Developed by London-based wholesale bakery Bagatelle, Mariner’s Bread contains 0.4g of salt per 100g and is based on the traditional ‘pain brie’ from Normandy. This was enjoyed by cod fisherman in the Normandy port of Honfleur, from the 16th century onwards, during their expeditions to Newfoundland. With a tight white crumb, golden crust and long shelf life, the bread was traditionally made with a ‘brie’ – a large stone on which the dough was crushed, with a long wooden lever to extract the air. Family inheritanceThe recipe uses flour from the Beauce region of France and salted butter from Isigny Sainte-Mère; it was passed onto Bagatelle’s MD Jacky Lesellier by her great grandfather François, who was a baker in Honfleur in the late 1880s. Although the brie itself is no longer used, this old family recipe has helped Jacky develop a low-salt bread which, she says, is delicious served ‘as is’, or lightly toasted. The Mariner’s loaf is currently sold in Bagatelle’s shop in south-west London, as well as being supplied to the company’s wholesale customers within the M25. Jacky Lesellier hopes that the increased call for ‘healthy’ products will mean Mariner’s Bread will find a market in health food shops and supermarkets.Company historyBagatelle was set up in 1989 by a team of French bakers and pâtissiers. It currently supplies over 50 five-star hotels, clients such as Eurostar and British Airways and some of the best restaurants in London with its range of 50 breads, 37 types of morning goods and over 50 different Continental pastries and cakes. Clients can place orders the night before and products are freshly baked 365 days a year for delivery up to three times a day. Bagatelle also offers a ‘traiteur service’, which organises parties in London.
Bakers in New York City have been banned from using any kind of trans fat. The ban, which applies to all foodservice establishments in New York, has been phased in since last year, with the first phase applying to fry oils and spreads.The ban, which came into force from 1 July, covers food which contains 0.5g of trans fat or more per serving from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarines or shortenings.The ban applies to all manufacturing businesses required to hold a New York City Health Department permit, including restaurants, bakeries and mobile food vending units. Finished, pre-packaged goods are not covered. Artificial trans fats – found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil – can lead to health problems such as coronary heart disease, as it increases bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers good cholesterol (HDL).The New York City Health Department said: “Acceptance of the first phase of the trans-fat ruling has been high, with more than 98% of inspected restaurants in compliance as of last month.”Laura Stanley, coordinator of the Trans Fat Help Center, said: “In many cases, bakers don’t need to switch brands; they will simply order new formulations of familiar products.”We found that some of these products actually worked better than the old versions made with artificial trans fats.”Any business now found to breach the ban will face a fine of between $200 and $2,000, and any violations will also be posted on the Health Depart-ment’s Restaurant Inspection website.—-=== Consumer Tracking ===Staff appearance is the most important factor for customers eating in a quick-service restaurant, according to research and development agency Retail Eyes.In a survey of over 2,700 people nationally, it was evident that, although customers appreciate a speedy service, there is much more involved in retaining their custom, said the research group.Staff appearance plays a key role, with 91.6% of respondents claiming that it affects the way they view an establishment and, in turn, the service they expect to receive.Eighty-six per cent of respondents said the way that staff interact with them affects their decision to visit a location, while 79.5% said they felt staff should be knowledgeable enough to be able to recommend serving suggestions.Just over 80% of respondents said that they like to be made aware of special offers.Two out of three customers expect the whole transaction to take less than three minutes. However, only one in 10 said they feel like a valued customer.
Rubicon purchaseAG Barr has completed its acquisition of exotic fruit juice company Groupe Rubicon. The deal was completed for an initial cash consideration of £59.8m. The addition of Rubicon will enhance Barr’s customer base and diversify its portfolio.Greggs adds outletGreggs has opened a new shop in Yeovil, Somerset – the 117th within its Treforest division. The 986sq ft shop, which has created 16 new jobs for the area, will sell freshly-baked bread and a wide range of sweet and savoury goods. In an interview with British Baker (5 September), chief executive Ken McMeikan said expansion in the south-west of England was a priority for the company.Russian ventureCocoa manufacturer Barry Callebaut has opened its first chocolate academy in Russia. The centre in Moscow will offer training to professional users of chocolate. Workshops, seminars and demonstrations will also be available.Flavours for IndiaFood travel specialist SSP has opened a convenience brand outlet, Flavours, at Delhi International airport. The unit is SSP’s first in India, bringing the company’s global presence to 31 countries in total. Flavours is a convenience store brand with an emphasis on freshly-made products, including sandwiches and pastries.Starbucks expansionStarbucks is expanding its range of breakfast options in its US and Canadian stores, with the addition of Perfect Oatmeal, Chewy Fruit & Nut Bar, Apple Bran Muffin, Berry Stella and Power Protein Plate. The company has also teamed up with Kraft Foods in Switzerland to launch Starbucks branded coffee in Swiss Co-op stores.
