A Visit to the United Kingdom

Well if there is anyone reading this blog post and would like to have me look over their plans whilst i am in the UK, NOW would be the time to inquire.

You can get my terms and conditions by replying to this blog post.

Or by sending an email to support with a request for consultations in the headline

Welcome to HTSAB

My mission:

Is to assist all bakery entrepreneurs in their quest to start their own bakery business.

You can offer a variety of comments so long as they are clean, polite and to the point of our mission.

If you would like to join an affiliate program to help you with financing your project then I have one for you!

Just go to AFFILIATE PROGRAM and register for an account.

Related Blogs

    What does 100% mean? Can you can substitute?

    The question was should your food label state 100% beef and contain unmentioned other red meat?

    Funny question you might think, but i can assure you it is a valid one.

    So let me delve deeper into the real question.

    You go into a supermarket or meat shop to buy your favorite burger or mince meat. The label says 100% minced beef. Now what do you think is in there?

    Should it be absolutely all ground beef or some other meat added?

    That’s the question thousands of people had to ask themselves recently in the United Kingdom.

    Several brands of ground beef contained other types of meat. Most with the value brand. In other words the cheaper varieties that were made into burgers.

    Now i believe most people think that the fast food joints use the cheapest ground beef of any ground beef and there has been a lot of controversy in some of the most well known fast food outlets.

    But of course i have not mention the added meats found in some supermarket brands of ground meats.

    When it comes to kosha, Pork is i believe considered an unclean meat.

    There’s nothing wrong with Pork and pork fat is sometimes used to baste beef when cooking or even mixed with other meats to make it more flavorful.

    I am also given to understand that some countries eat dog and horse!

    Europeans eating pork, rabbit, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, quail, duck, pidgeon, amongst perhaps other types of meats.

    So what the heck am i talking about and why so elusive.

    Well i have to pick my words carefully so as not to scare millions of people. Here in England and Ireland.

    It has been printed in newspapers that some of those brands of value packs of ground beef and burgers may have as much as 29% horse meat and also some pork!

    Now people do eat horse and i am given to understand that horse meat is quite nice. I am also told that there is ABSOLUTELY NO MEDICAL or other health reason not to eat it.

    So the question was should your food label state 100% beef and contain unmentioned other red meat?

    I say that if you are believing your meat is “100% BEEF”. Then 100% beef it must be!

    Now that brings up another question. If i don’t declare the contents as ground beef can i now add any other ground red meat. Absolutely NO!

    There is a concern that the addition of pork meat and fats were most likely accidently added by the grinder not having been properly stripped and cleaned.

    THAT does concern me as a lack of cleaning often encourages bad food.

    The ONLY Working Tide Mill in the World

    Working to create a taste of the past
    by creating a taste for the future
    in every day breads.

    The first question to ask yourself is,

    “What is a Tide Mill and what does it have to do with the bakery?”

    Every bakery uses flour and this particular Tide Mill produces flour for the bakery or anyone else that wishes to purchase.

    The tide mill is an old fashioned method of producing the flour and is still made by the turning of two stones in which the wheat is added.

    The mill is situated on a river that is fed by the ocean, hence the Tide Mill.

    Eling Tide Mill

    Eling Tide Mill—amandabhslater (Flickr.com)

    The tide arrived in this case twice a day. Fills up the river which has a wall of sorts to prevent the river from emptying completely as the tide flows out. Which it does twice a day.

    As the tide leaves so a door is raised to allow the water to turn a wheel. That in turn turns a shaft on which two heavy stones with grooves.

    The grain is poured in a steady stream into a hole near the middle of the stone and the grooves slowly push the grain to the outside where it becomes a whole grain bread flour.

    Complete with all the bran layers and the germ or seed.

    By raising or lowering the distance between the stones creates either a course or fine flour.

    A visit is well worth the few shillings to watch this one man produce around 1.5 kilo of flour per minute.

     

    Super Size Me

    Super Size Me!
    How many times have we heard those words.

    What does super size me mean in the food industry and in particularly
    in the bakery business
    .

    Yes, we have all heard those words many, many times. In fact every time anyone of us goes into a fast food business, the server is supposed to ask you if you would like that super sized. McDonald ‘s is the main fast food place to use that statement.

    But to be honest every food establishment uses the same words but in different ways.

    Some of those ways are so scuttle that we don’t even notice when they are being used to influence our purchasing power.

    When i started this article it was not to flame the major fast food business, but unfortunately the words i used to head the articles seems to relate entirely to McDonald’s fast food joint. How’s that for perfect branding?

    Every super market uses those words when they set up merchandising. Yes merchandizing.

    Have you ever noticed that the specials of the week are very often at the back of the store and in varying places throughout the store. Or the ones with the most profit are at eye level. Or if they want to unload stock that isn’t moving too well is right by the entry door and as you line up at the cash out line.

