Other Opinion Articles

Gerhard’s blog: Eurovision wonderment

Gerhard Jenne relives with delight the moment his Curly Whirly Cake suddenly came under the Eurovision spotlight.

Value for money or money for old rope?

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.

Gerhard’s blog: Change in just one generation

Gerhard Jenne reflects on just how far the UK bakery market has changed since he arrived on British shores.

Gerhard’s blog: Eschewing Easter

Gerhard Jenne examines his firm’s performance at Easter, and finds that a Velvet Bunny Cake hit just the right note with customers

Gerhard’s blog: wedding cake season

With Easter behind us, Gerhard Jenner welcomes the advent of the wedding cake season and the challenges it entails

Gerhard’s blog: the second book is born

Gerhard Jenne describes the challenges of his second published volume… and the differences since the first time around.

Gerhard’s Blog: The principle of ‘GREAT’

We devised a ‘GREAT’ customer service principle and train our staff accordingly. It’s a handy aide memoire, where each letter stands for a particular aspect of our service.

Blog: Smart counts the generational gaps

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?”

Gerhard’s Blog: Customer perspective

Gerhard Jenne explains why a look at any business from the customer’s angle is important

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

Gerhard Jenne muses on the huge change in customers’ demands since he started out in the bakery retail business.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne's Icing on the Cake

Gerhard Jenne looks at American styles on both sides of the pond.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne's Icing on the Cake

Gerhard Jenne takes a trip overseas to have a scout around the cupcake bakeries.

Blog: No parking please, we’re British

Politicians, especially local ones, often seem to have had a frontal lobotomy.  

The sap is rising...

To keep up our customer’s interest in our products we like an element of surprise and discovery in our stores.

Blog: why you should go to the conference

It's going to be one amazing conference.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne's Icing on the Cake

Rain, rain go away. As the country continues to experience strong winds and continuous rain, Gerhard Jenne contemplates the impact on bakery.

Smart choice: the rural idyll of Burns the Bread

Do you remember the old story books that began with "Once upon a time"? Just sit back, for a moment, and relax… 

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

In this week’s blog, Gerhard Jenne discusses how the increasing popularity of British food has Continental bakers beating a path to our doors.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

As January slowly turns into February, Gerhard Jenne discusses whether 2014 will be the year of the doughnut.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

In this week’s blog, Konditor & Cook’s Gerhard Jenne discusses the ingredients required to create a good German bakery.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

Konditor & Cook’s Gerhard Jenne is turning his attention to all things pink and cuddly in this week’s blog as he looks ahead to V-Day 2014.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

In his first blog for 2014, Gerhard Jenne discusses how to turn consumer New Year’s resolutions into profit.

Blog: teachers trying yeast

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.

Blog: Smarter PR

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.

Keeping it in the family with David Smart...
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Blog: Ability over birth right

It seems that every country in the world has a similar saying when it comes to family businesses.

Blog: Viva Las Vegas

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.

Can you keep a secret?

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!

Have we over-commercialised Christmas?

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. 

Gerhard Jenne, Konditor & Cook
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The Great British Blog Off: Week 4

As we enter week four of The Great British Bake Off, our two professional bakers, Gerhard Jenne and Charlotte Green, reckon it’s time the bakers pulled their floured socks up.

The Great British Bake Off: Episode 4

It was all about beautiful rings and soggy bottoms (and one top!) in this week’s episode of The Great British Bake Off. Week four brought us pies and tarts with even more custard, and one baker was sent packing.

Blog: Sorry boss! How to deal with staff absence

“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.

Gerhard Jenne, Konditor & Cook
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The Great British Blog Off: Week 3

We’ve hit week three in The Great British Bake Off tent, and our two professional bakers, Gerhard Jenne and Charlotte Green, reckon Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood raised the ability bar a few notches higher with desserts.

Blog: salt - the devil's in the detail

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.

Gerhard Jenne, Konditor & Cook
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The Great British Blog Off: Week 2

Our two professional bakers, Gerhard Jenne and Charlotte Green, give you their view on the second episode from this year’s The Great British Bake Off. Did they think the bakers used their heads with different breads?

The Great British Bake Off: Episode 2

Week two in the Bake Off tent saw elbows, plaits, tears, and a psychic octopus. We’ve come to expect nothing less.

The Great British Bake Off: Episode 1

The nation’s favourite culinary series, The Great British Bake Off, returned last night. It brought drama, laughter and, most importantly, an array of sweet treats to savour.

Blog: Let’s teach the next generation

How many of you have some cherished youngsters in your businesses? 

Blog: We all share the same dream

Many years ago I decided to go to a Manchester National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) branch meeting at the Hotel Piccadilly.

Blog: Postcard from the USA

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.

Smart on business succession

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.

At long last, he’s here!

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.

Blog: Profit before the nation

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.

Blog: A great night had by all

It is fair to say - and I am sure my own wife will loudly agree - I am not the world’s most sociable person.

Politicians should care for the big and the small

The retail picture is bleak. To put it bluntly, 2013 has started in a torrid style - awful.

It is now the time of “the real bakers”

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

Shop local, before it’s too late

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.

John Reynard 17th October 1931 – 28th October 2012

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.

Spare me please from reality television

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”.

It’s all about the #soggybottoms

Sue Perkins, co-presenter on BBC Two's The Great British Bake Off has popularised the above phrase, which spread like wildfire as a topic of discussion on Twitter last night, during the show’s grand finale.

Let's all celebrate the creators of worth

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.

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