British Baker columnist Tony Phillips passed away on Saturday 17 January, as the result of a brain tumour. He was a very popular columnist for British Baker for many years. He held the position of president of The National Association of Master Bakers (2004/05). He was also the first Englishman ever to be invited to become president of Retail Confectioners International, the confectionery association of North America. He leaves a widow Barbara and two daughters, Andrea and Jane. The funeral will be held at 2pm on Thursday 29 January at Gloucester Crematorium, Coney Hill, Gloucester, GL4 4PA. All are welcome.After the funeral there will be a gathering at the Wotton Hall Club, 138 Barnwood Road, Gloucester, GL4 3JS. All are welcome to this also.It is Family Flowers only; donations are towards Tony & Barbara’s daughters’ work in the Philippines. To look at the work they achieve go to www.p-c-f.org.British Baker sends its deepest condolences to Barbara Phillips and family.
Following an approach from the BBC, the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) has agreed to get involved in a new television series The Great British Bake-Off to be screened next year. The series will follow 10 passionate amateur baking fans who will compete in a ’bake-off’ contest to be crowned UK’s Best Amateur Baker. ABIM is to contribute some of its expertise in the field. The programme is currently in the early stages of production and the BBC has said it will begin filming in May 2010. As well as the competition element of the ’bake-off’, the programme will also look at the history of baking in Britain.
New coffee chain Love Coffee is stepping into the gap left by BB’s Coffee & Muffins, with a goal for 25 outlets by the end of the year. Former BB’s Coffee & Muffins franchisee Shashi Patel, of DJ & C Foods, is planning to roll out the new chain in shopping centre locations across the UK.Patel formerly had 13 BB’s outlets, which are now in the process of being rebranded as Love Coffee, and the firm has already opened two additional stores in Woking.”When BB’s went into administration, we felt it was an opportunity to do our own thing,” explained Patel. “Our target is to have 25 cafés by the end of the year. We have purchased two of BB’s sites from the administrators and are also looking at brand new sites.”The cafés offer a range of sandwiches and muffins, freshly made in-store, as well as the company’s own blend of coffee, sourced from Nairobi Coffee Company. The firm has sites throughout Cheshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Patisserie Valerie is inviting customers to celebrate France’s Bastille Day at its new Knightsbridge outlet, which opens on the same day. The new store on Brompton Road, London, which opens on 14 July, will be the firm’s 27th in the capital. The store will be decked out in the red, white and blue tricolour of France, for a three-day period of celebrations, starting on Bastille Day and featuring Patisserie Valerie can-can girls.“We pride ourselves on being different and innovative both in our food and indulgence offerings – and also the way that we plan to surprise and entertain our customers,” commented chief executive officer Paul May. “On a serious note we felt that many current themed occasions, such as Valentine’s Day, have become over-commercialised and tired. We felt that the new opening gave us the opportunity to do something different.”The firm will also be producing special limited-edition cakes from its indulgence range for the launch.There will also be a special in-store exhibition by local artists, with the opportunity for customers to pick up some new artwork.>> Patisserie Valerie is set to expand
It’s not often that the British Baker team have the opportunity to get toasted in the office, Christmas party aside. So we owe thanks to Vogel’s for its latest bit of online marketing that allows you to upload any image onto a piece of toast. Have a go at www.vogelsbread.co.uk/vogels/toastarizer.ashx and keep it clean, folks.
