Joseph Brennan Bakeries, Dublin, had a pre-tax loss of E19.5 million, according to accounts lodged at the Companies Registration Office for the year ended December 31, 2004, writes Ann Marie Foley. Joseph Brennan Bakeries claims market leadership in the bread market in Ireland, among other plant bakers including Irish Pride and Pat the Baker. The company had operating profits of over E5m, compared with E4.6m in 2003. However, a loan write-off of E24.7m put Brennan’s in the red. The accounts, which were filed at the end of October, do not reveal further details of who received the loan. Turnover was E47.9m in 2004 compared with E44.7m in 2003. The Brennan family, of which eight are company directors of Joseph Brennan Bakeries, also has links with Readibake, Johnston Mooney and O’Brien, Butterkrust, and Doyles Quality Products, with bakeries and premises in Finglas and elsewhere in Dublin and in Clonee in Meath. In the recent past, Brennans has invested in its ‘Bundy’ (hamburger and hotdog bun) plant, doubling capacity, and in expansion and development at another plant. It lists O’Briens sandwich bars among its customers.The company is synonymous with the character ‘Old Mr Brennan’, used in advertising, and the slogan ‘Today’s Bread Today’. In the past, Brennans has been associated with Lyons Bread, Lyons Cakes and Mullally Bakery – companies which were dissolved in August 2003.
Littlehampton bakery A W Biggs raised £1,091 to buy Christmas presents for 200 severely disabled children with a Christmas raffle. It donated the money to charity The Children’s Trust, which has a home in Tadworth, Surrey, providing care, therapy and education for children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs. Mark, Sally and Philip Biggs, of the single outlet firm, previously raised £2,615 for the charity during National Doughnut Week in April 2005. Baker Mark Biggs said: “We visited The Children’s Trust earlier this year, but it was great to return. We would like to thank everyone for enthusiastically supporting this. I am sure they will be delighted to see how the money has been used.”Cake vouchers were awarded in the raffle, with a top prize of £40. The charity event was also supported by suppliers including Wright’s Flour and Bako London and South East.
Allied Bakeries has revealed plans for the “UK’s biggest-ever bakery relaunch” as a £40m turnaround plan gets under way.The plant baker plans to put £14m behind a national TV advertising campaign for the relaunch of its flagship Kingsmill brand, starting on 17 February.Marketing director Jon Wilson said that following extensive consumer research, Kingsmill will be repositioned as a family-orientated, fun and lively brand – giving it more emotional appeal than it previously had.Recipes have been revamped and loaves will be bigger and softer than before, with reduced salt levels and no artificial preservatives. Recipes have been reformulated to include 15% high-quality Canadian and German wheat, where previously a lower-quality flour had been used. And the bread is being baked in new, bigger tins.The Kingsmill range has been divided into three sections: ’everyday family’ (such as medium white sliced); ’extra goodness for the family’ (healthier eating products, such as Head Start with Omega 3); and ’premium “for me” loaves’ (the new Kingsmill Good as Gold premium batch range).The Kingsmill relaunch project has been taken from concept to launch in a “record” nine months as part of ’Project 180’. This three-year plan to implement a ’180- degree’ turnaround was put in place by Australian Brian Robinson, who joined Allied Bakeries as CEO in November 2005.Further new product development is in the pipeline, Robinson said, and Allied is also preparing to relaunch its Burgen and Allinson brands in the next few months. “Innovation is the key, we have a rather large pipeline,” said Robinson. “We are here to change the game. The vision is to lead the category as dynamic brand innovators. We want to add value and grow the category – both in volume and value. This is about category growth; just to switch from one supplier to another is not enough.”Allied Bakeries is also investing around £25m over two years in upgrading infrastructure across its UK bakeries. It has already replaced all the tins used to bake Kingsmill with new larger versions all around the country.New equipment being installed includes a vacuum mixer at its Stevenage bakery and a new moulder at the Stoke plant. Four of its 11 bakeries are to have new cooling systems installed.Allied also re-opened its Reading bakery in December to give it extra capacity.
“We’re not taking the mick out of chavs, we love them. They don’t mind being called chavs – they’re proud of it and this is the drink for them. We always see them hanging round the town centre with their gold chains and baseball caps, eating sweeties and drinking energy drinks. We thought we would make the chavuccinos for a bit of a laugh – but they have turned out to be a huge hit”- Colin Chamberlain of Lizzie’s coffee shop in Maidstone town centre on its highly popular innovation, the chavuccino, which comes with hundreds and thousands, a Flake, some dolly mixtures on the side, a Burberry-style napkin and a shot of Red Bull”In the Bolshevik revolution, the slogan was ’peace, land, and bread’. Today, you are being asked to choose between bread and freedom. I suggest the people on Main Street have said they prefer their freedom, and I am with them”- Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter explaining opposition to the US government bailing out its failing banks last week. Can’t we have both?
An 11-minute documentary about Garvald Edinburgh Bakery, which is staffed by people with learning disabilities, including Down’s syndrome and autism, has won $75,000 (£46,000) at the Middle East International Film Festival, taking The Black Pearl for Best Documentary – Short Film.Breadmakers, directed by Yasmin Fedda, a previous emp-loyee of the bakery, looks at the intricate social relationships that operate between staff, as they make a variety of organic breads, rolls and cakes for daily delivery to 26 shops in Edinburgh.Robin Mitchell, who produced the film with Jim Hickey, told British Baker: “The team at the bakery absolutely loved being filmed and, after a few minutes, really came out of their shells.”
