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magazine NOVEMBER 2012 ISSUE 53
TASTING THE LIFESTYLE OF THE CAFÃ‰ SECTOR
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This month, Café Culture will be attending the European Coffee Symposium in Amsterdam (20-22 November 2012), and we look forward to reporting on some of the major issues of interest to the sector that are likely to be discussed at this event. 2012, of course, will be remembered as the year that put the UK in a threefold Olympics, Paralympics and Diamond Jubilee spotlight, but before its close, there’s further opportunity for outlets to capitalise on the festive season’s welcome celebrations. With various debates now well underway about the rise of the coffee shop chains, alongside closer scrutiny and questioning of general business practices, 2013 looks set to be a pivotal time for the café sector, not least its independent operators who are now widely thought to be exerting a greater influence than ever before.
4 Chains taking over, says
20 Feed at the Empire Café Hackney Empire’s café.
Clare Benfield - Editor
founder, as Costa pulls out of Totnes. 5 Tax criticism of Starbucks sparks industry debate. 6 Coffee museum opens in
Opinions expressed in Café Culture are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of J&M Group Ltd or Café Culture. No responsibility is accepted for the opinions of contributors. Café Culture is published by J&M Group Ltd. and supports Café Society. It is circulated to managers, executives, buyers, retailers and traders in the café industry. © 2009 J&M Group Ltd
Milan. 36 Doing business the small 8 Lunch sales set to way – Cafédirect’s outperform the sector, say Horizons.
Editor Clare Benfield, Tel: 01291 636336, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Manager Paul Steer Tel: 01291 636342 E-mail: email@example.com Production Manager Jayson Berry, Tel: 01291 636339, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions and Customer Service Tony Lorimer, Tel: 01291 636333 E-mail: email@example.com Editorial Address Café Culture, Association House, 18c Moor Street, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, NP16 5DB Fax: 01291 630402 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cafeculturemagazine.co.uk
22 Keeping it in the family – business advice for the family-run café.
FEATURES 16 Filter facts – how filter coffee has remained popular. 26 Christmas counts – our festive-flavoured round-up of products. 34 Best dressed – how to combine form and function in clothing for caterers.
business ethos. 38 Behind the brand – Little Chef.
REGULARS 40 Coffee Clinic. 42 Barista talk. 44 New products. 47 Checkout.
NOVEMBER 2012 CAFÉ CULTURE 3
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Expowest Westcountry to host a UK Barista Championships heat UK Coffee Events has announced Expowest Westcountry as the host and venue for Regional Heat 1 of the 2013 UK Barista Championships. The Expowest Westcountry Exhibition will take place on the 6 and 7 February 2013, at the Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter, Devon (now owned and managed by Hale Events - visitor registration is free at www.expowestexhibitions.com). Registration for 2013 UK Barista Championship competitors will be managed online this year. Entry has been set at £25 and registration will be via a link placed on www.ukcoffeeevents.co.uk. Lynsey Harley, SCAE UK national co-ordinator said: “Following the success of Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood reaching the finals of the World Barista Championships in Vienna in June, we are looking forward to seeing the performances of the 2013 UK Barista Championship baristas. We also now have five UK Coffee Events judges certified to judge at World Coffee Events competition level.” The top scoring baristas from the regional heats will go through to the finals, which will be held at the London Coffee Festival (25–28 April 2013), and one of them will be crowned UK Barista Champion 2013 and go on to compete in the World Barista Championship in Melbourne, Australia (23-26 May 2013). Judges’ training and calibration is scheduled to take place in early January 2013 and anyone wishing to certify as a UK Coffee Events Judge is invited to register their interest by emailing Jamie Banwell email@example.com. For further information and news updates visit www.scaeuk.com or follow on Twitter @scaeuk.
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Chains taking over, says founder, as Costa pulls out of Totnes In a revealing interview with his local newspaper, the Croydon Advertiser (www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk 16 October 2012), the seventy year old, Italian-born Bruno Costa - the original founder of the Costa coffee chain before its subsequent sale (first to his brother, Sergio, then to Whitbread) - likened the opening of a sixth Costa outlet in his home town of Purley as being akin to other high street chains such as Tesco, “taking over”. Bruno Costa told his local newspaper that he no longer drinks the Costa blend (he is "impressed with the quality" of blend the UK's largest chain has retained, he told the newspaper, adding that he now prefers Nespresso), and regrets selling the business that he originally started as a single site in London (now the chain has 1300 outlets across the UK). In the interview, he also hinted that perhaps he should have brought more of his family into the firm and taken the business further, and even went as far as saying that “it would be nice to be head of the company again”. "As far as the coffee business is concerned, like here in Purley, I know it is monopolised by these three or four companies that don't give much chance to the smaller ones,” Bruno Costa told the Croydon Advertiser. "It reflects what the supermarkets have done to smaller shops in the high streets.
"I like Purley very much. It is still a small community which is nice to go down to the centre, but the likes of Tesco have taken over. "We were lucky at the time [we started Costa] that a Starbucks wasn't nearby." His comments came before Costa’s announcement on the 25 October 2012 of their decision to pull out of their Totnes opening, despite having secured planning permission for a store there. Chris Rogers, managing director of Costa, in a letter to the people of Totnes, said that Costa had recognised the “strength of feeling” against the presence of well known brands in their town, “having taken into account the specific circumstances of Totnes”. A Say No to Costa campaign was organised to galvanise the local inhabitants there with the aim of maintaining Totnes’s reputation for being an independent place known for its diversity of locally run and locally supplied businesses. It was successful in collecting more than 5,700 signatures to its ‘say no’ petition. In response to Costa’s decision, the MP for Totnes, Dr Sarah Wollaston, and the mayor of Totnes, Pruw Boswell, informed the town of the news in a letter as follows: “As your MP and mayor, and speaking on behalf of the people of Totnes, we would like to thank Costa for being prepared to listen to our concerns and showing they care.”
Caber Coffee launch Mission Motorsport brand Aberdeen's Caber Coffee celebrated the launch of their Mission Motorsport charity Coffee in style recently at the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford, amid the presence of a Lynx army helicopter and a selection of racing and rally prepared vehicles. Caber Coffee (www.cabercoffee.com) will be donating £5 from every branded case sold to the remarkable Mission Motorsport (www.missionmotorsport.org), the forces’ motorsport charity which exists to help physically and psychologicallyscarred forces personnel. The charity was established in February of this year to fill the void in aiding the recovery and rehabilitation of those affected by military operations through the provision of motorsport opportunities. Run by veterans, serving officers and motorsport professionals, the charity is the defence’s providers of disabled and adaptive motorsport and provides respite, recreational opportunities and training. The branded coffee made and sold by Caber Coffee is 100% Fairtrade Arabica coffee packed in a case of 50 x 60g sachets
for use in pour-over style filter coffee machines and demonstrates further commitment by the family-run company to social projects following the launch of their Ethyco range earlier this year. "We are absolutely delighted to be joining forces with Mission Motorsport and doing what we can to help such a fantastic charity. What these guys are providing is not only training and rehabilitation, it is a future for their recruits and the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the motor trade,” said Caber Coffee's managing director, Findlay Leask.
Findlay Leask with pilot, Jon Earp, at the launch of their Mission Motorsport charity coffee.
