Winner Tesco, Meltham Lane,
Tesco, Meltham Lane bakery manager Ian Cain’s 15-strong department, which includes eight fully-trained bakers, makes around 80% of the in-store bakery’s products from scratch.
Cain has been a baker with Tesco for 16 years and many of his staff have been with the department for over 10 years. This wealth of experience was noted by the judges, who cited "overall product knowledge and product quality" as two of the reasons for picking Chesterfield as the winner.
"We take pride in what we do," says Cain. "We’ll even customise our products - we’ve got one customer who likes his bread burnt, so we leave a couple of loaves in a little longer when we know he’s coming in!"
Finalist Morrisons, Laceby,
Steve Mumby, bakery manager at Morrisons, Laceby, has been in the baking industry for 24 years and bakery manager at Laceby for four. His team of 11, includes four fully-trained bakers. Products include scratch-baked rolls and plant loaves and 64 frozen bake-off items.
Production is staggered to offer warm fresh bread throughout the day.
Mumby cites good teamwork as being vital to the department’s success: "People stay here a long time, and they are all very dedicated to ensuring good customer service," he says.
Staff are also encouraged to put forward ideas about product promotions, such as a recent sampling of a new line of muffins, which boosted sales by over 300%.
Finalist Asda, Crewe,
Asda Crewe bakery manager Claire Chadwick has worked for the retailer for 13 years and been Crewe’s bakery manager for four. She loves the department, she says, because: "It’s hands-on. You see things from beginning to end." Some 65% of products are scratch-baked, with cookies and muffins baked-off and cream cakes bought in. Production runs from 5am to 10pm.
The 28-strong team includes six fully-trained bakers.
Stotties and healthier eating sub rolls are big sellers, as are the hot meat pies, suggested by a customer and implemented by the bakery.
"If we wouldn’t buy it, we don’t sell it," says Chadwick.
Camden Town, London
Lawrence Ijieh, bakery manager at Sainsbury’s, Camden Town, has been with the retailer for a year. When he joined he wanted to energise his 23 staff and give them a true passion for their jobs. "I like to give them instant feedback, good or bad," he says. "It’s important to make people feel really involved."
Ijieh says his staff are all multi-skilled. He has also moved to staggered working hours, ensuring there is always one of his six fully-trained bakers on hand to provide freshly-baked bread. Some 80% of their products are scratch-baked.
The department’s weekly turnover has increased dramatically since his arrival