Casino winner: Steve Britten, Bakehouse Ltd
The 23rd Baking Industry Awards (2010)
The 2010 Winners
British Baker Special Award for Services to the Industry: John Renshaw
If one thing were to single out this true gentleman of the industry, it would be his willingness to give back and serve the trade in which the Renshaw family made its name. He has given, and still gives, literally hundreds of hours of unpaid time and service.
John Renshaw began his working life in the family firm, founded in 1898 by his grandfather. His own father took over after the Second World War. John joined the company in 1959.
In 1962, John worked through all Renshaw’s departments, including personnel, export, sales and production. This was also his introduction to the bakery trade associations and the Bakers’ Benevolent Society. He went on to become director and deputy chairman of Renshaw.
John is truly distinguished for his service to the industry. He was first asked to become President of Appeal at the Bakers’ Benevolent Society in 1971, but has actually served as president three times, plus a term as chairman. During his office, he raised many thousands for the charity, helping to organise and then attending its numerous events and meetings. He served as president of the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers in 1991, the year he retired from Renshaw. He was asked to be secretary of Baking Excellence, which raised funds for students, and was secretary of the Bakery and Allied Traders’ golfing society. A recent past Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, which again raised thousands for charity during his year in office, he now serves on the Company’s trade liaison committee, which is responsible for sponsoring bakery scholarships, courses at the Swiss Richemont school, plus the ABST’s conference.
John, together with his wife Jill, also supports the Children's Trust, the nominated charity for Doughnut Week. John’s love of the industry is apparent. "The one thing that stands out about this trade is its extraordinary friendliness," he says. "The camaraderie is really special and the support for one another is unique."
John's dedication to serving the industry continues unabated. He is a most deserving and worthy winner of the British Baker Award for Services to the Industry.
Baker of the Year: Robin Jones, Joint MD, The Village Bakery (Coedpoeth, Wrexham)
Robin Jones, Joint MD, The Village Bakery (Coedpoeth, Wrexham)
"I'm comfortable on the shop floor," says The Village Bakery Coedpoeth MD Robin Jones. "I visit both sites every day and see what people are doing... get my hands dirty!" The judges were more than impressed by his enthusiasm for his business and the industry in general, describing him as a 'beacon' who sets an example to which other bakers should aspire.
The Village Bakery Coedpoeth was started in 1934 by Robin's grandfather and now boasts five retail shops and a wholesale business, supplying major retailers, as well as exporting to Europe and Scandinavia. It is well-known for its craft quality products, including savouries, crusty breads and Welsh cakes. It is the largest gluten-free bakery in the UK and also produces a range of low-protein loaves. Its two sites employ some 230 people, and a third,
"We're successful because we concentrate on quality, in both products and service," says Jones. "But we’re always looking to improve. I'm lucky that I have a fantastic, knowledgeable and enthusiastic team behind me to do that."
The judges praised his standpoint, declaring that, for any bakery to survive, it had to look forward and to develop niche markets.
In-Store Bakery of the Year: Sainsbury’s, Fosse Park, Leicester
Sainsbury’s, Fosse Park, Leicester.
An apprentice baker at 15, bakery manager Nick Grumbley has been with Sainsbury's since 1988 and manager of his department for five years. "I still really enjoy baking, and I love sharing my experience with my colleagues," says Grumbley. With 20 staff, the bakery boasts five trained bakers, two apprentices and three confectioners; the retailer’s training programme ensures a full understanding of all aspects of the bakery, from proving to point of sale. The judges commended this highly motivated team, describing Grumbley’s approach to training as "part of the bakery DNA".
They were also impressed with "the exceptional product quality and eye for detail in presentation". Grumbley says improving availability levels was a priority when he joined, with a four-times daily bake and monitoring system now in place.
His in-store bakery (ISB) range comprises 80% scratch products, including rolls, breads and doughnuts, and 20% bake-off, such as cookies, Danish and organic breads. Hero lines include Taste the Difference multiseeded loaves. “I hope we are never complacent,” says Grumbley, “and that people see we are always working together to raise the bar.”
The Craft Business Award: Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery, Lostock, Bolton
Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery, Lostock, Bolton
From a single shop in Bolton, this family-owned business has grown over the past 50 years to now comprise 57 (soon to be 60) retail shops in and around Manchester, Merseyside and Cumbria, as well as a wholesale business serving supermarkets, food outlets and high street stores. The product range spans breads, morning goods, confectionery, sandwiches, ready meals and celebration cakes, and Greenhalgh’s best-known offerings include potato and meat pies, potato cakes and custards. A selection of pies and breads is exported to Europe.