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Tax criticism of Starbucks sparks industry debate A four month long investigation carried out by Reuters has alleged that the coffee shop chain, Starbucks, has paid only £8.6 million in corporation tax in the UK during the past 14 years, despite reporting losses here during the past five years (in effect meaning there was no corporation tax to pay), yet at the same time telling its investors that its UK business was “profitable”, claim the news agency. Since 1998, according to the investigation by Reuters - during which they also consulted tax expert Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK - Starbucks had made over £3 billion in sales, but effectively paid less than 1% in corporation tax for this period. “Starbucks are playing the game here. This is tax avoidance, they’re doing nothing illegal. That doesn’t mean to say it’s right, in my opinion,” Richard Murphy told BBC Radio 5 live recently. In its investigation, Reuters suggested that it was the coffee giant’s set up of payments between its constituent companies within its overall group that enabled it to reduce the level of its taxable income. Starbucks in the UK pays a royalty fee to other Starbucks businesses in other countries (such as Switzerland, where tax rates are more ‘beneficial’) in order to use its own business’s intellectual property – namely its brand and business methods – in the UK market. Starbucks are not the only large corporation to have this charge levelled at them. Amazon (a British-based operation owned by a company in Luxembourg), eBay and Facebook have all received similar criticism, not least from the smaller business
community and the general public at large, all expressing concern over whether or not big business is paying its fair share, particularly during tough economic times. Governments have also been accused of turning a blind eye to the whole matter, although the UK’s treasury minister, Sajid Javid, commented in a recent statement that the government was “very focused” on the issue. In response to the criticism in his blog on the Starbucks web site, Kris Engskov (managing director of Starbucks UK and Ireland) was keen to point out that Starbucks does pay tax in the UK. “Indeed over the last three years we have paid over £160 million in various taxes including National Insurance for our 8,500 UK employees, and business rates,” he said. However, his initial blog statement on the Starbucks web site on the matter apparently had to be altered, claimed one observant respondent (Kris Engskov having initially referenced Pay As You Earn, PAYE, a tax employees pay out of their own salary as opposed to a tax an employer pays, it was alleged). Despite his assurances that “the UK represents a very important market for use”, as well as his opinion that the UK “is one of the most competitive places to sell coffee in the world” (and so by implication, presumably higher than others in terms of business costs incurred), his comments seemed to only draw a wave of criticism and protest with many respondents using the blog to suggest that they would no longer patronise their stores. Others contrasted the brand’s ‘fair trade and ethical’ mantra against what is now viewed by
many as a less than moral approach to its own tax affairs. In light of the claims that multi-national high street coffee companies are avoiding paying tax, the Beverage Standards Association (BSA) is now demanding fair tax for its members which are small independent coffee shops. "Multinationals like Starbucks take advantage of the fact that UK corporate tax is levied on profits, not sales,” said Martyn Herriott, chairman of the Beverage Standards Association. “They are taking the HM Revenue & Customs, small business tax payers and the independent coffee shop for a ride! Our members serve fairtrade beverages - what about fair tax? Following the lead of the Federation of Small Businesses we ask that the government follows two principals when making tax policy - that it is constant and stable and that it is competitive so that it encourages investment and trade in the UK". Independent coffee shop owner and BSA member Barry Cook from Cafelicious in Swindon commented: "Technically it's legal for these US multinationals not to pay tax, but morally it's completely wrong. It's conning the British system. None of us want to pay tax, but we do. It's very unfair that they do this. “It's a morally incorrect way of doing business. As a small business, we get no assistance with business rates and we have to pay the full whack of tax. We have other issues to contend with - big coffee chains operating units which run at a loss to keep out competition and opening units without planning permission. The rest of us have to stick to the rules. Why shouldn't they?"
World of Coffee 2013 aims to break its 2012 sales record The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) has announced that it will be hosting SCAE World of Coffee 2013 (www.worldofcoffee-nice.com) in the stunning city of Nice, France. With over €39.7 million orders placed by visitors to World of Coffee, Vienna in June of this year, SCAE World of Coffee, Nice 2013 is looks set to top this figure between the 26 and 28 June at the Acropolis Convention and Exhibition Centre, say the organisers. Europe’s premier speciality coffee event is aimed at coffee professionals, growers, importers/exporters, roasters, and manufacturers/distributors of equipment and other coffee-related supplies (including
bakeries and more). With an expected attendance of up to 5,000 visitors and representation from over 40 countries, the event is set to be a hotspot for baristas, vendors and foodservice professionals alike, say the organisers. The three day coffee extravaganza incorporates over 100 exhibitors and four world coffee competitions (the World Latte Art Championship, the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, the World Cup Tasters Championship and the all new World Coffee Roasting Championship). “With 78% of visitors to SCAE World of Coffee, Vienna 2012 declaring that they will be attending the event in 2013 and 58% of those
visitors placing an order, we are looking forward to once again welcoming visitors from the coffee industry to the spectacular city of Nice,” said executive director of the SCAE, David Veal. The event also stages a Workshop Programme of certified training courses from SCAE’s Coffee Diploma System and Gold Cup Research Programme. In order to recognise talent from within the industry, the show will again host the New Product of the Show Awards and the SCAE Awards for Coffee Excellence. The SCAE Business Conference will also be back with presenters and delegates analysing, discussing and debating the key business concerns of the coffee industry.
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Coffee machine museum opens in Milan MUMAC (Museo della Macchina per Caffe’ the museum of coffee machines) has opened its doors in Milan, Italy, boasting the world's richest and most complete collection of coffee machines. Commissioned by Gruppo Cimbali to celebrate its hundredth anniversary, the museum is housed in a modern context of roughly 1700 square metres within the company’s Binasco production site. The aim, say Cimbali, was to create a permanent exhibition that is open to the public and offers all the information and details concerning the history, culture and design of the espresso coffee machine across the decades. Italian technology and design are illustrated via a multimedia path rich in audio-visual elements, backed up with a selection of documents of historical importance. The story begins in the early 20th century with the atmosphere of the Art Nouveau cafés and the 1920s, passing through the years of the Italian economic boom and the emergence of a new style of life centring around the bar/café, culminating with the growing popularity of design and its thriving explosion with the great designers of the 1960s and 1970s, including special mentions of the Castiglioni brothers, Sottsass and Giugiaro. The story continues with the international transformation of the 80s and 90s, reaching the new millennium with the most innovative, high-tech pieces. MUMAC is an experience that allows the visitor to relive - thanks to the rich and complete collection of around 200 items from the most prestigious Italian names - the birth
The exterior and interior of Cimbali’s new MUMAC coffee machine museum. and development of the “Made in Italy” label. Many of the items on display are rare, some are prototypes (unique at world level, say Cimbali), and others are highly successful industrial models. “The museum celebrates 100 years of Gruppo Cimbali,” said Maurizio Cimbali group president. “An all- Italian story which, in four generations, has established itself as a world leader. An important achievement for the company, but above all a leadership based on skills and people passionately committed to promoting one of the most deeply rooted rituals of Italian style - coffee and cappuccino.” The museum is built around the Maltoni and Cimbali Collection, displaying over 200 professional espresso coffee machines. Enrico Maltoni’s coffee machine collection which has toured the world is regarded as being the most complete and best-kept at international level, containing splendid coffee machines that have been safeguarded from the wear and tear of time. The museum brings together the brand names of producers still active today after so many
years (Pavoni, Victoria Arduino, Bezzera, San Marco, Cimbali, Rancilio, Marzocco, Carimali, Gaggia, Faema, Nuova Simonelli, Spaziale). Alongside the machines, the museum has a historical archive of over 15,000 selected and catalogued documents that will be made available to researchers. There is also a lecture hall for educational purposes, a laboratory for sensory tests, and various equipped areas for events and special projects. The museum’s training and educational area offers a venue for carrying out sensory evaluations of the quality of the coffee, with tastings and tests. Internal trainers and external consultants take it in turns to not only provide appropriate training for the needs of the modern café, but also satisfy the curiosity of the general public, say Cimbali. The tasting zone is divided into separate areas for carrying out theoretical activities and preparing samples, plus a real tasting room (with the possibility of Brazilian tasting, tasting with cabins and traditional INEI tasting).
