As the year draws to a close, we present the 10 stories that attracted the largest audience among subscribers to British Baker’s e-newsletter in 2016.
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In March, Greggs announced plans to close three bakeries – in Twickenham, Edinburgh and Sleaford – with the loss of 355 jobs. The move is designed to simplify and increase efficiency of Greggs’ operations, with the business saying the cuts were needed to support the long-term growth of the business.
Bakery ingredients supplier BFP Wholesale entered administration in May. Administrator KPMG said at the time that the firm had seen a sustained period of declining revenues, exacerbated by the withdrawal of its credit insurance. The business’s Leeds and Livingston operations were acquired by C&C 25 Limited, reported KPMG.
The Great British Bake Off 2015 champion Nadiya Hussain revealed in April that she would be baking the Queen’s 90th birthday cake. Hussain said she was creating a “very citrusy” orange drizzle cake with orange curd and orange buttercream.
Londoners started queuing from five o’clock on a September morning for the opening of the first Dominique Ansel Bakery in Europe. Cronut creator Ansel had announced the opening of the site in Elizabeth Street in London’s Belgravia exclusively to British Baker back in February.
In November, The Sunday Times published a list of what it considered to be the top 30 bakeries in the UK because, as it put it, “something is changing” in our attitude to bread. The paper said consumer demand for artisan bread was increasing, and that the bakeries on its list had one thing in common: “They don’t want us to eat rubbish [bread] anymore.”
Boulder Brands – owner of the Udi’s gluten-free brand – pulled out of the UK market this autumn following the acquisition of Boulder by US food giant Pinnacle Foods.
Tesco agreed to sell its Euphorium Bakery business for an undisclosed sum this summer. The Euphorium factory in Weybridge is now operated by long-term supplier partner Samworths. Euphorium’s Islington factory and the associated high street artisan bakeries were sold to casual dining operator Soho Coffee.
Britain’s baking industry woke up on 24 June to the shock news that 51.9% of voters had opted to leave the EU. Many spoke of facing a period of uncertainty – much as they would do if asked today.
In April, CSM Bakery Solutions-owned Kate’s Cakes announced to staff that it is to close its sites in Ashington, West Sussex, and Esher, Surrey, by the end of 2017.
Peyton and Byrne entered administration in October following the loss of two contracts. The bakery business was sold as a separate entity to Peyton and Byrne Bakeries Limited, a new firm owned by the Peyton family, while the majority of the business relating to five existing public catering contracts were sold to Sodexo.