The business boasts a £25m turnover and employs 970 people, around 400 of whom work in the bakery. Training and retention of good staff are vital: “One of the reasons we entered this award was to recognise the pride and passion our staff have,” says retail sales manager Sandra Ogden. “Everyone here is dedicated to delivering quality products and service, as well as understanding customers and reacting to their needs.”
The judges were certainly impressed with this forward-thinking firm and the way in which it continued to grow and develop in the current economic climate. They felt Greenhalgh’s handled its huge product range with ease, and demonstrated a “meticulous attention to detail in quality and finish and a steely commitment to continuous improvement of core products”.
Bakery Supplier of the Year: Mono Equipment, Swansea
Mono Equipment, Swansea
Mono has been making rack, deck and convection ovens, dough processors and confectionery depositors for over 60 years and is one of only a handful of British companies in this market. It supplies both major retail multiples and independent outlets – a customer base that is challenging, says MD Andrew Jones. “We have to ensure that we are serving the needs of all our customers, so our range, and the products themselves, have to be versatile.”
The judges cited Mono’s recent restructuring of its factory to ensure it delivered “the best possible quality first time, every time” as a solid demonstration of the firm’s understanding of its customers’ needs. They were also impressed by the way in which new products were engineered to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, with the latest energy-saving functions. This, they felt, would benefit all Mono’s customers.
“We’re particularly proud of our new oven controller,” says Jones. “It’s very intuitive and it enables both standardisation of a product range, as well as flexibility in the menu. Our revamped bread plant is a true mixture of innovation and heritage – offering the chance to make traditional breads using cutting-edge technology. This mix of heritage and innovation, along with our constantly evolving product range, makes us special.”
Speciality Bread Product of the Year: Lakeland Treacle Bread with Walnuts and Raisins. More? The Artisan Bakery, Staveley, Cumbria
More? The Artisan Bakery, Staveley, Cumbria
Formerly a chef, Patrick Moore, MD of More? The Artisan Bakery, began his artisanal bakery in 2006 in three rooms of his house, supplying farmers markets and festivals. His business grew so rapidly that he soon sought out standalone premises. Now he describes More? as a “destination bakery”, well-known for its handmade, long-fermented breads, patisserie and seasonal desserts.
Signature products include Germanic Austrian Sourdough, which incorporates sauerkraut and
The firm’s Lakeland Treacle Bread uses local mill Carr’s Millrace flour and a relatively small amount of yeast to give a warm, loose dough, which is formed in tins. The loaf also contains treacle, for added moistness and improved shelf-life, walnuts for texture and semi-fermented raisins. “Some people say it is ‘posh malt loaf’,” says Moore, “but it’s a bit more than that. You can toast it for breakfast, slice it thinly and slow-bake it for crispbreads, or enjoy it with cheese. There’s nothing else like it on the market.”
The judges agreed that the loaf had a lovely texture and delivered superb flavour. They also commended the innovative thinking that led to its development.
The Innovation Award: TLSee Afternoon Tea, Swissôtel The Howard, London
TLSee Afternoon Tea
A sister hotel to the Savoy, Swissôtel The Howard has 189 rooms and suites and boasts a bar, lounge and restaurant, as well as a garden in which guests can enjoy superb food. Last year the hotel launched TLSee (tea, London and sightseeing) – a classic afternoon tea combined with a sightseeing tour. The hotel’s views encompass St Paul’s, Tower Bridge, London Eye and Big Ben, among others, and a five-strong team set to work to develop a range of teatime treats to represent this most British of sightseeing tours.
Alongside traditional finger sandwiches and home-baked scones sit the nine novel replica landmarks, including a replica 3D chocolate Big Ben, filled with raspberry ganache, and the Crown Jewels finished in gold leaf. All patisserie items are baked in-house using bespoke moulds and hand-finished. The judges praised the imaginative concept, which they described as being highy relevant to the customers it was targeting. They were particularly impressed that the “potentially niche restaurant dish” had been turned into a long-term commercial proposition, with a strong through-the-line marketing campaign. The point is emphasised by the hotel’s general manager Andreas Stys: “We are now serving around 1,000 people per
Celebration Cake Maker of the Year: Amelia Nutting, Cake artist, Shuga Budz, Tuttenhall, Wolverhampton
Amelia Nutting, Cake artist, Shuga Budz
Twenty-year-old Amelia Nutting and her mother set up Shuga Budz three years ago. Together with a part-time cake decorator, they now produce around 25 bespoke cakes a week.
Nutting says she loves “big, bold and modern designs with lots of colour”, so decided on a single theme for her cake: “Clowns are what the circus is all about for me, so I focused on them.” This proved a big hit with the judges, who described the cake as “creative and clean, with good use of colour and finished to a high standard with good attention to detail and a balanced design”.