Douwe Egberts heralds new era as D.E Master Blenders 1753 Global company, Douwe Egberts, has announced that it has spun out of the Sara Lee Corporation to become a pure-play coffee and tea business, named D.E Master Blenders 1753. D.E Master Blenders 1753 will operate across Europe, Brazil, Australia and Thailand, under brand names such as Douwe Egberts, Senseo, L’OR Espresso, Marcilla, Pilão, Moccona, Pickwick and Hornimans. Douwe Egberts has long been a name synonymous with exceptional coffee and since the brand’s creation, back in 1753, it has become
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one of the largest and bestselling brands in Europe’s foodservice sector. Utilising its 250-years of expertise, and under its new name, the company says that it will continue to build on its heritage and the quality craftsmanship that goes into producing its goods whilst placing a strong emphasis on future developments. The re-brand will also see the production of a new company seal for Douwe Egberts to capitalise on the premium, modern and vibrant nature of the brand. The new name was selected after an intensive
six-month research and analysis process, involving thousands of candidate names, say the company. A short-list group of about 50 names, all of which met the positioning and personality criteria for the business, was evaluated globally for trademark and URL availability, possible cultural sensitivities and local market pronunciation. Russell Bailey, general manager, Douwe Egberts Coffee Systems Ltd United Kingdom, commented: “We are very excited to be part of D.E Master Blenders 1753 and we believe that
operating as part of a new, pure-play company will benefit us as local brand. The Douwe Egberts brand continues to perform well in the UK and our success in the Out of Home market is underpinned by our reputation for quality coffee.”
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NEWS Huhtamaki Supports Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning Huhtamaki lent its support to the cancer care charity, Macmillan, recently with a donation of some 100,000 9oz paper vending cups for the charity’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning held on 28 September 2012. Designed in partnership with customer, Kenco – the official coffee partner to the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning – the Huhtamaki paper vending cups featured a ‘text to donate’ message as part of the design, with all proceeds going to Macmillan. “Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee morning is their biggest event of the year, raising money to help those living with cancer. Huhtamaki was proud to support the charity and delighted to be able to provide a bespoke cup, which is customised to promote the occasion and designed to encourage people to donate to such a worthy cause,” said John Young, UK foodservice sales and marketing director at Huhtamaki UK Ltd. Macmillan Cancer Support provides practical, medical and financial support and pushes for better cancer care (www.coffee.macmillan.org.uk) with £1.50 donations being made by texting KENCO to 70550 as a result of the Huhtamaki Kenco partnership.
Lunch sales set to outperform the sector, say Horizons The UK’s lunch market looks set to grow over the next 12 months as consumers increasingly eat out wherever they are, expect a wide choice of eating out options but often want something quick, cheap and easy to eat. Emma Read, director of marketing and business development with foodservice analyst Horizons, predicts that the lunch market, already worth £14.9 billion, will occupy a growing share of overall foodservice sales. Speaking at the recent lunch! trade show at London’s Business Design Centre, she said: “Britain’s lunch market is worth £14.9 billion, that’s 35% of the total foodservice market. Growth over the past few years has outperformed what is essentially a flat market overall. Lunch business has risen by 3.3% on 2009 figures. We expect this growth to continue and expect the lunch market to account for closer to 36% of the total foodservice sector by 2014.” Previous Horizons research has shown that the eating out habit is here to stay, with the average British adult eating out 1.4 times per week in 2012, a rise from once a week in 2011, say the researchers. Consumers continued to eat out despite the onset of the economic downturn in 2008, but opted to spend less and order differently (average spend dropped in 2012 to £12.30, including drinks, from £12.69 in 2011). However, while many top-end
restaurants have seen lunchtime trade suffer, business through quick service and casual dining restaurants has remained relatively strong as consumers down-trade, preferring something fast to eat-in or takeaway, rather than a more formal sitdown meal. “Driving the lunch market is the fact that time-pressed consumers no longer make their own lunch, preferring quick options wherever they are. They are also prompted to eat out by money-off vouchers and meal deals, many of which are predominantly lunch-based. Work pressure also means that consumers are more likely to opt for a takeaway to eat at their desk,” added Emma Read. However, she warned eating out operators that the offer had to be right to capitalise on this growing market as consumers are increasingly demanding. Horizons’ 2012 consumer QuickBite research showed that food quality was the biggest factor in choosing an eating out venue, with price second on the list. “Across the board consumers are becoming more discerning and particular about how they spend their money. They have high expectations and expect good quality food, friendly service and a relaxed ambience. While consumers have continued to eat out throughout the downturn, our research shows they are only willing to do so when an outlet meets these high expectations and the price is right,” Emma Read concluded.
Free online water management course A free on-line water management course has been launched by Nestlé Professional® to give operators practical advice and guidance on how to save money through effective water management. Developed in association with the Food and Drink Federation, the e-learning resource is designed to help improve awareness and understanding of the value, use and management of water. The course promises to help deliver a basic knowledge of what can be done to save water and manage its use effectively and sets out ‘golden rules’ and tips on how to transform the knowledge into action from the supply chain to the board room and throughout operations. The water management course follows the successful launch of the Nestlé Professional online Nutrition, Health and Wellness course earlier this year. Developed in association with the British Nutrition
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Foundation, this course was initially launched to catering students but is now available to the wider Foodservice Industry. Earlier this year, Nestlé® also announced a 36% reduction in absolute water usage since 2006 - well ahead of the Federation House Commitment target to reduce total water consumption by 20% by 2020 – which, according to Neil Stephens, managing director of Nestlé Professional “is testament to the fact that we care deeply about the water challenge, are dedicated to taking action and acknowledge that we have a leading role to play through our own operations.” Neil Stephens continued: “Water issues are a shared risk and responsibility and as a company, we have an ongoing commitment to improving water performance through our operations, supply chain, with employees and with communities. We are equally
committed to helping our customers and indeed the hospitality industry as a whole tackle the water challenge through sharing best practice. “This new course is designed to do just that and I would urge everyone working in the Foodservice Industry to play their part in helping manage this precious resource.” Peter Andrews at the Food at Drink Federation added: “The global water challenge poses a very real threat to the foodservice industry and collectively, we have a responsibility to preserve global freshwater availability. But not everyone knows how they can make a difference. We are very pleased that Nestlé Professional has created this resource and continue to promote our ‘Every Last Drop’ campaign.” To access the water management course, visit the new Nestlé Professional web site at www.nestleprofessional.co.uk
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The world leading brand Mazzer is synonymous with coffee bean grinding as it has been manufacturing for more than 70 years and distributes into 90 countries and has become the choice and preference by the vast majority of the speciality coffee community and for good reason. Mazzers proven reliability with every single unit build being factory tested with coffee guarantees the consistency and accuracy that achieves the highest quality grind with minimum heat and static build up protecting the essential and volatile coffee aromas.â€?
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Lincoln & York announce their Coffee Shop of the Year winner The UK coffee roasting company, Lincoln & York, has announced the winner and runners-up in its Coffee Shop of the Year Award. Run nationwide, the company’s award rewards the best cup of coffee served in the UK by an independent coffee shop. The competition is the largest of its kind in the industry and was launched this year to provide support to retailers and the independent coffee shop marketplace, say the company. Distributor customers were invited to nominate the coffee shop client who they think produces the best cup of coffee for their clientele. As well as the best cup of coffee, secret shoppers also assessed the shops for décor, ambience, staff attentiveness and added-value service. A total of 65 coffee shops were entered into the competition. In first place and overall winner of the Coffee Shop of the
Scarborough’s Watermark Café team triumphed in Lincoln & York’s Coffee Shop of the Year award. Year Award was The Watermark Café in Scarborough owned by Gillian Partridge. This winning shop will receive £3,000 worth of vouchers to spend with its nominating distributor and the distributor themselves also receives a £1,000 voucher to spend with Lincoln & York (Philip Binns from Seasons Coffee in Leeds proposed The Watermark Café). The three finalists, all of whom
New Drink Me Chai Green Tea blend Drink Me Chai, known for its range of authentic style instant chai latte drinks, has just launched Green Tea Chai Latte. This versatile drink can be enjoyed hot or cold and has all the health benefits associated with green tea as well as being 99% caffeine free, say the makers. “We are really excited to be launching the latest addition to our award winning range – Green Tea Chai which is a delicious blend of green tea and delicate spices. It comes at a time when the alternative hot drinks sector is growing and it appeals to the health conscious consumer,” said Drink Me Chai’s Amanda Hamilton. More than a decade’s worth of research into the health benefits of green tea
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has made links with its potential to fight cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol, prevent diabetes and stave off dementia. The Drink Me Chai range includes the popular Spiced and Vanilla Chai Latte with enticing scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, as well as Chocolate, Mango, Peppermint and a Fairtrade blend. Spiced and Vanilla are available through most supermarkets and other flavours can be purchased online from www.ocado.com. The drinks are available in 250g tubs and 1kg drums.
