As a race we seem to be like the humble lemming, with the attitude: ‘let’s just jump right off that cliff and, when we do, the dumb-ass behind will just go on and jump right off after us’. Why is that? I’d love to know.
You will be leaving college/university very shortly, and I wanted to be the first to welcome you all the ‘baking business’ - the industry for which you have been studying over the last few years. It is where everything you have been taught within the classroom becomes commonplace within the trade.
This is the time of year were we take stock of what we have achieved and enjoyed over the last twelve months.
As the saying goes, “if you live your life on social media, one day it will bite you” and, of course, we are no exception to that rule. Our Facebook account is updated almost daily, depicting new products and new promotional ideas. We also have Twitter, Instagram and a whole host of other strands of techno wizardry to push the Greenhalgh’s name out there.
For one brief moment, may I speak directly to the baking trade’s youth? They might be students finishing their first year or graduating after their final year.
Bolton-based Greenhalgh’s David Smart takes an eye-opening trip to the capital and comes back armed with ideas.
David Smart looks at the state of bakery education in the UK and feels that the industry is letting young people down.
Greenhalgh’s David Smart welcomes the New Year with a fresh slate, and suggests it's time to think outside the box.
Greenhalgh’s David Smart looks at the economy and assesses the year ahead in the light of the latest consumer shopping trends.
David Smart argues that it is high time bakeries used internships to give a fresh boost to their businesses and bring along young talent in the industry, to boot
Oh what a night! I am of course referring to the 2014 Baking Industry Awards, held at the Park Lane Hilton in London, a grand hotel which is well suited to accommodate a very glitzy evening.
Ok then, let’s get right to the heart of this question: what is stopping you doing what you’ve always dreamed of? The mere hint of it sets your heart racing and you daydream a thousand daydreams, in total abandonment. That’s your passion, that’s you, telling you what you want, that’s you saying to yourself that you are capable of fulfilling your life’s dreams – if only you have the courage to listen. So why don’t you?
I am now 56-years-old, and my own children like to continually remind me that if there was a hill to be over, I would be not only be over it...
As I write, it’s 8:31am on Wednesday 2 July and I am aboard the ‘Virgin Pendolino’ from Wigan (God’s own country) to London for the first Craft Bakers’ Association (CBA) board meeting after our conference...
Family-owned businesses account for about 80% of all businesses worldwide, and about one-third of them are owned by women. Census data and recent research show that daughters and wives are increasingly taking over family firms.
The Craft Bakers’ Association promised a conference that would be business orientated, relevant to today’s business needs and which would create an ideal forum for bakery owners to meet and network with like-minded people. And that’s exactly what it did.
Honestly, just when are you going to learn, you half-witted, dumb-brained nincompoops? Flogging utter garbage for next to nowt is actually destroying our businesses.
While you are having your morning coffee, just have a look around and say to yourself, “If I wasn't here for a multitude of reasons who would carry on the business?”
Politicians, especially local ones, often seem to have had a frontal lobotomy.
It's going to be one amazing conference.
Do you remember the old story books that began with "Once upon a time"? Just sit back, for a moment, and relax…
A couple of years ago a request came from nabim for a baker to give a couple of presentations for a training organisation called Grainchain.
Public relations - I would like, with your consent, to muse around this much-talked-about, almost sacred topic. It is something that no one can pin down, yet could cost a small fortune – or cost a little - depending on your take on it.
It seems that every country in the world has a similar saying when it comes to family businesses.
You really do have to get out of your back yard to see what’s out there, and I`ve wanted to see the Vegas bakery exhibition for some time now so, this year was the year.
I don’t want to startle you, or gives you a shock that sends you into a mind-melting breakdown, unable to cope, but... I have a secret that I need to share with you, so ssshhh! Nobody is listening? Are you sure? Yes? Ok here goes – Christmas Day is on the 25th of December!
A few years ago, on one very cold Sunday morning, my daughter and I promptly reported to the mince pie department to lend a hand. I wanted to show my face and let them know the boss actually does know how to put lids on the pies.
“Sorry boss, I can`t make it in today!” How many times have you heard that dreary comment especially early in the morning and they should have been on shift, half an hour ago? Or worse still, you`ve been woken out of bed, because they have not turned up for their shift.
Stop demonising our products. It’s so easy to openly criticise and demonise when you have no involvement – but when you are involved – that’s a different story.
How many of you have some cherished youngsters in your businesses?
Many years ago I decided to go to a Manchester National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) branch meeting at the Hotel Piccadilly.
I really like to travel and I like to go walkabout, just to see what’s out there. My dad always said that you never learn anything in your own back yard and how true that is.
You’re all going to die. Or go Ga Ga. Either way Mother Nature will get you in the end! I hope that caught your attention, it was meant to and for a very good reason.
Many bakers and owners of businesses with either sons or daughters do relish the thought of their children coming into the business… maybe one day, hopefully. On 4 February this year, that day arrived for me, as Stephen Paul Smart started working with Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery.
Before I begin, let me apologise to the entire population of faint-hearted, economically unaware, naïve shoppers about the crippling effects that the major retailers have inflicted on us and the high street. And, these changes are so profound that they are culturally changing the way we live and eat - and it’s all by their design for maximising profit.
It is fair to say - and I am sure my own wife will loudly agree - I am not the world’s most sociable person.
May I draw your attention to a brilliant article entitled, “A tale of two breads”, by Vanessa Barford, who was writing for the BBC News Magazine recently. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20527294
For one brief moment, let me introduce you to the Shetland Islands, a beautiful archipelago of Scotland which lies just of its north eastern shores. They are situated about 50 miles to the northeast of Orkney and approximately 170 miles southeast of the Faroe Islands. The total land mass is 567 square miles and its total population is 22,210 in 2009.
The last time I saw John was five years ago at our own 50th anniversary of being in business which was held at Bolton School in their very impressive corporate function suite. Even then, confined to a wheel chair and in poor health, he still managed to entertain his table and maintain his very warm charm and charisma which many people in the baking industry had come to know and love so well.
The Great British Bake Off is only the latest offering amongst a plethora of challenging, and public orientated programmes that pit contestants against each other for the coveted title of, “whatever of the year”.
In life, I think, people can be separated into two sorts. There are the spenders of worth and there are the creators of worth – or maybe I should say of value.
OK it’s not a Monday morning teaser or one of those mind-melting puzzles that have no answer, just a simple question, what is a baker? What amazing powers have been bequeathed from above, or bestowed on that personage, ‘The Baker’?