During lockdown

People, after we start our “new normal” life I ask that you all remember the local convenience stores that supplied you when you didn’t have to queue for hours outside Tesco, Asda etc. when their shelves were bare. You couldn’t get a home delivery from them either as they didn’t have delivery slots. When in normal times they were offering free delivery or vouchers , but now as they get more organised they start charging you an increase to £7 per delivery!

Typical empty shelves in supermarkets

The small businesses were there to supply and support their local people. Without them our own business supplying to these frontline, mainly family businesses would have been a bigger disaster than ever.

The numerous fruit and veg guys who have started delivering milk, bread etc. plus fresh fruit and vegetables, some even supply pasta! whilst doing deliveries to your doorstep free of charge (minimum order value same as supermarkets deliveries) is really appreciated. Also remember the long queues you had to endure!

This queue went around the corner and filled the car park!

Personally I accept that the major supermarket chains have a better selection with toiletries, pharmacy , post office etc and most people will drift back there when we can go out and carry on our lives, but please do spare a thought for your small local business moving forward. appreciate that they are a little more expensive, but the money does stay in your community. They offer services like paying your electricity bill, lottery tickets and in some cases parcel returns etc. If you only buy a few extra items from them then our wonderful nation of shopkeepers can continue.

The biggest concern for bakery is the cost of distribution

The cost of delivery is usually based on the MOQ (minimum order quantity), in other words the volume of product that the customer would like delivering to their business. This cost is ever increasing due to the obvious rises in labour, vehicle renewal, more efficient emission operated vehicles, more cities wanting a congestion charge. The list goes on and on.

If a customer only requires, for instance, 10 loaves of bread, that leaves you with an approximate profit of £1.30. You can see for yourselves that the true cost of delivering is a lot higher, in fact it costs nearer to £3.33p. This is based on the vehicle and all the vehicle costs, staff etc and the vehicle making 40 calls a day on his route 6 days a week. Obviously the cost to deliver will come down if the customer has a higher quantity. ie. if the delivery is 30 loaves a drop using the same costs then the cost to deliver is still the same, but there is a small profit now of 57p.

The supermarket chains have different problems to smaller businesses. They buy in larger numbers, reducing their cost base, and they also sell on to a consumer cheaper , but they more likely to be making multiple purchases of different products. Let’s face it hardly anyone goes to a large supermarket for a loaf. Even their online offering usually has a delivery charge, and frequently makes charges for orders below a certain value.

How do we get around this?

Given that most packaged bread has at least 5 days’ shelf life, a solution is to take deliveries only 2 or 3 times a week. It means that you can technically take on more deliveries using the days that you don’t use the vehicle , therefore using 1 vehicle instead of 2. For example, a van goes out Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on one route, and the same van goes out Monday, Wednesday and Friday on another route.

The other choices are that the shop takes in more products to help ease the cost of delivery, or they pay more for the service. Greggs have just started online but there is a delivery charge for their £1 sausage roll of £2.50 and you also have to place a minimum order of £10.

New Products

I can’t believe that we are nearing Easter , time really does go quickly when you are busy and making sure that you have all the products and offer a good delivery service to your customers. We have newly listed some products and re-designed packaging on our bakery favourites since February so here is a snapshot so far how we are doing.

New Products

We have started selling a range of Polish sourdough breads baked by Polish Village bakery and supplying many new customers in Bradford, Liverpool and Manchester.We also deliver to their customers on their behalf to provide a logistics service for them.


Our Bakestone Price marked bread has had a new design and relaunch and that has proved very popular.Our existing customers are still showing support and our bread sales are increasing on this range with like for like sales.


Long life Hot Cross Buns are selling like hot cakes and why wouldn’t they. Shops can fill their shelves with them and have no waste, plus maximising sales as they always have them on shelf.

Hot X Buns

Export sales going well as we now supply a customer in the Cayman Islands. All in all a very busy couple of months,


You can follow us on twitter for more info on a much more regular basis https://twitter.com/Coultons_Bread



Sourdough and Seeds

Why is sourdough bread easy to digest and doesn’t cause bloating.

Wheat grains contain phytic acid and can be a cause for digestive discomfort and bloating. This phytic acid inhibits enzymes which are needed for the breakdown of proteins and starch in the stomach. It is this lack of enzymes which results in digestive difficulties.

If you eat sourdough that is mixed with Rye flour then you get the best tasting natural product for you stomach due to wild yeast and lactobacillus in the leaven which neutralise the phytic acid  as the bread proves through the acidification of the dough. This prevents the effects of the phytic acid and makes the bread easier for us to digest. Sourdough bread also takes longer to digest; studies have shown that rye flour added to sourdough can help regulate blood sugar levels which helps ward off diabetes. (source: The sourdough school)

Seeds are rich in nutrients and have many health benefits. Did you that a small spoonful of poppy seeds can give you your daily intake of phosphorus, calcium and iron. Sesame seeds are also good for your body as they represent 20% of protein and fibre and have a cholesterol lowering effect.

for more information about our new Sourdough range of breads take a look at http://www.coultonsbread.co.uk


6 not 5 Benefits to GDPR

Perceived knowledge is that there are 5 benefits to having the rules changed for GDPR and they are as follows.

  1. Improved Consumer confidence
  2. Better data security
  3. Reduced maintenance costs
  4. Better alignment with evolving technology
  5. greater decision making.

Well  in my opinion the one benefit that everyone doesn’t talk about is of the greatest benefit to most businesses and that is a culling of Spam. I receive about 90 a day from companies I have not signed up for or asked for details on. I spend ages unsubscribing to them, but they seem to breed even more as they are unsubscribed..

Now, because we have to opt in, they shouldn’t be able to send me anymore of their unwanted emails. Rest assured I won’t be opting in to loads of them and it will give me less work deleting them.

I might get some proper work done now. (might)