will win two places to attend a Lincoln & York City & Guilds Level 2 Barista Course included Henri (owned by Simon Lloyd in Edinburgh), Fresh Food Deli (owned by Annette Blanchard in Pocklington, East Yorkshire) and The Coffee Hub (run by James Nixon in Manchester). James Sweeting, director and co-founder of Lincoln & York, commented: “Being able to produce a high-quality end
product within the marketplace has never been more important and we’re delighted with the quality we’ve observed during the judging process. We continue to operate in tough market conditions and our award looks to acknowledge excellence and hard work of those who are doing everything they can for their customers.” Gillian Partridge, co-owner of The Watermark Café, added: “It means so much to us, as both coffee-lovers and business owners, to win this award. The hard work we put in day after day to bring the very best cup of coffee to our clients has been recognised and with the fantastic prize from Lincoln & York, we’re going to be able to make the product and overall coffee shop experience even better. It is great to have such an award in our sector as often us smaller independent coffee shops are overlooked.”
New Bubblefroot Shake Drink wins gold The Drink Me Chai brand won a gold award at the Lunch Innovation Challenge 2012 for its totally new drinks concept, Bubblefroot. The Bubblefroot branded range offers three mix shake flavours to be served with complementary fruit bursting balls which are sucked up through an extra large straw for a unique drinking experience. There are three exciting flavour combinations to tantalise taste buds Cookies & Cream, Strawberry Shortcake and Mango & Passion. Bubblefroot is EU produced and is free from artificial sweeteners, colours and preservatives.
"Innovation in the drinks market is so diverse and to win a gold award at the lunch! Innovation Awards confirms that our new Bubblefroot brand is a viable product to bring to market. Bubblefroot has been inspired by the ‘Bubble Tea’ craze originating in Taiwan and we are the only producer of this type of product in the UK,” said Amanda Hamilton, founder of Drink Me Chai. The shake powder is low fat and milk free allowing the use of soya or skimmed milks to be used. The fruit balls come ready to use and the drink can be made in minutes with a blender (www.drinkmechai.co.uk).
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NOVEMBER 2012 CAFÉ CULTURE 11
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Sea Island Coffee launches new look packaging Knightsbridge-based Sea Island Coffee, importers and retailers of gourmet coffees sourced from some of the finest and exclusive coffee growing regions in the world, has re-launched its visual identify with the creation of a chic tin design in gun metal and newly adapted distinctive logo. Preserving the quality of the coffee with a proprietary, pressurised packaging method proven to maintain freshness, the tin boasts simple yet elegant labelling, detailing the intriguing story relating to taste, body and provenance relevant to each blend. The redesign, which includes a refreshed web site and online store (www.seaislandcoffee.com) is being supported by a proactive PR and
marketing campaign to enhance brand engagement and leverage commercial opportunities, say the brand. Sea Island partner with small estates producing rare, exotic coffees in limited quantities including Jamaica Blue Mountain, Hawaii Kona and Civet Cat Kopi Luwak coffees, and they are available as whole bean or ground coffee for cafetiere, filter, Turkish, aeropress or espresso. Currently, the company is supplying single origin coffees on a wholesale basis to cafés, restaurants, hotels and yachts. “The brand redesign truly grabs the imagination of our customers and brings to life the cup quality that of each of our coffees represent whilst, at the same time, seasonally capturing and offering the very best of what is available in the
New sweet treats from Central Foods Central Foods says that it is delighted to announce that they have won the exclusive frozen foodservice distribution business for the We Love Cake ranges, produced by Bells of Lazonby, the award-winning, artisan baker established in 1946 in Lazonby, in the Eden Valley in Cumbria. Bells of Lazonby’s cakes and desserts are all baked from scratch, in small batches, with each product finished by hand to give the perfect ‘homemade’ appearance. There are six different varieties of We Love Cake round cakes. All are nine inch diameter, preportioned into 14 slices to help with portion control and to reduce wastage, and handfinished to give an impressive homemade appearance. Caterers can choose from Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cake, Coffee Cake, Lemon Cake, Victoria Sponge (originally invented to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee) and new Rocky Road Chocolate Cake. All round cakes are available as single 1 x 14 portion cakes with a five day defrosted shelf life when kept under a cake dome, for maximum versatility and to help caterers keep costs down. 13 varieties of We Love Cake traybakes are also on
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offer, again all made with high quality ingredients from scratch in small batches then fully cut into squares and packed into multiples of four so caterers only need defrost four slices at a time. This traybake packaging format is unique to Bells of Lazonby, say the company, and helps caterers manage their costs and reduce wastage even more effectively. The traybakes are available in individual trays of 16 (4 x 4), with a seven day defrosted shelf life. The latest extension to the We Love Cake brand is a range of five different wheat, gluten and dairy-free cakes and slices. Handmade in a dedicated freefrom bakery, the new range allows every type of caterer to be able to offer customers a quality, tasty, guaranteed freefrom treat, because each is individually wrapped to avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen/servery area, point out Central Foods.
Sea Island specialises in rare and exotic coffees. world at any given moment,” said Guy Wilmot, Sea Island Coffee founder. “When it comes to coffee, more and more customers are looking for the ultimate taste experience, which is often rare and exotic in origin. Sea Island Coffee continues to meet this demand with its exciting and growing portfolio of blends.”
Patisserie Valerie launch new winter menu Patisserie Valerie says that it has officially welcomed the winter weather with the introduction a brand new seasonal menu. Available in all 64 Patisserie Valerie stores, the menu has been designed to offer customers a welcomed sweet treat or hearty meal as the frosty weather takes hold, say the chain. New additions to the menu include premium white and dark hot chocolate, made from real chocolate pieces and speciality drinks such as gingerbread and spiced chai lattes and seasonal Suki teas, all of which are available to drink in or to take away. And to further tempt people into stores and out of the cold, the new winter menu includes two courses for £9.99 with three warming main meals and four tempting desserts to choose from, plus a child’s meal and drink off the brand new kid’s menu for just £3.50. “We’ve worked very hard to make the new winter menu as fantastic as it can be, in order to offer our customers a haven from the harsh winter weather and increasing shopping crowds in the run up to Christmas,” said Patisserie
Valerie’s UK operations director, Jon Hassall. “Our stores are open early for breakfasts and late for dinners and offer delicious treats, drinks and lunches in between, which is why it is important for us to offer something for everyone and reflect changes in the weather in all of the products we offer. “This is the time of year where people like to indulge a little more, so we ensure we’re always ready for our customer’s individual requirements when they visit and have a massive range of food and drinks to choose from to eat in or take away from our restaurants.”
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FPA is fighting fit More than 200 members of the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and their guests – many of whom supply the burgeoning café and food to go sector - attended the House of Commons recently to prove right chairman, Neil Whittall’s, declaration that the organisation is more robust than ever. Members gathered for the association’s annual luncheon at the House of Commons, hosted by Mark Pawsey MP (member for Rugby and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Packaging). Neil Whittall highlighted that the foodservice packaging segment accounts for some 10% of the £800 billion UK packaging sector, employs thousands people and makes a positive contribution to society, all of which are reasons for celebration, he said. “Single use, disposable packaging plays a vital role in the UK hospitality and foodservice industry,” said Neil Whittall in his address. “It’s the means of delivering food away from home to consumers, whose busy lives require fast, fresh food in a convenient and time-saving way, when and where they want. Without it, a culture of food and beverages out of home would not exist and many high profile brands depend on our products.” He also went on to highlight the positive steps FPA members have taken and are continuing to take to ensure the sector’s environmental responsibility and sustainability though material development and diversification, reductions in overall packaging weighting, encouraging recycling and playing a vital role in reducing food waste. He pointed out that acting together as a body, the FPA was playing a significant role in ensuring the voice of its members
Mark Pawsey, MP (left) and Neil Whittall, chairman of FPA, at the organisation’s recent annual luncheon. was heard at the highest levels and the FPA was actively consulting with relevant bodies and contributing to policy debate through organisations such as Defra and Keep Britain Tidy, and advising on the WRAP Voluntary Agreement for the Hospitality and Foodservice. He said it was vital that the FPA championed the interests of its members and challenged thinking on issues such as food waste, bag tax and recycling infrastructure outside the home. Underlining the vital role the FPA plays in ensuring members stay ahead of legislative issues, he announced a series of forthcoming seminars on BRC accreditation and the forthcoming EU Timber Regulations which will impact on bulk timber pulp imports. In his speech, Mark Pawsey outlined the key issues currently being examined by the APPGP, including the logistical challenges to any proposed plastic bag tax and plain packaging of cigarettes.
