It’s a Garage …

bakery 003 smallIt’s a bakery …
oven 001 smallDo I get some good gigs? So we’re sitting in Bristol Airport on our way to France for five weeks in the usual in( )termina(b)l(e) wait for the flight and I’m trying to get the hang of my new Blackberry tablet when in zooms an email from someone called Vickie who wants to discuss buying books and courses. There follows the five weeks’ battle with French technology already described in a previous post during which time I manage to get a message through saying let’s discuss it in five weeks time. In this business you get used to being messed about but in this case, with Vickie, we have completed the business within a further five weeks of getting back from France.

What I’m trying to say is, I just got back from a two day consultancy in bakery heaven. Vickie’s council told her she had to build a garage or lose the planning permission and, as they insisted and, as she didn’t particularly want a building to put her cars in, she scoured the country for bakery equipment and put that in instead. So she has everything the small scale baker could want: a six tray deck oven (with only one deck working but that’s plenty), large commercial fridge for retarding, a double sink found abandoned, stainless steel tables, spiral mixer, a Range stove with double oven and induction hob, and her talented partner Miles has just built her a large proving cabinet powered by a small greenhouse heater (not that it was needed in the blazing heat of July). So it is little wonder that Vickie looks pretty pleased:
Vickie 006 smallSo, I hear you ask, what does this fabulously equipped baker want with a garageless person like myself. Well, once news of her baking skills spread, demand for her bread started coming from all sorts of direction – the village shop, an internet-based food delivery service, parents at her son’s school, one-off private functions – different types of demand, different methods of ordering, different days of the week, different types of bread even, causing chaos in her already busy life. Running a successful bakery is more to do with systems and organisation than baking ability. You can be a great baker but if you don’t have a management system in place for customers, orders, ingredients, bake schedule, you don’t sleep at night and waste your energy during the day. So that’s what I was assisting Vickie with and she now has all my spreadsheets in place to help her plan and organise.

But you have to do a bit of baking as well:
bake 004 small

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