Martins Foods has been forced to close its Southport bakery after it failed to agree a price increase with a major customer.The closure, set for January 2013, will result in 35 job losses, with 10 employees to be transferred over to its other factory in Radcliffe.Neil Martin, managing director, Martins Foods, confirmed that the firm had been trying to get through a price increase, due to the higher costs the bakery is facing from commodities.“As a team we have worked very hard to turn the business around over the last two-and-a-half years. The business we have left is in great shape, but smaller,” said Martin.“Products made at our Southport site are being transferred to our Radcliffe Bakery from 1 January 2013,” said the firm.It added that its famous Mellor branded iced bun range would still be made and available through its website. Martins acquired the Southport site from Mellors bakery in April 2010.In addition to its retail shops, the Greater Manchester business supplies cakes, iced buns and desserts to supermarkets, foodservice and coffee shop customers.
Eric Lanlard is launching a festive-themed pop-up cake shop in the GILT Cocktail Lounge in London next month.The new Cake Boy boutique, based on his bakery business in Battersea, south London, will open on 14 and 15 December from 11am to 4pm in the drinking venue, located in the five-star hotel Jumeirah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge.The temporary bakery shop will be selling a selection of Christmas cupcakes, boxes of mini mince pies and Lanlard’s twist on the traditional Christmas cake.Lanlard, who will running the pop-up shop, said: “I’m excited to take Cake Boy on the road. Jumeirah Carlton Tower offers the perfect temporary home, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, and just off one of London’s most exclusive shopping streets.”The patissier and host of the Channel 4 television series Baking Mad designed his own afternoon tea for the same hotel back in March, and is currently offering an ‘I Love Paris’ afternoon tea menu in the Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s Chinoiserie tea room.
Subway looks set to take the VAT fight over its toasted sandwiches to the Court of Appeal, it has been reported.The sandwich retailer has been campaigning against the decision by the government, last year, to impose 20% tax on ‘hot food’, as it believes its toasted sub-style sandwiches do not fall under this criteria.In October 2012, British Baker reported that a tribunal had ruled against the move to exempt the food-to-go sandwich firm’s ‘toasted’ sandwiches and similar products sold by bakery retailers from the 20% tax.It is now believed that Subway has won the right to appeal that decision.Last year, Dipak Jotangia, partner at Dass Solicitors, who has been representing Subway for the case, told British Baker: “We are currently considering advice with a view to appealing the judgment. We believe the judge has failed to understand, among other things, the application of a fundamental principle of European law. Any appeal would be to the Court of Appeal and it may well be that the question(s) of fundamental European law may need to be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union.“Subway is determined to fight the unfairness that it and many other businesses are facing. One of the key issues at the heart of the case is the purpose test, which has led to the unequal treatment of such products. Subway is aware of the repercussions of this case, not only for itself but for many other firms in the food retail and baking industry.”It is thought that up to £1 billion in tax revenues could be at stake, if Subway is successful with its appeal.
Genius Foods – the UK’s largest gluten-free food specialist – has signed a deal to supply its products to a Dutch retailer, as it increases its European footprint.The deal, formally launched at the Dutch Coeliac Day event on Saturday 20 April, is expected to help the company achieve its turnover of £50m in 2013.The Edinburgh-based company, which already supplies products to Canada, France and Spain, will begin selling three products from the Genius range through online retailer Diepvriesmarkt.nl from this week.Roz Cuschieri, chief executive, Genius, said: “Bringing our products to international markets is a major focus for us as we continue to increase our overseas presence.”Genius currently sells 36 products in the UK and overseas, and will begin selling white sliced bread, sliced seeded bread and seeded rolls, with brown sliced bread expected to join the Dutch line-up soon.The company, which already has a 48% share of the gluten-free bread market in the UK, also recently acquired two bakeries from Finsbury Foods in a £21m deal, giving Genius a market-leading position in the own-brand category.Cuschieri added: “The demand for quality gluten-free produce is continuing to grow throughout Europe and Genius is leading the way at home and abroad. We have ambitious plans for additional international expansion in 2013 and beyond.”
Calling all bakers! You had better sit down and prepare yourselves because National Cupcake Week 2014 is just a week away.From next Monday (15 September) we will all be catapulted into a week-long celebration of the famous mini cake and it is up to bakers to make the most of it.Point-of sale material can now be downloaded from www.nationalcupcakeweek.co.uk to help you spread awareness and generate excitement among your customers. It includes cupcake-themed bunting, posters and printable ‘specials boards’ to put up your cupcake flavour of the day, so download and print them early and decorate your store.British Baker recommends that bakers go to town for National Cupcake Week, with cupcakes of the day, special promotions and plenty of signage to tempt customers into your stores. If you have space, you could also involve customers directly by inviting them to decorate their own cupcakes or asking them to vote on their favourite flavour from the range you offer.Representatives from the magazine will be talking about how to get involved in National Cupcake Week on Headline London next Friday (12 September) at 12pm, as well as disclosing our findings on how much people really love cupcakes. The show is produced by The Evening Standard. But you can create your own media storm by contacting local newspapers and getting them involved in all the activity in your store, creating a real buzz around the Week.Also, don’t forget to tell us at British Baker about your activities and send us pictures via @BritishBaker or [email protected], the entries for the National Cupcake Championship are in and judging has commenced. Stay tuned to bakeryinfo.co.uk to be among the first to see our finalists revealed. We will shortlist eight entrants in each of eight categories: Classic Cupcake; Themed Cupcake; Free-from; and Made with Alcohol for both professionals and home bakers.A winner in each category will be announced following a live judging day at Cake International on 8 November, along with the two overall winners – one from each group of competitors.The National Cupcake Championships are sponsored by Barry Callebaut and Cater For You and partnered by charity Wellbeing for Women.
