A small bakery in Kirkham, Lancashire, has taken on a supermarket giant and won. While many bakers would hang their head in despair at the prospect of competing cheek by jowl with Morrisons, David Cross of Manor House Bakery worked in close partnership with another local bakery and used both staged investment in capital equipment and the progressive development of a healthy passing trade to score his coup.

"Having established this business four years ago, I am now in a position to upgrade my equipment and invest in new kit that will help move my business forward," says Cross. "So recently, I bought a new Mondial Forni Micro oven and a Mondial Freddo retarder from local company Eurobake,"

Previous owners of the premises had run a the business purely as a sandwich bar, but with David’s experience as a baker at Allied Bakeries, he saw the potential to add baked goods and extend the business.

"When I started, we just had a small, three-tray oven," says Cross. "We have now upgraded to the 10-tray Micro oven from Eurobake, which fits our needs perfectly, baking pies, quiches, traybakes and cakes. We are now able to bake our own bread, which enables us to satisfy a busy lunchtime trade and compete with the supermarket for the same lunchtime footfall. Our customers like the freshness of our product and the flexibility to have sandwiches made to order."

== small footprint ==

With a small footprint, the compact Micro oven is suited to small bakeries or retail outlets. It features cool-touch external panels and a two-phase door opening that allows the steam to disperse before the door is fully opened, which ensures operator safety when the Micro oven is sited in restricted spaces in bakeries and maintains customer safety when positioned in-shop. The stainless steel and glass facade makes the oven suitable for in-shop baking.

"The Micro oven can be pre-programmed for different baking operations and now that we are confident in its capability, we will make full use of this feature," says Cross. "The oven’s baking flexibility was one of the reasons we chose this particular model as it fits our plans to produce speciality breads and cake ranges that meet both the needs of our customers and those of our reciprocal supply arrangement with a fellow baker in a nearby town."

In addition to the oven, the retarder was also supplied and installed by Eurobake at the Kirkham bakery to facilitate the increase in bread production and improve baking schedules.

"The retarder is a recent acquisition and we have only just started using it. Although set up by Eurobake, we still need to do some programming to get it running to suit our requirements, but so far, we are very pleased with it," says Cross. "It is so simple to use and will make a big difference to our business, allowing us to extend our range of goods."