    Of course you have seen them but who would have thought the reason behind that move?

    Every where we go there are little tricks of the marketing world that will draw you to a certain point in the isle and triggers a spot in your mind that say’s, “buy me”!

    When you start a bakery these are things that you want to learn in order to create good sales.

    So these tactics are well worth exploring.

    I was taught in bakery school that eye appeal is a part of these tactics. How much the bakery products cost is also part of the tactile scheme.

    Now i am not saying these tactics are illegal because it never transforms into sales if you use any means of mistrust or suspicion.

    The bakery school taught me that price is the first thing people look at when they buy. It is not the main reason they buy!

    The second item they see is the decoration or eye appeal. If it looks appealing to your customers eye and makes their mouth water or it looks quite tasty, then they might taste the product . But at that point after the taste test, price is often ignored and eye appeal becomes the first thought with the cost then becomes the last thing people remember.

    But, if he taste test results in an unfavorable feeling in the mouth, the price again becomes the first point in the sale and you will very likely never sell another product to that customer.

    With customer satisfaction in all three of these points you will find that they will return to purchase birthday cakes as well as weekend specials and possibly the higher end wedding cakes.

     

     

     

     

    Subject Too Clauses

    Subject Too Clauses are added to a purchase agreement.

    Why do i need to add “Subject TOO Clauses” when i make an offer to purchase.

    When a business is offered for sale the purchaser make an offer through the real estate agents who have that business listed. However, not all businesses are listed in the real estate world and many could be offered for sale as a private sales. Commonly known as an F.S.B.O. For sale by owner.

    I am a baker so the businesses i am interested in are going to be bakeries.

    But why do we add these clauses to that agreement to purchase?

    We do not at this time know what the building and or equipment conditions are. Yes, we have seen the business and the premises but looks can be masked by a number of things.

    The building could be masked by a coat of paint and the equipment might be prone to constant breakdown. Though you might be able to get an idea of the repair history from the discovery, but not always.

    When someone buys a house they add clauses like:

    • Subject too a building inspection
    • subject too the septic tanks operation
    • Subject too liens.

    Well in a bakery we also want to protect our investment so lets make sure that our investment is fully protected.

    The above video though created in Australia is an excellent illustration of the reasons to add our own subject too clauses.

    Here is a short list that was added to the last business i purchased.

    1. Subject to the seller maintaining the mixer machine for 6 months after completion
    2. Subject too my partners agreement
    3. Subject too a lease of 5 years at the current terms from the landlord
    4. Subject too financing arrangements
    5. Subject too seller agreeing to terms presented.

    Though there were more clauses i added, which the realtor was surprised that i added them and in fact attempted to get me to remove many of the clauses because he said and he told the seller that he didn’t think i was genuine.

    In British Columbia, Canada. A realtor usually handles both transactions of the seller and the buyer. NOT a perfect solution.

    As a result of his actions handling both parties i believe is the main reason the seller applied for bankruptcy during the purchase negotiations.

    Don’t be held hostage by using just one realtor. use one that is working for you not the seller.

    Here’s how my negotiations turned out that followed three years later.

     

     

     

    Dirty Aprons

    Dirty Aprons are not to be worn outside of the work area.

    Dirty aprons MUST never be worn into a washroom this is again cross contamination.

    Dirty aprons are a source of contamination!

    It has been known that employees wash their hands and then wipe them dry in their aprons. This is against all training, as well as against all health regulations too.

    Here is a true story from an observation i had in a top hotel in Victoria, British Columbia which happened a few years ago, when i attended an internet training seminar.

    I was using the men’s washroom for obvious reasons, during a break and i was absolutely astounded by what i encountered.

    As i went in; there was a guy leaving the toilets. He had a dirty white apron wearing, which to start with is totally in appropriate for a food handler to be outside the kitchen area with it on. Secondly, he was wiping his hands on the apron as he left the toilet area. Again totally inappropriate and very unhealthy.

    The dirty apron should have been placed in the laundry basket or left in the kitchen number one, secondly, he should not have been using a public washroom as staff in this hotel had a gender specific washroom of their own and thirdly, wiping his hands on the apron is atrocious.

    Three areas of cross contamination for food poisoning.

    Cross contamination is one of the highest forms of  food poisoning in the food industry. With the lack of hand washing one of the highest reasons for illness.

    RESTAURANT INSPECTIONS Chillicothe Gazette

    Johannesburg Sunday World. So who’s cooking up a food storm Johannesburg Sunday World. That soup looks and tastes like dirty dish water said judge Pete Goffe to a mother of three. Another contestant was told he plated served the food like a four-year-old and that it tasted like a meal cooked by a child. And so yet another eager.…

     

    Ovens

    Ovens – What are they and which one is best?