The quality of British pies has seen an “immense improvement”, according to Stephen Hallam, judging co-ordinator of the British Pie Awards.British Baker went along to the eighth annual awards in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, to catch a slice of the action.A beef and vegetable pasty scooped the top prize of Supreme Champion, made by Cumbrian butcher’s A F Huddleston.Meanwhile, Essex-based pub The Wheatsheaf won the title of Best Overall Small Producer following its win in the Steak & Ale category.During the event, we caught up with Hallam, also managing director of pork pie maker Dickinson & Morris, to talk about celebrating British pies and how it feels to be part of the competition.
High street coffee chain Pret A Manger is covering the cost of the new national living wage (NLW) by charging customers more for their coffee.The NLW means that basic pay has risen from £6.70 to £7.20. It came into effect on 1 April and, in response, Pret has put the price of its coffee up.A latte, cappuccino and a flat white, which all cost £2.15, will now be £2.25. The cost of an Americano rose from £1.75 to £1.85.The company said in a statement that the change was due “in part” to the increase in labour cost.A Pret A Manger spokesperson said: “Increasing costs, including those around our ingredients and our people, mean we do need to increase prices from time to time. These are done very rarely and we do our best to keep them minimal.”Last week, Costa Coffee became one of the few companies in the UK to offer the NLW to workers of all ages, not just those over 25 – at the same time, it also revealed that 55% of its staff were younger than 25.Elsewhere, John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary, and Chris Grayling, the Commons Leader, both suggested last week that British workers may lose out, because the higher wages will attract more European workers to the UK and fuel immigration.In response, David Cameron said: “I think the National Living Wage is a well-deserved pay rise for some of the lowest paid people in our country, and I am very proud to be the Prime Minister who introduced it.”Last December, UK bosses were urged to better prepare for the NLW and avoid potential legal action by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) as it emerged only 45% of employers had updated their payrolls at the time.
Greggs has reported a “very strong start” to the year – but sales have since been hit by storms that battered the country in recent weeks.The business today (3 March) confirmed full-year figures announced in a trading update last month, with total sales up 13.5% to £1,167.9m, and pre-tax profit excluding exceptional items up 27.2% to £114.2m. This prompted Greggs to share a £7m bonus among its 25,000 staff following what the company described as an “exceptional financial” year.Reporting on performance so far in 2020, Greggs said January got off to a very strong start, but the February storms brought a “significant” impact on sales growth.“The flooding that resulted from the storms temporarily closed our supply site in Treforest, South Wales, and our teams there and across the business have done a terrific job in re-establishing operations,” said chief executive Roger Whiteside.Overall, sales in company-managed shops grew 7.5% on a like-for-like basis in the first nine weeks of 2020, with total sales up 11.7%.Whiteside said the company’s performance in 2019 had been driven by Gregg’s multi-year strategic investment programme, which has transformed the business’s production and logistics operations.Looking ahead, the company is to build an automated frozen distribution facility at its Balliol Park distribution centre in Newcastle to increase productivity and reduce Gregg’s reliance on third-party providers.“As our warehousing operations become less dependent on in-time production, further efficiency gains become obtainable in our picking and logistics operation, reducing space requirements and opening up shop delivery windows,” stated the company.Plans to increase capacity at Balliol Park are being brought forward as a result of strong growth in the business, with work beginning this year on further automation of existing production lines while planning construction of an additional line.Greggs is also starting trials of full ingredient labelling on shop-produced sandwiches in the first half of this year, which it said would require “significant changes to our in-shop sandwich-making processes”. It added that growth in demand for gluten-free and vegan lines will require operational changes throughout its supply chain and shop activities.Whiteside said cost increases are likely to present a stronger-than-normal headwind in 2020, with wages and pork prices driving cost inflation.“We intend to invest some of the margin generated by our strong performance in 2019 to protect customers from these costs,” he added.“Demand for food-on-the-go continues to grow and we are investing in opportunities to develop further market share. Nevertheless, there is some uncertainty in the outlook, particularly given the potential impact of Coronavirus.“This aside, we expect to make year-on-year progress and will do so from a strong financial position, supporting our investment for further growth whilst also delivering good returns for all stakeholders. Our expectations for the year remain unchanged.”
The following is a listing of cancellations and postponements due to the snowstorm today. To add your event to our listing, email us at [email protected] is a two hour delay in all RSU 73 (Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls) schools today, Feb. 10, 2020.There is a two hour delay in all RSU 9 (Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Wilton, Weld) schools today, Feb. 10, 2020.There is a two hour delay in all MSAD 58 (Avon, Kingfield, Phillips, Strong) schools today, Feb. 10, 2020.
Come May 11th, the Dave Matthews Band will embark on a major tour that spans the entirety of the summer. The group formed in 1991, thus this year marks their 25th anniversary. Eager to honor the milestone, DMB recently released some classic archival footage of some very early live performance. Now, their new announcement takes the celebration to the people.On May 7th, just days before the tour proper, the band will hit the John Paul Jones Arena in their hometown of Charlottesville, VA for a special 25th anniversary celebration. The band aims to raise over $1 million, the entirety of which will go to local charities in the Charlottesville area, as organized by the band’s own Bama Works Fund. The charitable organization helps raise money for local charities, and has raised over $40 million since its foundation in 1999.Tickets for the newly-announced anniversary celebration will be released via pre-sale from March 23rd through the 28th, and the general on sale begins next Friday, April 1st, at 10 AM Eastern. You can visit the DMB website for more show information.