New toaster technology cuts time and energy costs UK company, Nyfred, has launched Toastech® a revolutionary new toaster technology that has been designed and manufactured in the UK and incorporates smart technologies to reduce operating time that still delivers toasting performance, but cuts catering costs by up to 50% on energy charges, claim the company. Nyfred says that it has redeveloped the traditional conveyor toaster that is more synonymous with inconsistent performance and vast energy consumption, and replaced it with Toastech®, a more energy efficient, time saving and more durable service industry toaster to help save on energy costs and meet hotel, catering and hospitality needs for years to come. “In developing Toastech, we have challenged existing toaster design conventions and replaced inferior components with superior performing equivalents,” says Ian Stansfield, Nyfred’s operations manager. “The ultra-modern components have been meticulously researched and sourced globally to not only enhance toasting performance but also reduce energy consumption, extend service intervals and reduce replacement costs. With over 95 per cent of parts recyclable, Toastech® is a super energy efficient commercial toaster designed for reliability that delivers outstanding toasting performance, boasts extremely low operating costs and is environmentally friendly.” Elements energise to full heat output in just 1.5 seconds, reducing energy wasted during start up, and there is a high toast output of 25 seconds per slice on continuous toasting (dependent on bread type). Precise speed control allows the user to create perfect toast each time, reducing wastage (www.nyfred.com).
Planglow launch trio of new products The label and compostable packaging provider, Planglow, has launched not one but two vibrant new label designs – Enjoy and Gingham – along with a standard-fill sandwich wedge. Both label ranges lend a splash of colour to a café or coffee shop’s offering, feel the company, and have been especially created to enhance bright, colourful modern cafe interiors, and Gingham and Enjoy have been designed to work with the company’s bestselling Natural Collection with Enjoy also fitting on the brand new Standard-Fill Wedge (a more slender product than the traditional deep-fill wedges, created especially for more 14 NOVEMBER 2012
economical or reduced fat ranges). Gingham comes in two colour-ways - Green and Orange – with an asymmetric frame that suggests a classic gingham table cloth or picnic blanket. Available in a 12-per-sheet format with a premium matt finish, Gingham provides a fresh, quality feel that’s picnic-perfect and suitable for all sorts of spring/summer celebrations, suggest Planglow. Enjoy comes in four different colours - Red, Green, Grey and Yellow - and has a texturedcloth design and ‘hand- stitched’ border that lends a little touch of craft. Available in a 15per-sheet matt finish format, the labelsalso
come with 15 bonus highlight stickers that invite your customers to ‘Enjoy’ too. The new Standard-Fill Wedge joins Planglow’s popular Natural Collection which already includes 10 packaging items. Ideal for creating a natural, rustic presentation on the shelf, the kraft wedges are lined with a home compostable plant-based laminate which provides a superior barrier and retains product freshness, as well as acting as a large viewing window. They are supplied flat-packed to minimise storage issues, the wedges are easy to assemble and seal with a simple clip at the back.
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SHORTS Another win for the Hive Beach Café The Hive at Burton Bradstock has won in the Best Café/Tearoom category in the Taste of Dorset Awards, represented in the competition by chef, Tim Attrill, and café manager, Caroline Richards, and also accompanied by Becky Black, manager of the Hive’s new sister café the Watch House - and chef, Tim Gibb.
New cheesecake cupcakes Cheesecake Cupcakes have been launched by the artisan bakers at the English Cheesecake Company, offering the richness of the English Cheesecake Company’s luxury cheesecakes with light, moist vanilla or chocolate sponge cake topped with four different sweet flavours. Delivered frozen as a gift for foodie friends, or direct to your door, they are available in boxes of 12 priced at £36.00 (www.englishcheesecake.com).
Limited edition Christmas blend The award-winning New Zealand artisan coffee roastery, Ozone Coffee Roasters (www.ozonecoffee.co.uk), has launched its first-ever festive blend for the UK, having selected, artisan roasted and blended the highest quality coffee beans from Brazil, Guatemala and Kenya to create a Limited Edition 2012 Christmas Blend, which brews rich, naturally sweet, complex coffee with a full, rounded body, say the firm, and evokes flavours of the festive season, with roasted nuts, cocoa, caramel, raisin and dark red berry fruit.
Dempson Crooke at European Coffee Symposium Dempson Crooke Ltd will present its innovative paperbased packaging solutions to senior buyers from the European food-to-go sector by participating in the European Coffee Symposium, to be held in Amsterdam from 20 – 22 November 2012. This is a further significant step into mainland Europe for them, say the company, having recently completed major investment at its Kent factory.
Palamon Capital Partners sells Espresso House Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity firm, has agreed the sale of Espresso House to Herkules Private Equity III, a Norwegian private equity fund. In 2005, Palamon identified a gap in the Nordic markets for a quality, branded coffee bar offering and approached the founders of Espresso House about purchasing a majority interest and initiating a high-growth strategy (going from 22 outlets in the south of Sweden in 2006 to create a national brand with 37 outlets after the purchase of a 15 store chain in Stockholm). It now has 120 outlets across Sweden, making it the largest chain of wholly-owned branded coffee bars in the Nordic region.
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Filter facts Despite the rise of the espresso machine and our love of cappuccinos and other speciality coffee-based drinks, filter coffee is still the way many people prefer to drink this beverage. The technology for its production has come on significantly, gaining a greater presence in cafés and coffee shops as well as in hotels, restaurants and workplaces.
Filter-based technology The European designer and manufacturer of filter coffee brewers and water boilers, Marco Beverage Systems, has announced the introduction of a new, more compact version of its best-selling Filtro Shuttle coffee brewer, called the Mini Filtro Shuttle to build on the success of the original Filtro Shuttle which it launched three years ago to great critical acclaim. Established for nearly 30 years, Marco Beverage Systems has its head office in Dublin and its UK base at Strixton near Wellingborough. Their products are well distributed in the UK via a network of catering equipment and beverage distributors. The company is also known for its innovation with an active research and development department. Most recently, the company has launched a range of Ecofriendly water boilers, as well as a complete range of filter coffee brewing equipment under the Filtro brand name. The Filtro range encompasses a small batch pour over model and bulk brewers. As members of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe, the company have also been working closely with this organisation to develop the Gold Cup certification scheme
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which promotes the benefits of excellence in filter coffee brewing and drinking. Its Mini Filtro Shuttle is a full six litre capacity coffee brewer with a portable urn now featuring a removable base which may be removed for use at remote locations. It is a compact bulk brewer – less than 700mm in height that brews filter coffee at the touch of a button and has been designed and manufactured to meet the European Coffee Brewing Centre’s standards and to deliver coffee in line with the SCAE’s Gold Cup certification standard. Being insulated, the urn will keep coffee hot with minimal deterioration for up to two hours, explains Marco, making it ideal for venues with a medium to high volume requirement for coffee, such as hotels and restaurants, or where coffee needs to be prepared in advance and for self-service applications, such as conference centres, workplace meeting rooms and staff restaurants. The advanced specification offers all the features that has made the original Shuttle such a success including programmable brew batch
sizes, say Marco. There are now three fully programmable batch sizes, up to the full urn capacity of six litres. This means that caterers can choose for themselves how much to brew. Such flexibility is a boon, feel Marco, and will result in less coffee wastage when smaller quantities are called for.
