February

Student event plans detailed

The Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees' (ABST) Annual Conference is to be held at the Alton Towers Hotel, Alton Towers, from 11-13 June.

Geary's £1m bakery set to double loaf production

Leicestershire-based Geary's Bakeries is to relocate to a new site and double production of its loaves, following a £1m investment.

In Short

Date set for BIA

Non-loaf carriers rise

Despite the volume and value growth of branded bread in the UK last year, alternatives such as wraps, croissants, bagels and chapattis are becoming increasingly popular as sandwich carriers, according to Tesco.

Pembrokeshire to rival Cornwall on pasties

A new firm The Pembrokeshire Pasty & Pie Co has announced plans to open outlets nationwide, in a bid to challenge the Cornish pasty with its own Pembrokeshire variant. The first outlet will open in Tenby on 1 March, and will be followed by another in central Cardiff this summer.

Ainsleys name survives as Country Style buys bakery

Craft bakery chain Ainsleys has been broken up and sold off to various buyers, with Country Style Foods acquiring the company's central bakery and trading name, and Cooplands (Doncaster) and Coopland & Son (Scarborough) sharing most of the retail outlets.

Country Style Foods buys Ainsleys’ central bakery

Buyers have been found for the vast majority of Leeds-based Ainsleys, which went into administration in November, with Country Style Foods acquiring the company’s central bakery and brand.

A deal has also been struck to sell 20 of Ainsleys’ 29 leasehold retail outlets, split evenly between craft bakery chains Cooplands of Scarborough and Cooplands of Doncaster. Ainsleys’ sandwich van business has been sold to AW Food Services.

Joe McLean, a partner at administrator Grant Thornton, said: “We are really pleased to have found buyers for the majority of the various businesses within the Ainsleys portfolio. Negotiations are still ongoing in respect of the remaining nine stores and we hope to be able to announce a positive resolution shortly.

“I would like to thank all Ainsleys staff for their help and support during this difficult time. Their loyalty and commitment to Ainsleys, shown by their high standard of work despite uncertainty and terrible weather conditions, has been vital in securing a buyer.”

For the full story, see the February 12 issue of British Baker, out today.

Ginsters enforces local ingredients message with giant scarecrow

Savoury pastry brand Ginsters has launched a new national television campaign for 2010, as part of its £3.5 million media spend this year.

The adverts, to be aired from early February, aim to promote Ginster’s “Real Honest Food’ tagline, and locally sourced ingredients message.

The 30 second advertisement features a local community gathering in a field, bringing with them tools and materials for hammering, sawing and building.

The frame then zooms out to reveal that they have been constructing a giant scarecrow to keep watch over their local ingredients.

“This February sees our biggest ever burst of TV advertising as we aim to drive wide recognition of our properly filled, quality ingredients message,” said head of brand marketing Andy Valentine. “We are proud to support British farmers and to be able to say that we only use fresh British meat in our products.”

Pembrokeshire to rival Cornwall on pasties

A new firm –  The Pembrokeshire Pasty & Pie Co – has announced plans to open outlets nationwide, in a bid to challenge the Cornish pasty with its own Pembrokeshire variant. The first outlet will open in Tenby on 1 March, and will be followed by another in central Cardiff this summer.

Joint director Oliver Booth told British Baker the firm is likely to look for a third outlet in Wales, before looking at locations in England. It then plans a roll-out of the chain over the next five years. “It would be lovely to have 10 outlets, by then,” said Booth.

He spotted the business opportunity after discovering that Pembrokeshire has its own traditional pasty, but that nobody was selling it.

The Pembrokeshire pasty contains Welsh lamb, redcurrant jelly, currants and mint. All the ingredients for the six pasties and pies on the menu are fully traceable back to its partner farm in North Pembrokeshire, which prepares the products, or to other local farms, said Booth.

The pies and pasties, which have names such as The Friendly Dragon and The Tenby Treat, will then be baked on-site daily.

Get involved with Cakes For Haiti fundraiser

A cake designer from Surrey has organised a fundraising event - Cakes For Haiti - in order to raise money for the country following the earthquake last month.

The earthquake hit on the same day as cake designer Janet Mohapi-Banks’ birthday and she felt compelled to do something to help.

She is encouraging everyone from businesses and organisations to schools and individuals to take part in National Cake Sale Day, on 26 March, by, for example, organising a cake sale and donating the proceeds to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

Bakeries could get involved by donating a portion of the proceeds from cakes sold on the day.

Her website www.cakesforhaiti.org offers all kinds of advice, and posters can be downloaded from the site to help publicise the event.

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