The truth of the phrase "you’ve got to be in it to win it" has never been more cruelly exposed - at least in the world of bakery - than it was last week at Bako London’s showcase event to mark its 50th anniversary.
Let’s set the scene. Bako, in its generosity, laid on a fabulous prize draw of a spanking new Mini Cooper. It entered all of its customers who had met the sole criterion of paying on time for the last six months. It also laid on two holidays in Australia and Blackpool, with everyone who had grown their business with Bako by 5% over the last year qualifying. It then publicised the event to all its customers, saying only those who turned up on the day of the draw would be eligible to win.
Cue the prize draw at 2pm, Thursday last week, when a well-attended gathering grouped round to hear the draw - the Blackpool break. One lucky bakery was announced to a hush, broken only by a murmur as it slowly dawned that the winner had not turned up. No problem! Bako chairman Stuart Earl cheerily dipped into the box to pick out another name. Then another. And another. Again and again until, finally, after nearly a dozen efforts, Budgens supplier More Foods stepped forward.
The scene was repeated as the Australian hols came up for grabs. "Birdgate Bakery," came the announcement. "They’ve gone bust!" came the unfortunate cry from the crowd. More unlucky bakeries came and went before Rose’s Bakery eventually stepped forward to stake its claim.
By this stage, the tension was palpable, with a precedent of no-shows and a £20,000 Mini Cooper at stake. With the inevitable transpiring, Stop the Week has agonised over whether to reveal the two unclaimed names plucked from the hat to anguished groans of pity, but has decided to stay schtum. We don’t want two bakery suicides on our hands!