The Mini Filtro Shuttle is also equipped with a preinfusion feature and pulse brewing. This allows different brews for different coffees to be defined without engineer input, allowing tighter control of brewing parameters, with improved extraction the continued goal. The spray head has also been modified to optimise the spray pattern, ensuring improved coverage across the entire brew bed, irrespective of brew volume. Additionally, the basket lock time has been extended to cover drip time. That means the basket can only be removed when the brew is fully complete. This saves messy drips and avoids the danger of scalding. The Filtro Shuttle can be used with pre-portioned coffee sachets or is suitable for grind-ondemand systems. “Our R&D department has been at work on the Filtro Shuttle,” says Marco’s UK sales development manager, Chris York. “It has managed to produce the same capacity brewer with advanced Shuttle features but in a much more compact format. The new Mini Filtro Shuttle is a versatile midvolume bulk coffee brewer with a performance that delivers Gold Cup quality time after time.”
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Chris York, Marco Beverage Systems UK
What is filter coffee, and how did it come about? It first came about when in 1908. Melitta Benz, a German housewife, wanted a less bitter taste. So she boiled some water and passed it over ground coffee held in a muslin ‘filter’. It is the process of hot water passing by gravity, not pressure, through ground coffee held in a filter medium, today a paper filter being the most common.
taste is for a good black coffee to which milk can be added - a beverage with good flavour and body that if stored correctly produces a quick and cost effective drink. Filter should not be confused with ‘Americano’ which is an espresso shot watered down with hot water. This generally will have only around 60% of the body and flavour of a true filter coffee.
Has it improved in recent times? If so, how? Over the years, filter coffee has improved significantly with increased knowledge in coffee beans, roasting, grind size, water temperature control and, not least, accurate timing of water to pass through the grind. Manufacturers such as ourselves continue to build and develop more technically advance filter coffee brewers.
Is drinking filter coffee the best way to ‘get to know’ coffee? Certainly, and why not? There are a fantastic range of single origin coffees available, backed by great roasters and coffee shops. These coffees are brewed as individual cups through Chemex, Hario, Cafetière and a range of other models to give as close a perfect cup as possible. Find such a coffee shop and tasting is believing!
How popular is filter coffee now with end consumers? Filter coffee is maintaining, if not growing, in popularity. Up to 60% of all coffee consumed out of home is filter coffee. The
Any top tips/do’s and don’ts for making good filter coffee? Always keep your beans fresh, check the grind regularly as too fine a grind will cause over extraction and a more bitter
taste. Too course a grind and all the flavour and body will not be extracted. Keep your water to 92 to 96°C during brewing and let it brew properly. Practice makes perfect but the rewards are worth it. What is the aim behind the SCAE’s Gold Cup Scheme? The SCAE Gold Cup Scheme aims to set quality standards to achieve the best possible results in filter coffee. Marco has been a long term supporter of this initiative, as have other manufacturers. The Gold Cup specification sets the standard for coffee weight per litre of water, grind parameters, brew water temperature and extraction times. These parameters can be then applied to individual coffee origins or blends with small adjustments to obtain the best cup of coffee from that individual coffee. It is all about understanding the art of filter coffee brewing to achieve great consistent results and get your customers coming back time and again. Great coffee gets noticed and the word spreads - there are many operators who are finding this out to their benefit.
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COFFEE Heightened expectations Ringtons has now been supplying some of the freshest and highest quality tea and coffee throughout the UK for over 100 years. Its trade division - Ringtons Beverages specialises in supplying restaurants, coffee shops, offices, hotels, department stores, bakeries and gyms. Clients are spread from the Scottish Highlands to Southern England across from Penzance to Canterbury, including household names such as Fenwick department stores and the Alnwick Garden. The company offers a range of four mainstream filter coffees - the most popular being its 100% Colombian, it reports. They describe this coffee as a smooth, medium roast coffee with a slightly nutty flavour. They also offer a filter coffee called Blend 21, which was developed specifically for the after dinner market, say the company and is a classic blend, suitable for all day drinking, and a Fairtrade classified coffee as well. A large proportion of its customers that opt for filter coffee are establishments which tend to have a requirement to brew and serve coffee in high volume, such as conference venues and hotels that serve it at breakfast and after meal times. “Sales of filter coffee have increased considerably in recent years and this is reflected in the sales of our 100% Colombian filter coffee, which is one of our most popular coffees,” says John Broad, Ringtons Beverages’ barista training and development manager. “This is down to the fact that the quality of filter coffee can now match that of whole bean when it’s brewed correctly. “Following the explosion of sophisticated speciality coffees, people’s expectations of quality have heightened significantly as their palates have become more refined and they can differentiate flavours and tell the difference between a fresh cup compared to one
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Inside the barista training room at the head office of Ringtons in Newcastle.
Ringtons Beverages’ top tips for brewing filter coffee 1. Use 45g of filter coffee for every litre of water. 2. Water temperature should be between 92 and 96oC. 3. Only one filter paper should be used at a time. 4. Always have a level coffee bed (max. two inches deep) so the water flows evenly through the coffee. 5. Up to 98% of a cup of filter coffee is water so ensure that the machine is fitted with a filter to ensure good water quality. 6. Always ensure the machine is cleaned regularly.
that isn’t so fresh! “This demand for increased quality has led to roasters exploring different origins, roasts and blends, which have further helped to boost filter coffee’s taste. As well as the improvement in the coffee itself, the machinery now on offer is far superior to that of the past. Baristas now have the ability to control more of the parameters of the brewing process to make for a better
cup of coffee. Filter coffee has also become increasingly popular with retail chains too as it allows outlets to easily offer customers a wider variety through ‘guest coffees’, which are often filter coffees.” The 21st century brought a new era to Ringtons Beverages as the company has recently invested £500,000 into
With the robustly designed Novo from Bravilor Bonamat caterers can quickly brew the desired amount of filter coffee wherever it is required, say its makers. This filter coffee machine features a manual filling system for sites where connection to the water mains is unavailable but where there is, nevertheless, a need for freshly brewed coffee at any time. Another addition to Bravilor Bonamat’s new quick filter range, the Novo has been designed in high quality stainless steel and is provided with a durable filter pan. The Novo brews coffee into a glass decanter (supplied with the machine) and has two self-regulating hot plates that have been cleverly mounted level with the surface for ease of use and which re-adjust the temperature according to the amount of coffee in the decanter so that a great tasting cup of fresh filter coffee is guaranteed. The Novo is user friendly and requires little maintenance, claim Bravilor Bonamat. Options include standalone self-regulating hot plates, a cup warmer for preheating cups and mugs, and a console for wall mounting.
its coffee proposition with the purchase of a new state-ofthe-art roaster at its manufacturing plant and a high-tech barista training room based in its head office in Newcastle. They are able to provide a one stop shop covering everything from equipment and training through to products and support. The business blends and packs within its own UK-based factory giving customers a detailed insight into the sourcing, blending, packaging and roasting. Their philosophy, say Ringtons, is to help customers make consistent quality coffee and this is provided through three key pillars - delivering seriously fresh coffee next day throughout the UK, providing some of the most advanced espresso and filter machines in production and having dedicated barista support inhouse, at their premises or at the end of a phone.
