Are you wasting bread unnecessarily?

Baked goods are amongst the most widely wasted in the UK and bread at the very top of the list. There are several possible reasons for this, including the easy availability of mass produced loaves and the fact that people tend to stick very closely to best before dates. One problem is people don’t want to run out of bread so they always tend to buy more rather than thinking closely about how much they will actually use. This can easily end up with a large amount being wasted.

Storing bread in the right conditions is important if you want to maximise its freshness. Many people put it in the fridge but this will actually cause it to go stale much faster. Instead you should leave it in a cool, dry place, preferably in a bread bin or a cloth bag.

The best before date is designed as a guide and does not mean that bread will instantly be unusable when the date on the label arrives. In fact, loaves can last a few days beyond this and you can freshen them up by moistening the crust with a little water and putting it in the oven to gently reheat for a few minutes. With careful storage a fresh packaged loaf could last for up to six days.

As long as the product is not mouldy you can still use it. In fact there are even a few uses for stale bread that hasn’t developed mould. This is the best for making breadcrumbs because it will hold together better. You could also use it for bread pudding.

Bread can also be frozen for later use and will last for up to six months in the freezer. It is better to freeze individual slices rather than the whole loaf so you can defrost pieces as and when you need them. This will dramatically cut the amount of wastage.

We specialise in bread and bakery supply throughout the North West, offering a fantastic range of bakery products for shops. We know how important is it to offer a reliable service to these clients so they can pass on the best goods to their customers. We aim to achieve just that by keeping a close eye on all of our services and investing in the supply chain.

Afternoon Tea

To celebrate Afternoon Tea week I have put together a small brochure of the various afternoon tea selections that you find in some of the better tea rooms and hotels. We can supply all the bakery range (not the fillings or the imagination) for some these fantastic looking treats. Which tearoom or afternoon tea at a hotel is your favourite?

Allied Bakeries reviews 23 jobs in streamlining operation.

A major restructure at Allied Bakeries will see 23 management and admin roles go under review, including its category director position.
British Baker understands that the role of Martin Garlick, head of category and shopper, is one of those under consultation. Garlick has been with the company since 2013, and joined from Warburtons. At Allied, he has been responsible for the development and delivery of the Burgen Gluten Free bread launch.
The bakery giant, which owns brands such as Kingsmill and Burgen, said it would be reviewing roles at its Maidenhead and Liverpool offices, and it is anticipated that 23 roles will be impacted in total.
The company said this would make it more efficient as an organisation, as it aimed to remove cost and share activities more effectively across fewer roles.
This follows the appointment of a new managing director, Jon Jenkins, in May earlier this year.
A spokesperson from Allied Bakeries would not comment on the head of category and shopper role, but said: “We are currently consulting with our employees about the proposal. Every effort, including professional outplacement support, will be made to secure alternative employment either within Allied Bakeries, the broader ABF group or externally in their local area.
“We appreciate that this will be a difficult and unsettling time for our employees. Our proposals in no way reflect the commitment and efforts of those affected.”
The company has seen a torrid time recently, with the delisting of its sliced bread lines in Tesco. The bakery has since been increasing its volumes and is rebuilding Kingsmill’s presence in Tesco after the supermarket relisted two lines, although it said its margins remained under pressure.

Short video of some of our range

Short video showcasing our range

Allied Bakeries £31million investment

Allied Bakeries makes £31m bakery investment17 April, 2015
By Bronya Smolen, British Baker

Allied Bakeries has made a £31m investment at its Stevenage bakery – completing its multi-million pound capital expenditure programme.

The owner of the Kingsmill brand has now finished its £210m five-year programme across the Allied Bakeries portfolio, something it claims is the largest UK bakery investment in recent years.

The company has built new bread plants in Stockport, West Bromwich, Glasgow and London, and has now rounded off the project with the new breadline which is capable of producing 9,000 loaves per hour. It has also installed new equipment.

This comes just weeks after Tesco delisted Kingsmill sliced bread from its stores. The company has also recently seen the departure of chief executive Mark Fairweather, which followed warning from ABF stating that Allied Bakeries profits would be “lower than last year”.

Nick Law, operations director at Allied Bakeries, said: “As a direct result of our investment, Allied Bakeries now has some of the most modern bakeries in the world and has a solid foundation upon which to compete in a value driven market.

