the Bakers’ Co. Founded in 1155, it has a very high proportion of bakers, over 50% and, as well as supporting charities such as the Bakers’ Benevolent Society and Cor-poration of the Sons of Clergy, its main thrust is supporting young bakers with scholarships, bur-saries and sending them on overseas training courses.Archy Cunningham, MD of United Central Bakeries (UCB), founded 1989, joined the company in 1998 and led a £4m debt management buy-out in 2002 with a £2.4m loan from 3i and a £1.8m overdraft, with his “life on the line”, as he described it. But by making products people really wanted and implementing cost savings, he turned the business around, paid off the debt and sold the company in 2005 to Finsbury Foods, staying on as MD.In 2006, fire destroyed two-thirds of the factory, which was rebuilt in seven months. Highly automated, it includes the largest hotplate in the world and makes potato cakes and scones. The company is the biggest supplier of yum yums and makes the award winning gluten-free loaf Genius. Its complete free-from range includes flatbreads and pizza bases, speciality breads, Viennoiserie and Victoria and chocolate sponge.UCB’s customer profile has widened out to Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and others, with Sainsbury’s and Tesco the biggest customers. In fact, UCB claims around 80% of the free-from bakery sector. Its forward strategy, said Cunningham, was clear-cut: to continue to be first to market, to concentrate on innovation and to replicate top-selling bakery lines.Cake trendsTed Rich, MD of Rich’s in the UK and Europe, works for the family business, which started up 60 years ago and now operates in 100 countries. Rich guided delegates through new developments for cakes, explaining how in different sectors of the world Asia for example there is a strong trend for attractive packaging and detailed decoration of small cakes. Jellies, sesame and fermented rice have become popular, as well as lighter, more aerated products such as mousse cakes. More fruits are also used. In Latin America, the latest trend is to soak cakes, in apple and cinnamon or orange and chocolate syrup, for example. Edible flowers have also caught on, but notably there is less use of sugar and fat. Single portions are up, as is the use of exotic fruits such as passion and mango.In the US, by contrast, celebration cakes are a very big focus, especially in-store. They are still very sweet, but there is a tendency towards less use of cream. Flavour fusions are ’in’, such as berry cake with lemon icing.Eastern Europe is moving towards artisanal production. Cupcakes have caught on and, overall, cakes are becoming lighter, with more fruit, better decorations and again smaller, single-serve portions. Rich emphasised: “Cakes are about tapping into people’s emotions for personal and indulgent.” UK team for World Cup The Louis Lesaffre Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie takes place every four years in Paris. This year, for the first time, Britain will take part in the heats, British team captain Mickael Jahan told delegates. He said the aim was to improve and advance the reputation of the UK baking industry. There are three sections: best hand-crafted breads, Viennoiserie and artistic piece. Britain is competing against 12 other European countries in a bid to represent the continent of Europe in the world finals. Designing an image Speaker Tony Parsons designed the new BSB logo. A fresh approach, not a formula, is essential to success, he said, so he takes care to really listen and understand customers’ business, whether they want to project a state-of-the-art or traditional image. Based near Newbury in Berkshire, but operating nationwide, his clients vary hugely in size. One was Nash’s Bakery near Bicester, which had been given a successful new logo and image that translated through to every item of publicity and packaging and had already reaped rewards.
Festive bonanzaSainsbury’s has announced that, for the four weeks to 25 November, sales of its mince pies were up by 120% compared to the same time last year, and sales of its iced Christmas Cake were up 75%.Online food to soarThe value of online grocery shopping is predicted to almost double to £9.5bn in the next five years, according to new research published by IGD. It looks set to represent 5.2% of the overall UK grocery market by 2015, compared to 3.2% at the moment.Kerry’s Oz dealGeneral Mills is to sell its Croissant King and van den Bergh’s frozen bakery business in Australia to Ireland-based food and ingredients firm Kerry Group. The sale includes frozen dough and pastry products sold to professional bakers under those brands, as well as two plants located in Mansfield, Queensland, and Camellia, New South Wales.Bakery rise in IndiaThe middle classes are driving bakery growth in India, according to a new study on the future of the baking industry, reported national paper The Hindu. The paper revealed there was a market for relatively new products, such as crackers and pizza, and noted the opening of a number of new outlets of foreign bakery chains across the country.