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Feed at the
Kudos, part of the Crown Group, has opened its latest Feed branded café - named Feed at the Empire Café - situated within the Hackney Empire, as part of its five year bar, retail and events contract with this iconic venue. The Hackney Empire Built in 1901 by Frank Matcham (whose other great London theatre is the Coliseum in St Martin’s Lane), the Hackney Empire is an extraordinarily atmospheric theatre. With its electric lights, central heating and in-built projection box it was a technological wonder of its time. Now a Grade II listed building, the Hackney Empire has always been a confluence of the arts and popular culture presenting music hall, variety, comedy, theatre, dance, opera and music of all kinds. It has also been a TV studio, film set
and bingo hall. In January 2004 the Hackney Empire re-opened after a £19.5 million renovation and restoration and now it has cotemporary café serving theatre-goers and locals alike. This latest addition is a standalone, high street café for the venue’s customers and the local community, and can accommodate 50 people inside and also has an outside seating area. It was refurbished to offer customers a welcoming sociable ambiance with soft seating in the upstairs section and free Wi-Fi throughout. It features trademark food options,
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including breakfast pastries, freshly ground coffees, sandwiches, hot deli items and afternoon teas and cakes. What kind of coffee does the café serve? Dependant on time of day, one to three members of staff are on duty and the venue has a barista-led coffee service using Pelican Rouge coffee supplied by Cafebar UK. We chose them partly for their active support of number of charities, based both in the UK and overseas and their sustainable, fairtrade and rainforest alliance accreditations. Pelican Espresso is a strong exotic blend that will arouse the senses. Serve it as a pure espresso or ristretto to experience a full-bodied 'shot' or add milk to create deliciously rich cappuccino or macchiato. It is made with quality beans from 100% sustainable sources and is ideal for stronger drinks for the coffee connoisseur, and particularly suited for producing strong espresso and ristretto drinks, but great with milky drinks too.
What’s on the menu? We sell a range of freshly made sandwiches, baguettes and wraps, hot paninis and bloomer toasties, jacket potatoes, salads, soups and stews, breakfast pastries, cakes and sweet treats and hot and cold deli items. Our current best selling item is our jacket potato option from £1.50. We are also introducing many new products including homemade lemonades, smoothies, a hot carvery option and some new street food inspired options. Do you utilise locally sourced food? All our meat is British, red tractor and farm assured. Our chicken is freedom food certified. Our salad and vegetables are from farms around London and the home counties such as Berkshire, Kent and Surrey. Our tuna is dolphin friendly (pole and line caught) and we only use free range eggs. Our healthy eating policy means we use no or low salt in our dishes, British rapeseed oil in our dressings as it has less cholesterol than olive oil and low fat mayo.
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PROFILE And your typical customers? From theatre goers of all ages, local office workers and the local community from 0-90 years old! We have seating capacity for 42 persons. We actively promote ourselves within the venue and with the local businesses and residents. Feed at the Empire Café is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Saturday and on a Sunday when there is a performance in the theatre when opening hours are show dependant (typically 2 hours before curtain up and closing at the end of the interval). The café is also licensed to sell alcohol. Joint venture This café is the second Feed venture that Kudos has embarked on after a successful launch at the Brighton Centre back in September 2010 (Feed is the Crown Group’s highstreet retail café brand). “We are delighted to be working with the Hackney Empire on this venture and it is very exciting to see this Feed café on the high-street, where we can show off the brand and enjoy doing what we do best,” says Jon Pryce, managing director of Kudos. “We are very proud of the quality of our food, drink and customer service, and it’s incredibly satisfying to see
happy customers in another of our Feed cafés.” Kathleen Hamilton, director of theatre and operations at the Hackney Empire, adds: "Feed at the Empire Café introduces a new, quality café experience to the centre of Hackney. We are very pleased to work with Kudos on this venture which will enhance the facilities and environment of Mare Street and the Empire itself.” Kudos (www.kudosknowhow.co.uk) provides food and venue management services at fixed venues across a number of market sectors in the United Kingdom. The business has an annual turnover of approx £22 million and employs over 1,500 people every year. The company operates at a diverse range of venues such as livery halls, sports stadia, conference and exhibition centres, banqueting venues, theatres and auditoriums. Kudos also provides food services at a number of retail outlets such as restaurants, bars and cafés for clients and customers across the country. Their services can range from the provision of food at high-profile conferences or AGMs, corporate hospitality at Premier League football matches, running bars at high profile concerts, right the way
through to providing sandwiches to university students. Kudos is part of the Crown Group (www.crown group.co.uk), a provider of food, venue and event solutions, and consisting of individual companies providing service solutions in the food, venue, marquee, equipment hire and staffing industries. Originally formed in 1978 by a group of highly trained and qualified chefs, the group has gone on to develop into a collection of nine successful businesses, with an annual turnover over approx £40million, all catering for the needs of clients in a diverse range of sectors. Their other businesses include Seasoned Events for contract and outside catering,
At Home (high end catering), Piggotts (marquees, flags and banners, Christmas lighting and creative displays), The Event Hire Company (furniture hire), Kudos Delivered (delivered-in catering), Midsummer House (a two Michelin starred restaurant in Cambridge), Jobs 2 Go (staff hire), Kudos Cafés (for public and private sector café catering), Omniforce (digital marketing) and Venue Reservations (a free venue finding service for organisers). The Crown Group also has its own foundation. Launched in 2008, the Crown Foundation is a charity that helps to support the group’s partnerships with a number of other charities, including the Forces Childrens’ Trust and the Make A Wish foundation.
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Keeping it in
the family Baldwins Accountants (www.baldwinsaccountants.co.uk) has become recognised as a leading advisor to family businesses, having scooped a top award at last year’s Family Business Awards. Partner, David Baldwin, is the third generation to be involved in the firm and, as he outlines here, feels he is perhaps in a better position than most to understand the unique pressures that can affect family businesses such as cafés. Pros and cons The strength of personal relationships is perhaps the biggest advantage family businesses have over non-family businesses, but they can also be a major issue in the downfall of any family organisation. Whilst family members tend to share similar objectives, the informal nature of the relationships within the business can lead to problems in the future. Strong corporate governance is recognised as the foundation of any good business, but this can easily be undermined by family members, who generally place less value on strict reporting structures than non-family organisations. It is very easy for family members to turn Sunday lunch, for example, in to an informal discussion about new menus or a performance appraisal, with a free-for-all atmosphere. In this setting it is unlikely notes will record what was said and by whom, with an agreed list of actions and expected outcomes. In our experience, family restaurant and café businesses would benefit from a more structured approach to meetings and reporting. Help from external advisers, able to bring objectivity to the meetings, will also help everyone focus on the issues affecting the performance of the business, whilst avoiding any purely family issues. Striking a balance The key to successful relationships within family businesses is striking the right balance between maintaining enough control and allowing the freedom for each individual to make any role their own. A new generation often joins the family
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business believing they must drive it forward and bring a fresh, new approach that will modernise the business. But they must first recognise it is thanks to the efforts of their family that the business can offer them the opportunity to make a career for themselves. It can be too easy for the young to dismiss a café or restaurant as being ‘behind-the-times’. In similar vein, older family members with perhaps more traditional views can underestimate the contribution the new generation can make form the outset, with a fresh approach and new skills. It can be too easy to continue down the same route because “it’s the way we’ve always done it”. External advisors, therefore, can help owners with mapping out the roles and responsibilities for every member of staff, family or otherwise. However, senior family members must understand the vital role they will undertake as business mentor to the next generation, passing on years of accumulated business experience. There is little point allowing newcomers to repeat the mistakes the business owners have already learned from. Timing and planning When it comes to passing a business to the next generation, timing is everything. It is important to plan early, but that is where the problem usually lies for the business owner. They have worked almost their entire life building the reputation of their restaurant or café and many are reluctant to step aside and pass responsibility to another individual, even if they are related by marriage or blood.
For some family businesses, the first step can be as simple as ensuring wills are made and re-visited every three to five years to take account of changes in both the business’s and a family’s situation. It is understandable for shares within a business to be passed to the next generation long before the owner expects to retire. But this desire to spread ownership and responsibility can pose a serious threat to any family business, when divorce can leave a percentage of the share capital beyond the control of the family, for instance. The decision to gift shares to spouses is not one to be taken lightly and business owners should seek expert advice, before acting. The use of external advisers to help make any ‘difficult’ decisions will reduce the risk of a fall out within the family. Business property relief (BPR) is the crucial tax relief when considering succession, reducing the value of business assets for the purposes of inheritance tax (IHT), with a reduction of 100% for most sole trader or partnership businesses. But again, business owners should seek expert advice to ensure they maximise its potential, because there are pitfalls for the unwary. Similarly, valuing a business is a critical element of succession planning. Some owners value the business every year as part of their strategic planning, but selling a business to the next generation involves different calculations than when selling outside the family. Historical valuations can be very useful for tax planning purposes and less complicated ones need not be expensive.