“Our customers and consumers are seeing the benefits of our investment – market leading innovation, one of the most varied bakery product portfolios, and consistently high quality products. We have also enhanced the working environment for our people while significantly reducing our impact on the environment.”

A new rolls plant has been introduced at West Bromwich and a new Thins plant has also been established in Glasgow, both investments in product development.

Russell Zaple, general manager eastern region said: “The Stevenage bakery was one of the first to benefit from our investment, with the installation of our first new bread plant in 2010. We are proud to have benefited from this final phase of investment, which supports the bakery in enhancing production, developing new products, and reinforcing the high standards of consistency and quality in our baking process.”

The installation of new equipment at the site includes bulk silos, bulk ingredients systems, mixers, a tin and lid handling system, a prover and oven, a cooler, bread converyors and a slicer / bagger combo.

Allied Bakeries is a part of Associated British Foods (ABF). It also produces the Burgen, Allinson and Sunblest brands from nine production sites across the UK, as well as Kingsmill.


Baps, Barms, Teacakes or Rolls?

Well we have always been debating what to call our buns in the North. We have lots of different names, and every town seems to have a different name for their version. Here in Manchester the most popular name is an Oven Bottom muffin. Anyway we have just had our morning goods or bakery products photographed last week and I wanted to share them with you as it is a vast choice of what we do.

Please comment on what you call them for your “neck of the woods”

White Midi barms or barmcakes

What has been happening in January in the world of bakery?


It does seem ages since we were all celebrating Christmas and the New Year and wondering were we would be as a business in 2015. We have started as well as anyone could have expected so far given that The supermarkets have totally undervalued the value of the bakery sector. The  supermarket retailers have to take full responsibility for the decline in the monetary value of bread as they are the ones who have decided that they are going to use a basic commodity like our daily bread as a driver to get people into their stores. Tesco as we know are in a mess and decided to sell Hovis for 78p,Bakers cannot dictate what they sell at by law so they have no say in it. This undervalues a bakers brand name that has took years of hard work to build up. Big question is though ” will they sell more bread in total”? I don’t think so. The waste i have been informed is very high and it is a disgrace that they do this when there are so many people who are struggling to get by. If you eat 2 or 3 loaves a week as a family you won’t buy more because it’s cheaper. Maybe if Tesco were to reduce their already inflated margins on all their other thousands of lines they wouldn’t have to devalue bread. They still want their over inflated margins by the way from the bakers.

Hovis Original
Hovis Original 78p in Tesco

Hot Cross Buns

It’s hard to believe that in January we started selling Hot Cross Buns when Easter is 3 or 4 months away. The fact is consumers love them all year round. The sticky spicy taste is just the job for a hot toasted treat when you are snowed in like we have been for a few days. In the first 3 weeks we have already sold 42,000 pkts and we don’t even sell our Bakestone to supermarkets. All our sales are through a network of local independent shops.

Hot x Buns
Hot Cross Buns

Potato Cakes

Potato cakes are still selling well, even though the are more of  a Northern speciality. I know that certain parts of this country don’t even know what they are. The name is interesting as well Potato cakes. It;s not really a cake is it? maybe that is why the younger generation don’t really know what they are. You still can’t beat them when they are toasted and with baked beans and eggs for breakfast, or is that just me?

4 pack potato cakes
4 pack potato cakes

Loose potato cakes with butter

Carlisle Depot

We are progressing really well with a great team battling the snowy conditions up in the North, the same can be said for our Newcastle and Bradford sites. The managers working hard to ensure the deliveries are getting out there to our customers reliablly and on time given the conditions. Although as we all know a bit of snow and we seem to get gridlocked as the roads haven’t been gritted properly and you look in your rear view mirror and see the glitter stuck in the queue 3 cars being you! Still the new Hethertons-original is showing interest in the Carlisle area. We have sponsored Edenfm a community radio station and as a family business are trying to raise money via sales of our bread to give to a local charity or volunteer group. We only have a handful of customers buying the bread so it is early days yet, but the 5ps will add up if people like our bread and buy into the community idea.


We will be promoting our bread at Dalemain House in Penrith. They are celebrating 10 years at their Marmalade event. For more info you can visit their website

soft fresh bread
soft fresh bread

Social Media

We have the 4 Facebook sites , 4 Google+  sites and also 4 twitter accounts so you can see that it is keeping me busy. I have kept pretty active with these sites so that our web presence is always available to consumers to post their thoughts on.