Nutting’s cake was, in fact, decidedly unbalanced, as her square, three-tier wonky design was inspired by the unstable antics of the clowns! Each tier suggests part of a clown’s outfit – a top hat, big buttons and oversized trousers and shoes. Additionally, there are three clown figurines, modelled in sugarpaste with the addition of CMC paste to give stretch whilst modelling and a hard set. Each is handpainted to suggest heavy make-up. The topmost clown squirts water from a flower (the droplets piped in Royal icing incorporating piping gel, for a wet look). The figure in the middle has a custard pie-style cupcake at the ready and the bottom clown throws paper from a bucket. The judges loved the modelling, which they called “good fun and characterful, and precisely done”.
Trainee Baker of the Year: Kyle Hendry, Trainee baker, Macphie of Glenbervie
Kyle Hendry, Trainee baker, Macphie of Glenbervie
Although he is just 17, Kyle Hendry believes he has a strong personality and says, “I’m not
Hendry has been with ingredients supplier Macphie for two years; he applied for an apprenticeship, after work experience placements showed him how much he enjoyed baking. To date, he has achieved his health and hygiene qualifications and is on course to complete his Level 3 in bakery by year-end.
“I love bread,” he says, “and I’m fascinated to watch the journey from raw ingredients to finished product. I particularly like working with the technologists here and starting to be
The judges were looking for a winner with a passion for the industry, as well as practical skills and technical understanding. And that person had to see their future in baking: “I’m definitely staying with Macphie,” says Hendry. “It’s a great company and there are many opportunities here. I can see myself heading towards a technical role, and I’d really like do some travelling.”
Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year: Park Cakes, Oldham, Lancashire
Park Cakes, Oldham, Lancashire
Park Cakes is a £100m business, supplying premium cakes and desserts to major multiples. Started in 1938 as a bakery selling into corner shops, Park was one of the first food suppliers to Marks & Spencer over 60 years ago. Now it produces a range of sponge rolls, slab and whole cakes, as well as hot eating puddings. It claims to have been the first into the mini-bite category.
With a specialist chocolate chef, it is unsurprising that Park, according to MD Anne Allen, processes more chocolate than any other manufacturer. This year, its Easter Mess Cake featured a nest made from 2.5in chocolate strands.
Allen is adamant that Park owes everything to its staff. “Five years ago, the company was in trouble. Consequently there has been a lot of change here, but everyone just keeps coming into work and producing amazing, high-quality goods. We employ 1,200 people (up to 2,000 according to season) and 50% of them are working towards NVQs – our skills level is very high. And 50% of them have more than 10 years’ service. They deserve the recognition this
The judges were in full agreement, saying they were “particularly impressed with the commitment and dedication” of staff and by the company’s investment in them. They added this had helped Park to exceed its challenging targets and grow the business with really innovative, quality-focused products.
The Customer Focus Award: Halls Food Group, Chorley, Lancashire
Halls Food Group, Chorley, Lancashire
In 1933, former miner Joseph Hall started selling his bakery products at the gates of local factories and mills in Chorley. Two generations later, his grandson Joe Hall, now MD of the company, is: “Doing pretty much the same thing! Our concept is to take food to time hungry
Halls Food Group has four retail shops and four delivery vans operating in and around Chorley. It produces bread, pies, sandwiches and savouries, and is well known for its Chorley cakes and pies, particularly butter pie, a concoction of potatoes, carrots, onions and
The judges were impressed with Halls’ entirely customer-focused approach, citing its strong empathy with its target market and understanding of customers’ time pressures. “We just want to give people an easier way to get their food,” says Hall. “Lunch ‘hours’ are almost non-existent and ordinary retail outlets are crowded – so if it helps to deliver to customers, if they want to order over the internet, or pay online, we’re working at new ways to accommodate them.”
Hall adds that, next year, the firm will be attending more outside events and increasing its ability to sell to office and factory workers online.
Confectioner of the Year: Mark Legg, Head pastry chef, Dunn’s (Crouch End), London
Mark Legg, Head pastry chef, Dunn’s (Crouch End), London
Mark Legg has been with Dunn’s, on and off, for most of his professional life, and it’s clear he adores his work. He holds City & Guilds Levels 1 and 2 and has trained in all aspects of confectionery and chocolate work. He says he is happy to teach those who want to learn, whether they are visiting schoolchildren, apprentices or long-serving staff. Dunn’s has a single shop and supplies a small range to its local Budgens. Twelve of its 50 staff are under Legg’s direct supervision.
The judges cited Legg’s “passion and commitment to confectionery and constant drive for innovation” as their reason for choosing him as winner. “I love this industry so much, I even ran the London Marathon dressed as a doughnut!” jokes Legg. “But I just love coming