Driving National Craft Bakers' Week (NCBW) forward will be World Cup-winning rugby legend Phil Vickery, who will be getting involved in promotions as this year's official ambassador. Appropriately hailed as 'the cream of world props', the former England rugby captain and British Lion, currently with Wasps, will be the official figurehead of National Craft Bakers' Week, from 7-12 June.
Joining him in the cause will be regional spokesmen. David Gunns of Gunns Bakery in Sandy is one. A third-generation master baker, last year he mounted displays at the local school and, this year, he will again bring NCBW to the forefront of the local community. "We do a lot of country fairs and local farmers' markets, as well as going to the schools, the Guides, the Scouts and women's groups," says Gunns. "There is a great interest in local food these days."
Next comes Martin Hunt of Joe's Bakery in Bristol, which dates back to the 1800s. Martin and Jane Hunt have run the traditional craft bakery behind their high street shop in the Bishopstown area for the past 20 years. It sits on the Gloucester Road, often billed as the last traditional high street in England for its abundance of independent stores. Hunt says the week presents a great opportunity for demonstrating both their skills and their eco-friendly policies of minimising food miles and using locally-sourced ingredients. The inaugural event last year prompted Martin to do visits to local schools to "play dough" and to start to push the message out to locals.
George Fuller, with wife Heather, will be getting their nine-strong chain of Fuller's Quality Bakers shops stretching from East Yorkshire to North Lincolnshire involved. Last year's coverage saw them featured on Yorkshire TV and in local press write-ups. Children at Boothferry Primary School in Goole, East Yorkshire where the Fuller's bakery that supplies the shops is housed were filmed and photographed putting the finishing touches to gingerbread men, crafted by George.
"There was a lot of good customer reaction. We even got letters from people outside the Yorkshire area asking us what a master baker is," says George. "We were pushing strongly the message that ours is a business that never sleeps."
Meanwhile, Chris Beaney is keen to teach the teachers baking, so that they can pass on the skills for when domestic science is reintroduced to many secondary schools' curricula. The aim for the week is twofold: "To both promote and to educate. Handling dough is a very physical thing. Everyone who tries it really enjoys it," says Beaney, who will also be bringing his message big-time to the customers and their kids at his three Beaney's Bakery Kentish stores during the week.
NCBW is all about promoting your business and its role within the community, so take advantage of the bakery buzz generated by the week's marketing and PR and bring your bakery to the forefront.
Get kitted out for the occasion!
l Available from the NAMB are t-shirts, in small, medium and large, and aprons
Price: t-shirts: £4 each incl VAT; aprons £7
Postage & packing for orders up to £15 = £4; £15 to £25 = £6; £25 to £75 = £8; £75 to £150 = £10; over £150 = free!
Contact the NAMB, stating size and quantity and send a cheque payable to NAMB to: NAMB, 21 Baldock Street, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9DH
l Chic NCBW-themed jute bags can be bought from BFP Wholesale
Price: £1.99 + VAT
Available now: product code 88417
Bags can be purchased and delivered with your normal orders
Contact email@example.com or call your nearest depot
l Reynards will be supplying NCBW-themed bakeable wafers
Price: £36-£39/1,000 + VAT
Lead times will be two weeks from placing the order and samples are available
There will be a charge of £138 if custo-mers wish to change the design
For details contact Robert Tindal of Reynards by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01527 506020
Bakers are being encouraged to get children of customers and local schools to enter a nationwide colouring-in and drawing competition.
l The two age group categories are:
Ages 4-7: Colouring-in competition
You will find an outline bakery picture in the media pack, to be sent out with the May 21 issue of British Baker, for children to colour in. Please photocopy it and distribute in the locality. The image will also be available to download from early May.
Ages 8-11: Drawing competition
For the older age group, you will be sent an entry form, asking kids of customers to draw a picture of a baker's shop window.
Entries should be handed in on the official entry form at your shop and it is up to you to choose a winner from each age group. We recommend you offer a celebration cake as a prize, featuring the image of the winning entry. Forward your winning pics, one from each age category, to the NAMB, which will then choose the best pictures in the country. A national prize of a Nintendo Wii plus two games is up for grabs for the two national winners, which should be incentive enough for the little ones to enter!
Send your winners' entries to the NAMB (see address opposite) by 16 July.
FREE Bakers' Week resources!
Don't miss out on your chance to promote everything good about your bakery to members of the public. For any bakery that would like to dress their shops, find out more about National Craft Bakers' Week and download materials, visit www.bakeryinfo.co.uk to:
l Download artwork and logos in jpg and eps formats
l Download the window sticker artwork
l View PR and marketing advice
l Access teachers' resource
l View the video of 'The Shop That Never Sleeps'.
Additional point-of-sale (POS) material will be available to download from early May at www.bakeryinfo.co.uk. And a bumper NCBW-branded POS pack will be distributed with the May 21 edition of British Baker.
Furthermore, California Raisins will be supplying free POS materials. These packs include posters, window stickers, shelf strips, quality product stickers, shelf wobblers and a California Raisins information booklet. If you want to let your customers know that your business is involved in the second annual 'Shop That Never Sleeps' event, simply contact email@example.com or phone 020 8741 8513 to request your free pack and your shops will be looking the part for National Craft Bakers' Week. The kit will consist of:
l 3 different types of A2 posters
l 6 shelf talkers/wobblers
l 10 shelf strips
l 1 window sticker
l 1 general info booklet with recipes
l 100 quality stickers
All requests for California Raisins packs must be made by Friday 21 May, so don't delay!
Meanwhile, Puratos has come up with nifty National Craft Bakers' Week World Cup posters, to coincide with the football extravaganza taking place in June. Contact Lydia Baines on 01280 822860 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The posters are available now while stocks last.