With less than one month to go, we are gearing up for Valentine’s Day 2014, the first event in our marketing calendar. This year the big day falls on a Friday, from past experience a good day for ‘celebrations à deux’ calling for a sweet treat.
We have a broad church of customers. Our most popular products tend to be our fondant iced magic cakes, iced in traditional, as well as more risqué, slogans. Last year, double-boxed cupcakes did very well, especially those with cute heart and lip decorations. I have great hopes for a sticky and seductive ‘Lady Marmalade’ cupcake, bursting with intense orange aromas. We will be adding a nice handlebar moustache to the designs too. This way we hope to cover all the love constellations our customers wish to choose.
And for those who wish to celebrate with an anti-Valentine’s gesture there is always one of our ‘dodgy jammers’ - a cheeky take on jammy dodgers, featuring cut-out naughty four-letter words, including the very popular ‘fart’. Oh, that British sense of humour!
On the subject of amusement, The Telegraph ran an online photo story that caught my attention: ‘Use your loaf: Which bread would get your vote?’ Click here for the original article.
The article linked politicians to breads and pastries, such as Cameron to a homemade Chelsea bun (symbolising austerity), Clegg to a luxury ciabatta (expensive and foreign in taste) and Miliband to an organic brown (a bread for the many, baked in the north east). Not featured was Nigel Farage - should he get assigned a Hot Cross Bun? He comes across as a bit ‘hot’ and ‘cross’ most of the time, or perhaps a ‘Bretzel’ as, after all, he is married to a German.
Actually, in some ways he, as well as many other politicians, deserve no bread at all. For he will be starving if he gets a chance to implement his immigration policies.
If that were to happen, I predict there would be a very reduced service in Britain’s bakeries and catering establishments. Of course I cannot speak for the whole country, but in London it would be dire if we didn’t have a flock of willing workers from all corners of the globe - we simply couldn’t function. And, as two recent job adverts showed, we just don’t get these thoroughbred and mobile British job-seekers coming through. Right now, I estimate we employ a family of around 30 nations to keep our ovens and tills happy.
Some go on to set up on their own, creating more employment and making a valuable contribution to the economy and cultural diversity. Especially in London, we have had waves of immigrants opening bakeries and cake shops: Hungarians, French, Austrian, Antipodean, German, Israeli and, right now, there is a wave of Swedish and Nordic bakeries setting up and creating vacancies and training opportunities for anyone interested.
We should be proud of our multicultural work-places, our non-bureaucratic business climate and the diversity and dynamic that comes with being open for business.
I have yet to see a politician who speaks up for all the disenfranchised immigrant workers that keep us fed, nursed, cleaned and much more besides. In fact, if I hear of one, I might even write a Valentine’s card or, better still, bake a proud ‘wear your heart on the sleeve’ gingerbread man/woman and stick it in the post to them.