Northern Foods’ Bakery division put in a strong performance in its fourth quarter with underlying revenue up 10.4%. The firm said bakery had performed well over the Christmas trading period, with its Fox’s brand continuing to drive growth within the division.Full year underlying revenue for the 52 weeks to 28 March, 2009, was up 5.5%, “driven by price and volume”. The company also said it was “continuing with the evaluation of an investment in a world class biscuits manufacturing facility”.Its Chilled division saw the most growth with underlying revenue up 12.2% in the fourth quarter on the comparable period, while underlying sales for the year grew 5.5%. The firm said this division was holding strong during the recession and additional value lines of chilled pizza and sandwiches were launched over Q4.Within its Frozen division, revenue was up slightly year-on-year (2.5%). The company is planning further improvements to its frozen range, which saw the exit of some “marginal own-label contracts in pastry and pizza”, but the company relaunched the San Marco pizza and McDougall’s frozen pies ranges during Q4 and said this would “build on our proposition to target the cash-conscious consumers”.Group underlying sales for the fourth quarter rose 8.8% on the previous quarter and for the full year increased 4.7%. Stefan Barden, chief executive of Northern Foods, said: “In a tough market, Northern Foods is trading strongly and we anticipate that our full-year profit before tax will be in line with market expectations.”The firm will report its full year financial results on 27 May, 2009.
Pasty Presto has opened two stores, after securing £1.5m of bank funding, and is on course to open a further five this year, taking the pasty and coffee shop chain to a total of 30 outlets.The Bath-based business has opened new outlets at Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet and Extra motorway services on the M40 near Beaconsfield – its first in the travel-retail sector. It is also due to open a franchised outlet on Guernsey next month as part of a deal with Channel Island retail operator SandpiperCI that will see two more franchised Pasty Presto stores launched in Jersey next year.MD Steve Grocutt, who founded the firm in 1994 with a shop in Mevagissey in Cornwall, told British Baker he expected to have 30 shops in the UK by the end of the year, with motorway services and other travel locations a key area for expansion over high street sites. “The recession has hit the high street hard, so we are only considering a select number of towns with a strong tourist trade,” he said.Pasty Presto’s pasties are made to a bespoke recipe by Proper Cornish, with Viennoiserie from French producer Bridor.
Attention is drawn to the fact that the minister of transport has made an order prohibiting, as from 26 August, the use on any highway by an unauthorised person of any vehicle painted to resemble a camouflaged vehicle in the service of the armed forces.The Ministry advises the use of any neutral colour other than greys and khaki adopted by the services. Glossy surfaces and light colours should be avoided. A method advocated by the British Industrial Design Group is that one half of the car, divided longitudinally, should be painted to harmonise with the country and the other half with the town. In an air attack, the car, if it is in the country, can then be driven up against a hedge or bushes with the town camouflage screened; or, if in town, close to a building or wall with the country background hidden.
Jobs at Sunfresh Bakers are safe, after bosses bought the business out of administration.Directors Stephen and Mark Taylor bought its assets and goodwill, safeguarding 140 jobs, and will now trade as Taylors the Bakers.The Ashton-under-Lyne firm in Lancashire, which makes oven-bottom muffins, went into administration at the end of last month and insolvency firm MCR was tasked with finding a buyer.A spokeswoman for Taylors the Bakers said it had worked hard to secure the continuity of supply from suppliers and that it had the support of its major supermarket clients, who wanted to continue to buy the “quality of product and service synonymous with Sunfresh Bakers”.She added: “We are proud to have saved 140 jobs and this strong dedicated workforce are relieved that all the speculation about jobs and the future of the business is over and for them now it’s business as usual.” The company had to make 30 workers redundant earlier this year due to a downturn in trade.Sunfresh Bakers’ most recent accounts in November 2008, filed at Companies House, showed a pre-tax loss of £365,337 and net liabilities of more than £200,000.The family firm was started 30 years ago by Stan Taylor and is now run by sons Stephen and Mark. After many years as a retailer and wholesaler, the firm is now a purely wholesale business, supplying supermarkets, schools, hospitals and sandwich shops nationwide, and making more than 40 million oven-bottom muffins a year – bread rolls with a blackened ring on top.
Sixth outlet for Gail’sLondon-based artisan bakery and café Gail’s has announced it will open its sixth shop in Chiswick this week. It follows the opening of its Queens Park shop in March.Brook Food upgradeBakery equipment supplier Brook Food Processing is to move to a new 40,000sq ft facility this summer. The site will incorporate new workshops, a larger spares department and dedicated assembly areas. A test bakery will enable customers to trial new and used equipment before purchase or for product development.Promotion winnerSteven Smith from Forest Produce in Devon recently won a weekend in Venice at a converted flour mill Hilton Molino Stucky in a prize draw by FWP Matthews and Moule-Bie, as part of a promotion for its Italian 00 flour.GreenPalm supportSustainable palm oil producers in Asia have earned more than $6m in premiums via the GreenPalm certificate trading programme. Since trading began 19 months ago, more than 650,000 certificates have been traded online, as manufacturers and retailers have bought them to off-set the use of palm oil in their products.Loss of Scottish bakerIt is with regret that British Baker announces the death of Ronnie Mackay, aged 92, on 25 April. Mackay joined John F Renshaw and Company soon after the Second World War, rising to the position of deputy chairman. A key part of his work was with the Bakery Allied Traders Association now the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers and he held the office of president with both BATA and FEDIMA, the European umbrella group.