It’s time again to launch British Baker’s annual National Cupcake Championships, in a bid to find the UK’s best professional cupcake maker for 2011. Will it be you?As the third annual National Cupcake Week – which takes place from 12-18 September – draws nearer, we are again giving you the chance to prove you are the cupcake king or queen of the UK. Today we kick off the highlight of every cupcaker’s calendar: the annual National Cupcake Championships.Cake specialists, craft bakeries, manufacturers and retailers across the UK are invited to enter the National Cupcake Championships, to find the nation’s most outstanding cupcake baker.Awards will be presented to winners in each of the following six categories; the baker with the best overall cupcake will be crowned National Cupcake Champion 2011 at a special event to be held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, 15 August.The cream of UK cake baking will be on the judging panel, including celebrated cake decorator and author Peggy Porschen, author and co-owner of Cox Cookies & Cakes, Eric Lanlard, and Tarek Malouf, founder of the UK’s top destination cupcake shop, The Hummingbird Bakery.All entries will be considered for the following categories:Best Decorated Cupcake of the Year – sponsored by RenshawThis is all about the topping and decoration. Cakes with an instant wow factor that encourage customers to buy with their eyes will win the prize. Best Presented Cupcake of the Year – sponsored by ChevlerFor bakers who take care to impress their customers with top notch presentation in-store or through delivered packaging. All packaging and presentation materials must be commercially viable and used within your business. Most Innovative Cupcake of the Year – sponsored by FDQWhether it’s unexpected flavour combinations, quirky surprises, high concepts or outstanding displays of skill that take cupcake making to a new level, this is the category that recognises the most creative bakers. Best Cupcakes Crafted for Multiple OutletsFor manufacturers, multiple retailers and craft bakery and coffee shop chains with 10+ outlets. This is the category that recognises the expertise that goes into making cupcakes at a sizeable volume whilst staying true to customer demands for great-tasting, good-looking, great value cupcakes.Free-from Cupcake of the YearIf your cake caters for wheat-, gluten- or dairy-free customers, or other special dietary requirements such as vegan or diabetes, then you will be eligible for this category.Best Tasting Cupcake of the Year – sponsored by PuratosAll cakes that make the above shortlists will be put forward for the ‘Best Tasting’ category and judged on 15 August. For full details visit www.nationalcupcakeweek.co.uk. Complete the application process online to enterIf you are unable to enter online, call Rachael Cannon on 01293 610433 or email [email protected] for an application form.Deadline for entries is 15 July.
When recruiting a temporary replacement to cover a period of maternity leave, most employers are careful to stipulate that the person engaged needs to be available for the duration of the contract. But where do you stand if a woman hired for this type of role turns out to be pregnant and knew that she wouldn’t be able to complete the job at the outset? As she has clearly lied to you about her availability, can you cut your losses and sack her?Unfortunately, an employer who reacts in this way is likely to get hauled before the tribunal. That is because considerable protection is given to pregnant women under the Equality Act 2010. It says that any dismissal of a woman on account of her pregnancy will be direct sex discrimination. Those recruited for fixed-term contracts (FTC) as most employees providing maternity leave cover are will also be protected.There is no point trying to argue that the dismissal is due to her “inability to fulfil the contractual requirements of the role”, rather than the pregnancy itself. This has already been tested before the European courts in Tele Danmark A/S v Handels-org 2001. Here, the employer claimed that:1. a female employee had breached the requirement of “good faith” when she accepted a contract knowing she was pregnant; and2. it would have treated any man unable to honour a contract in exactly the same way.Needless to say, her dismissal was deemed to be unfair.Where you have directly recruited an employee who turns out to be pregnant, it is fair to say that your hands are tied. You cannot dismiss her simply because she failed to disclose her condition and it does not suit your business needs. But you can avoid coming unstuck in the first place. If you hire temporary maternity cover via an agency, perhaps on a weekly or monthly basis, you can replace her if she later presents a “problem” as and when you wish, and without having to worry about a sex discrimination claim.On 1 October 2011, the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 will come into force. From that date, when a pregnant temp completes a 12-week qualifying period, she will be entitled to paid time off for antenatal appointments but not maternity leave. It is the agency that must pay her for this. This can be avoided by booking temps for fewer than 12 weeks.