A new business to the UK specialising in cream puffs has opened in central London and harbours ambitions to open 10 stores within three years.Chewy Junior, a 600sq ft outlet in Charing Cross, specialises in 18 variants of cream puff that sell for £1.90 for deluxe and £1.60 for the mini size. They are similar to choux, but crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Azril Azhar, UK master franchiser, opened in Villiers Street three months ago, after he bought the master franchise rights from the Singapore owner, which has nearly 25 outlets in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea and Qatar.Azhar said he hoped to have three or four London branches in the first year, although he has already had enquiries from further afield. “I am focusing on London, because that is where tourists are. We are still new and still teaching people what a cream puff is.” Azhar said he hoped to look outside London in his second year, with Liverpool and Manchester top of his list. “After year two, I would like to have about 10 stores.”He is looking at introducing a premium range, with hazelnut cream and more expensive ingredients, as well as a savoury range, and is also looking at working with wedding planners.
Surrey bakery manufacturer The Cookie Man has been forced to call in the administrators, after changing consumer tastes and strong competition severely hit profits.ReSolve Partners LLP was appointed as administrator at lunchtime on Monday 16 January. Cameron Gunn, a senior partner at ReSolve, told British Baker it has continued to trade the business, while it urgently seeks fresh investment, in the form of a buyer. Interest in the business to date has been very positive, added the administrator, with a further announcement on its future expected in the next 48 hours.The firm employs 350 staff, 25 of which were made redundant yesterday (18 January), said Gunn, who added ReSolve may need to make further redundancies before a sale is completed.The Esher-based bakery manufacturer, which filed its latest accounts on 18 November 2011, reported a huge drop in gross profit to £2.400m for the year ended 31 December 2010, from £4.298m for the comparable period in 2009.This resulted in a loss after taxation of £437,591, compared to a profit of just over £300,000 the previous year.The directors’ report stated the main threats to business were believed to be changing consumer tastes, and “the predominance of lower-value products in the market”. It added that competition continued to be strong “in these times of over-capacity in this industry”.
IndianaLocalNews (Photo supplied/Indiana Department of Natural Resources) Campgrounds, inns, restaurants, park offices and nature centers have reopened, at least somewhat, following the coronavirus outbreak. Now the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants to remind Hoosiers what will be open this summer, and what won’t be.Rentable picnic shelters, recreation buildings and rally camps are tentatively scheduled to open on Monday, June 1 for groups of 100 people or less, with social distancing.Property offices are open to members of the public who want to purchase passes, permits and fishing licenses.On the contrary, the DNR’s public outdoor swimming pools will remain closed for the 2020 summer season. This includes the following locations: Mounds, Prophetstown, Turkey Run, McCormick’s Creek, Spring Mill, Brown County, Versailles, Clifty Falls, O’Bannon Woods, Shakamak and Harmonie state parks, along with the pool at Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber State Recreation Area [SRA]).Most beaches are open, as they have adequate space for guests to practice social distancing. This includes beaches at: Pokagon, Potato Creek, Chain O’Lakes, Indiana Dunes, Ouabache, Lincoln, Whitewater Memorial and Summit Lake state parks, Cecil M. Harden (Raccoon SRA), Mississinewa, Monroe, Patoka, Brookville and Hardy lakes and Deam Lake and Starve Hollow SRAs and Ferdinand State Forest. The beaches at Cagles Mill (Lieber SRA) and Salamonie lakes will reopen when the currently high water returns to safe levels.Kayaks, canoes and paddle boats are available for rent at several park locations with lakes.You can find full details at on.IN.gov/dnrcovid19. Facebook Facebook Pinterest Twitter WhatsApp Google+ WhatsApp TAGS20/20closedcoronavirusCOVID-19department of natural resourcesDNRIndianaopenparkspoolsSummer What’s open and what’s closed for summer 2020, according to DNR Pinterest Twitter Google+ By Brooklyne Beatty – May 28, 2020 0 442 Previous articleMan arrested for drug possession in Dowagiac WednesdayNext articleLa Porte City Police to increase Aggressive Driving patrols next month Brooklyne Beatty