More than 400 bakers and food-to-go retailers from all over the country travelled from as far afield as Devon to the Bakers’ Fair North West on October 14.
The show, held at Bolton Arena in the shadow of Bolton Wanderers’ stadium, kicked off at 9am on Sunday morning. And the queue of visitors waiting outside for the doors to open already suggested it was going to be a successful day.
The one-day event, sponsored by Norbake, brought together specialist bakery exhibitors, millers, ingredients manufacturers, machinery suppliers, wholesalers and drinks companies, attracting names such as Coca-Cola, Unifine Food & Bake, British Bakels, Aga Foodservice, Christian Salvesen and Rank Hovis.
Many of the visitors who poured through the door were carrying large cake boxes or trays of baked goods. It was not a case of coals to Newcastle, though; these were entries into the prestigious Richemont Club of Great Britain annual competition, which was being judged live at the show.
In all, some of the UK’s finest bakers and confectioners tested their skills across 19 categories, ranging from fresh creams to Christmas novelties. There were also newly introduced competition classes for young bakers, with an exceptionally high standard of entries, according to judges.
The Richemont Club, which has a membership of top craft bakers and confectioners, also hosted a live cake-decorating demonstration and competition at the show, with five stunningly talented teams put through their paces for two-and-a-half hours in front of eager crowds.
Around the show, visitors were also checking out the exhibitors’ wares, or even tasting the evidence. Greenhalgh’s, which exhibited alongside Eurobake, did a roaring trade in hot sausage rolls, with wholesale sales manager Garry Thew taking the opportunity to tell visitors about the wholesale side of the business.
Jus-Rol also had tempting savouries on offer to an eager reception and both Puratos’ and Bakels’ samples proved more than a little popular. Coca-Cola also did its bit in keeping visitors’ strength up; it was offering free drinks through a promotion in British Baker. On its stand, a specially made video demonstrated a makeover at Sparks bakery and it also showcased automatically energy-efficient open chillers, which adjusted their temperature.
Rob Ledwith, regional sales manager at distribution firm Christian Salvesen, another exhibitor at the show, explained that the company was building its name in the baking industry and was very impressed with the show as a means to do that.
Richard Lyons, UK manager of equipment supplier Koma, had just one complaint: his stand was too busy at times! He was located in front of the live Richemont competition, which attracted crowds of five rows deep. Show sponsor Norbake also had a suc
=== Richemont winners ===
Class 1: Three Sausage Rolls - Charles Bamford,
Peter Herd of Wilmslow
Class 2: Three Meat Pasties - Eric Cran
Class 3: One Vegetarian Product - Rob Simms, P&A Davies
Class 4: One Quiche Lorraine - Rachel Wilkinson, Arthur Chatwin
Milling & Baking Trophy -
P & A Davies
Class 5: One Brown Tin loaf - Andrew Parkinson, Glovers Bakery
Class 6: One Multigrain Cob - Martin Ormisher, Glovers Bakery
Class 7: One White Plaited Loaf - Richard Griffiths, Glovers Bakery
Rank Hovis Trophy - Glovers Bakery
Class 8: Four Fresh Creams - Kelvin Davies, P&A Davies
Class 9: Four Danish Pastries - Kelvin Davies, P&A Davies
Class 10: Four Christmas Fancies - Jeanette Ramsden, Slattery’s
Class 11: Four Puff Pastries - Steven Barnes, Slatterys
BakeMark Trophy - P&A Davies
Class 12: One Novelty Celebration Cake - Tracy Jones, Arthur Chatwin
Class 13: One Sugar Paste/Marzipan Model - Marianne Stockton, Arthur Chatwin
Class 14: One Character Biscuit - Margaret Ellis, P&A Davies
Class 15: Three Almond Goods - Michael Wilde, Slattery’s
Renshaw Trophy - Arthur Chatwin
Section Five (Open)
Class 16: Four Fruit Scones - Gabrielle Baxter, Tameside College
Class 17: One Oven Bottom Loaf - Monique Spivey, Tameside College
Class 18: One Round Pizza - Monique Spivey, Tameside College
British Baker Trophy - Monique Spivey
Section Six (by invitation)
President’s Challenge Cup (sponsored by British Sugar) - Elaine Hamey and Lisa Smith, Peter Herds
Best in Show (sponsored by Smilde Bakery Group) - Martin Ormisher, Glovers Bakery
Richemont Trophy 2007 - P&A Davies