    Every Oven is perfect for the job it is designed to do. The question should be which oven is best for my purpose and the products i need to make.

    There are many different types of ovens used in the production of food. There also ovens that are used in the medical field and though not always a happy topic they are also used at the end of our life.

    The ones i want to talk about are those ovens that are used in the production of food only. and in our case ovens used in a bakery environment.

    I have been asked on more than one occasion”What size oven do i need.

    Another question i get asked is should the oven be a gas or electric fired.

    My answer is always the same and it depends entirely on the products you plan to make and the number of those products at any one time.

    Now you might think that answer is a cop-out or that i am not being honest. But think about it. Would i tell you to buy a household oven if the baking tray is 28 inches by 18 inches. NO! It just will not fit the oven.

    Would i tell you to buy a conveyor oven which might take a hundred trays at a time if you only need to bake off a dozen trays. No i would not so the size will depend on products to bake.

    The next part of that equation is gas or electric. Gas is more responsive and heats quicker but contains moisture, while electric heats slower and is dryer. So the main question to ask is which is cheaper and what is the regulation within my area.

    Ovens come designed for one or the other but not both. Some of those ovens are convection ovens. These have a fan inside which creates a circulation of the air inside that oven and reduced the baking time by a few minutes.

    A rack oven is often an oven that stands upright and as the name says holds a whole rack of product in a bakery and is usually a convection style oven.

    A rotary or reel oven rarely has a fan and can be extremely large. This type of oven is very often a gas fired due mainly to the size of the chamber.

    A deck oven, is one oven sat on top of another and can be either a gas or an electric. You can also find this type of oven has steam injection too.

    The next type of oven is often referred to as a traveling oven, which does not actually travel. The more appropriate term would be to call this type of oven a conveyor oven.

    These ovens can be 20 foot and are often as long as a hundred foot long. These are typically found in high volume continual production operations such as bread production plants working 24/7.

     

    Meat Slicers

    “Meat Slicers are amongst the top causes
    of Cross Contamination and the Super Markets
    are amongst the top Cross Contaminators”.

    You’ve seen the meat slicers in the local grocery store
    you may even use one to slice a variety of meats.

    Meat slicers, Antique meat slicerOn the left is a typical meat slicer which you can find in many places and not just in grocery stores or supermarkets.

    In fact you can find these meat slicers in restaurants, bakeries, prisons and even salad bars.

    These food slicing machines are used to cut a variety of foods to a set thickness for a number of reasons. The blade can be altered to give a very thin slice of meat or a thick slice. I can cut through cheese with as much automation as it does with meat.

    Next time you visit a grocery store that has a deli meat section, you will notice these meat slicing machines and if you want 100 grams of chicken meat sliced at say a number 5. The store clerk will do as you asked and slice off a few slices of chicken to match your order.

    Well, no problem there you say! Well, no. Not exactly!

    Now you ask for 200 grams of ham on lets say a 14 for a ham steak, and again the store clerk goes off and does your bidding.

    Now you have a problem!

    That meat slicer has now completed a cross contamination from the knife blade from one meat juice to another meat. All because the knife blade was not sterilized between cutting the two meats.

    Here we are demonstrating through a video of the dangers and a lesson on using the food slicer machine

    But as you can see the time it takes to strip and clean the slicer is rather long and involves a high quality of safety concerns.

    Therefore the business needs to have more than one food slicer machines to prevent cross contamination and not too many business actually have two machines.

    Below we have a Cabelas home food slicers where again we have the ability to create a cross contaminations of foods.

    Cross Contamination

    Cross Contamination is not
    just for NCIS and Television
    Murder Stories.

    Every day issues have cross contamination’s
    that effect our very lives and i am tired
    of reading how this or that product
    is unfit to eat.

    OK. I rant a lot when it comes to my food and today is no exception.

    Let me explain:

    You may or may not know that i consult for other people who have a project on their hands of starting a bakery. So with that in mind, it is my responsibility to understand what is needed and write a report to the client that gives then correct information.

    It is with that in my mind that a recent; and i should say ongoing consultation that i approached a health inspector and a building inspector in regards to those two aspects of this bakery rebuild.

    This is not my video, but i have included it because this is the first step of controlling bacteria and cross contamination.

    This “IS” the first step of cross contamination, the washing of your hands or put correctly the lack of washing your hands.

    Just last week i came across this bakery locally that had come onto the market as a result of one of the owners sudden death of brain cancer. As tragic as that is it is the bakery that i need to address.

    Having been employed in the bakery trade for 53 years and trained for my profession in the United Kingdom, it has been instilled in me that customers and staff should never use the same toilet facilities.

    Now you are asking me why not?