Coultons Bread

We have invested heavily for us into IT. !0 new computers and switched all our software onto Microsoft 365 and that has improved communications throughout our business. We are more efficient now using iCloud for storing documents as well. We have been using online ordering for our customers but unfortunately that hasn’t really tok of as most like to have either a standing order or speak to someone. We like that and it helps keep the lines of communication going. You get to talk to people and see what sells for them and what doesn’t.

Quayside Bakery

We have launched our brand new website (long overdue i might add) . I only realised that when I was going through a timeline that is on the front page that I have been working my own business in bakery since 1975. Now that is not extraordinary in some people’s eyes maybe, but as I have told loads of people I am only 39 years old is does cause a problem.

Anyway if you live in Manchester and want to have a look please do. There are some videos I have made myself that haven’t had too many views so that would be nice if they were watched..begging now. The website is


Some new product development is happening from us. I can’t  share it with you yet, but please come back soon for more info. Have a great February everyone.

Network event organised by Cumbria Business Growth Hub

Thursday November 20th 2014

I have had a great day as I went to watch and listen to Jonathan Warburton talking about his family heritage and business, Warburtons Bread . The Family business networking event was based in Cumbria at The Lakeside Hotel in Newby Bridge. It is a lovely part of the country and was a lovely drive there and back.

I hadn’t realised that Warburtons had started their bakery at the same time as General Custer and Sitting BullI  where about in history in 1876. It just goes to show that you never really think about the history of businesses that you know and see in the news everyday. Anyway thought it was a great insight into the Warburtons family and Jonathan’s experience as Britain’s “favourite family bakers”.  I don’t want to give away too many of his secrets, too be honest he didn’t tell me any, but he is charming, articulate and intelligent person and it was nice of him to give the afternoon up to share his thoughts and inspire us to think about our own business’s.

The one core value that I have always achieved in my business career is Integrity, and that is what he was talking about amongst other subjects. It is the area that I think matters the most and has always stood me in good stead with my business peers. I think if you haven’t got Integrity then why would you want to do business with anyone.

I generally find that I don’t go to too many of these networking events as I always think that you meet people from all sorts of businesses that are not really relevant to your line of work. That is generally true but you do get a lot of insight into how other business owner manage their business and their values and principals. They share with you their failings and success stories and it is good to get away from your own environment for a few hours and let you clear your thoughts.

After meeting so many nice people and enjoying the few hours I was there, I will definitely go to more. The Cumbria Business Growth Hub is extremely well organised and well run by people It is a matter of committing to go to these events, but on a personal level I think it serves you well as a person and would recommend that you go to at least one event.

ps don’t mention Cinnamon to JW20120913042820120717045150WarburtonsRasinLoafHiresCO

for more info:



Warburtons strikes two-year partnership with BHF charity

27 October, 2014
By Bronya Smolen

Warburtons BHF packaging
Warburtons has announced a two-year commercial venture with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to raise awareness about healthy eating.
The charity and the family bakery will campaign over the next two years, by displaying key messages and the BHF logo on Warburtons Wholemeal loaf packaging.
The charity hopes the heart health messages will reach 6.8m households, based on the claim that 70m Warburtons wholemeal products are sold each year.
Neil Campbell, managing director at Warburtons, said: “This long term partnership is a first in Warburtons 138 year history. We have a natural fit with the BHF as we both have families at the heart of what we do and we have shared goals in health and nutrition.
“With so much misleading advice on diets, weight loss and healthy eating available, consumers are getting increasingly confused with what they should eat as part of a healthy balanced diet- especially when it comes to the role bread plays. Taking a sensible approach using the government’s nutritional guidelines, we will work with the BHF to help communicate key healthy eating messages to consumers about simple ways they can improve their diets, including the positive role of bread and starchy carbohydrates in these, while also supporting some of the BHF’s key campaigns.”
The messages will include information about how starchy carbohydrates, such as bread, can play a positive role in a healthy balanced diet.
Simon Gillespie, chief executive at the BHF, said: “Over 2.3m people in the UK are living with coronary heart disease. By working with the biggest bakery brand in Britain, we can reach families across the country, every day, with essential, lifesaving advice.
“We know that a healthy diet is an important part of keeping our hearts healthy. As a staple in UK households the partnership with Warburtons offers us a unique opportunity to help support families to make healthy choices as well as raise awareness of some of our key campaigns.”
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