    We all need to use a toilet, so what’s the difference in the toilet?

    There is nothing different in the toilet or the way it flushes!

    It’s the fact that the general public of both sexes often fail to wash after their ablutions (stands for the act of washing oneself, in particular: for hygiene). As a direct result of that issue we have the opportunity for cross contamination so food handlers should never use the same facilities for that one very good reason.

    Now when i rebuilt my own bakery i added that aspect into my business plan even before my health inspector said i must have at least two sets of toilets. Plus if there were more than a maximum of four staff on duty then i must supply three toilet facilities. One for male staff, one for female staff and the other one for the public of which also must be compatible with handicap persons, plus if i entertained or seated 40 people then i had to provide a forth toilet.

    So here i am now, telling my client they should instal a second washroom to prevent that cross contamination and i find out from the health inspector of that area that they do not need to instal another toilet and the handicap washroom they already have was in fact satisfactory.

    Again, here we have a food manufacturing facility, a bakery to be precise, allowing food handlers and the general public to contaminate the food we eat. Cross contamination, Faecal Coliforms analysis

    Now you can understand my anger!

     

     

    Building Permits for Bakeries

    Building Permits for Bakeries are
    different in every location!

    When you build a bakery every location needs
    a build permit and each districts
    have different regulations but you still need to comply with everyone of their permits!

    In consultation to build a bakery or to take over some one else’s bakery business the owner needs to research their local building codes for building permits.

    Where one council in a certain area looks at a business they each have their own rules for issuing permits to operate.

    For instance where I live in Campbell River when i moved the bakery from one location to another. My building inspector made us instal two layers of a fireproof cladding on all walls and ceiling as well as install a spark free encased light with the switch on the outside as well as a two hour burn metal clad fire door.

    Why was our bakery made to use such high safety precautions?

    Building permits, Building Permit 50 South LaSalle Street City of Ch…

    Building Permit

    Well according to the building inspectors it was because we were storing bags of flour and flour is a combustible material which given the right condition can explode. Ummm!

    As someone who has been in the bakery trade for 50 plus years I can safely say that I have never heard of a bakery blowing up because of the use of flour.

    A flour mill. Absolutely

    Yes!

    There have been a number of them as well as wheat storage silos. But never a bakery to my knowledge.

    What every business one is planning to operate, though will require a building permit. If you plan to change a wall location you should have a building permit to change the structure. If you plan on adding another toilet you will require a building permit and a plumbing permit.

    You do not need a permit to repair a plumbing leak or to add a length of water pipe to a new location within the building but if it goes under ground then you will very likely need a building permit.

    To learn more about starting a bakery got to How to start a bakery

     

    Bakery Consultations

    Bakery Consultations

    are like most consultations, the people who want a bakery consultant are people wanting assistance with a project they are interested in pursuing.

    That doesn’t matter about the topic because a consultant relates to the topic in question.

    As such I am a baker with many years of employment within the bakery trade and also an author of what I think is a guide book on how to start a bakery. Other people i believe think similar as it seems.

    In my business there have been quite a few people who have asked for my assistance. All the time i worked for other managers or bakery owners i was expected to provide them with all my experience and like a good employee, I obliged by doing the best job that i knew how.

    Then my interest in the bakery field turned to looking for ways to open up a bakery of my own. After years of working for other people i started to look for help to start that bakery venture and found no-one to help.

    Oh! If you approach an equipment supplier and then purchase your equipment from that supplier then the consultations only relate to their equipment.

    The same goes for an ingredient supplier. They will not let you have a price list to create your own costings unless you agree to take their ingredients. So how does one create a business plan?

    This is where a bakery consultant can help.

    Many people interested in starting their own bakery, also do not always understand that a good work flow increases profits by cutting down the amount of useless walking while in the process of making the product.

    A bakery consultant can help!

    There are other areas where a bakery consultant helps. Such as the type and size of the oven. After all using professional bakery equipment comes in standard sizes, so using a household home owners oven would be completely useless in a bakehouse.

    Again a consultant can help by addressing your venture and offering the size and type of oven best suited to your own baking style.

    Most consultants know the legalities your venture needs to comply too and many bakery owners often are refused a permit because one or more regulation wasn’t known.

    A consultant can help you in obtaining a building permit to comply with those legalities. A case in point was the last consultation for a couple who purchased a bakeries assets, only to find a number of issues with non-compliant permits.

    The building the bakery was created in has only one toilet and no storage facilities. On top of that it was built by someone who created a major problem carrying water from one side of the building to the other and by having one machines in the front of the store and the other machine in the back and the ovens in the middle. Thereby crisscrossing and creating a slow path of operation.

    The cost to employ a bakery consultant is well worth it even if they only relieved the last set of problems alone.