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BUSINESS ADVICE A world of opportunities Pressure on younger family members to follow their relations into the business is an issue we come across regularly when advising family businesses and it can be a blessing or a problem. For many café owners there is a temptation to combine childcare with work, exposing children to the working environment at an early age, even if it’s just wiping a few tables or washing some cups. This approach is a double-edged sword! It can inspire the next generation to join the family business or put them off the idea completely. It is something family business owners need to consider carefully. A wellmotivated individual, focussed on joining the family business can make educational choices that ultimately benefit the business, from catering qualifications to business and management courses. This ability to recruit family members offers a wealth of advantages to the business. The cost of recruitment is obviously limited as family members not only cost nothing to recruit, but will generally stay far longer than non-family employees, again slowing the need for replacements. Importantly, a world of opportunities exists beyond the family business and it is essential no pressure, however inadvertent, is applied to children to make life choices that benefit the business, but do not suit the individual, their aspirations or their temperament. Joining the business has to be their choice. No silver spoon Once a family member has made the decision to join the family business, it is important they work their way up. Nepotism is an ugly word. If a junior family member is to earn the respect of colleagues and senior staff, many of whom will not be family members, they must bring skills, enthusiasm and a can-do approach to their new career. Ideally they should start on the lowest rung and not walk straight into the boardroom. Remember, a silver spoon is only good for stirring. The traditionally held long-term view of the future of the business so evident with the majority of family businesses can create issues for some non-family employees if they feel the route to the top is a closed shop or a very slow route. If there is little chance of career advancement, unless by marriage into the family, then the very best staff the business wishes to retain, often see no alternative than to leave and pursue their ambitions of senior management roles elsewhere. For small businesses, the owners can look at transferring ownership, via shares, slowly over time, with a pre-determined plan that sets out trigger points for the share transfer. It can be a very tax efficient way of
doing things, with hold-over relief helping to limit any Capital Gains Tax liability. I would say that this is definitely an area for expert advice. Any decision to transfer shares or responsibility to a new family member of the business should be performance based. This ensures those employees not able to own shares will still enjoy the benefits of the business continuing to be successful, possibly through better remuneration packages. This is vital if the best employees are to be retained and to remain enthused about their role in the business. Facing the challenge Whilst independent café and restaurant
owners will face unique challenges, with large multiple brands in particular strengthening their hold in the sector, the reasons good businesses succeed is common to all businesses regardless of their structure or their sector. A good strategy understood by all, is the key to success. And new family members can bring a lot to the business, but must realise they have a lot to understand about running a business in general before they worry about family politics. If the mantra all new family members subscribe to when joining the family business is ‘make it successful, then make it yours’, they will ensure the business is strong enough to face the challenge.
Professional help Roasters Restaurant & Coffee Shops of Tamworth, established in 1992, is a local family run business, offering fresh food, prepared to order on the premises. The business was and remains successful from its original location in the heart of Tamworth, but owner, Angie, saw both the opportunity and threat posed by the new retail development on the edge of town, particularly on learning of the landlord’s desire to attract a food outlet. When Angie spoke to David Baldwin about the opportunity, he suggested approaching the landlords of the retail park to make Roasters’ interest clear.
David Baldwin wrote to Aucott Holdings and suggested it would be good if a local business was given the opportunity to bid for the food outlet, particularly given Roasters reputation in the local community. Although this meant going up against national chains, more commonly associated with big retail parks, the landlords were receptive to the idea and sought more details. After introducing Angie to a law firm recommended by Baldwins for their work with small family businesses, David Baldwin helped negotiate the terms of the lease and offered support at every step of the negotiations.
Baldwins helped Angie raise the necessary finance for the fit-out, with banks impressed by the firm’s trading record and the new business plan. The business has gone from strength to strength and far from a new location for the original business, the Ventura Park restaurant is the second Roasters and offers fresh cooked food to a whole new clientele. The major intangible factor, say Roasters, was having the support of Baldwins throughout, with the firm just a phone call away and enabling Angie to grow in confidence, knowing that the accountants understood the possibilities and took the idea seriously.
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EnhancE your capabilitiEs ranke Coffee Systems started in the UK market five years ago. The brand has always been represented in the UK before but never in a direct capacity. Focusing on supplying Bean to Cup (B2C) machines into the hospitality, cafĂŠ and food to go markets, the company has made impressive progress to become one of the major B2C suppliers. 2011 was an incredible year for Franke with sales up 25% on the previous year and 2012 is looking even stronger . A major plus has been the huge progress made in recent times in the capabilities of the Franke B2C machines. The machines have always had Swiss high build quality and the software that runs the machines has markedly increased in sophistication over the years. A big part of what our machines can offer is consistency across the day. Franke coffee machines produce consistent results no
matter who is operating the machine and provide operators with peace of mind that the customer is always going to get the product they are expecting. Franke coffee machines can now produce everything you could ever want from a hot beverage system with up to 230 different drinks on some machines, including flavoured drinks using syrups, all automatically produced at the touch of a button. R & D is always on going and the company has a roadmap of machine development up to 2016. In the last two years the company has placed greater emphasis on the milk management capabilities and cleaning times of the machines. On some of the larger machines, cleaning times can now be as low as eight minutes, adding up to huge efficiency savings for
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sites requiring high daily outputs. Some Franke machines can now produce hot milk, cold milk and cold foam. Another advantage is you do not need specially trained staff to operate our products. Even the best barista can have an off day and there is a considerable cost involved in training and retaining the services of a good barista. Franke machines can be placed in a wide variety of sites and be used by all the staff right from the word go with consistency achieved at the push a button. Our machines also deliver big advantages in terms of foot print, taking up much less counter space than a traditional machine. Many of the large high street operators are seeing the advantages with many now operating fully automatic machines for their coffee menus. Thus, reaping the benefits of less training and a more consistent product. Other motivations for the high street operator is the amount of waste generated in terms of coffee grinds by the
“Franke coffee machines can now produce everything you could ever want from a hot beverage system with up to 230 different drinks on some machines, including flavoured drinks using syrups, all automatically produced at the touch of a button.” traditional approach as there is no wasteage with automated machines. The Franke approach not only delivers more consistency at a high standard and because of the automatic steam functionality of many of the machines, the customer still feels they are getting a ‘hand-made’ product and that part of the experience is not lost. The Pura has done particularly well with the advantages of its highresolution 5.7in colour display, the ability to deliver up to 32 products and 150—200 cup capacity per day. The Spectra has also proven very popular,
offering three basic models, three operating units as well as other options and add-ons for greater flexibility. Reliable and capable machines is only half of the Franke story. The company prides itself on its ability to deliver the best and most knowledgeable service and support in the market. The company employs all of its service engineers direct, all of whom are manufacturer trained as well as having a good knowledge of the coffee ingredient itself. Our service performance makes for impressive reading, we cure 99% of faults on the first call, as our engineers are
equipped with a very large inventory of spare parts. Franke operate four hour, eight hour and twenty four hour response contracts, depending on the customer’s needs. The major growth has come from securing major national high street accounts with Burger King, KFC,and McDonalds to name a few. Franke have the range of equipment and capabilities to ensure that whoever the client is the machine can be built to meet the expectations of the menu offered and to ensure the service reliability. Ultimately, anyone can sell a box. What Franke do is offer so much more. We supply a fully rounded service that includes great products, best in the business support and a genuine understanding of what the client needs to produce in order to keep their customers happy. Franke continue to develop the service delivery and know that the machines will continue to improve, so over time, we are confident that the Franke offering will only get even stronger.
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Chocolate stars from Dawn.
The chance to boost revenues and tempt customers with seasonal festive purchases is an opportunity not to be missed by cafĂŠs and coffee shops in these economically challenging times. In our annual indulgence, we highlight just some of the products to consider.
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FESTIVE FAYRE Be prepared Bakery goods supplier, Dawn (www.dawnfoods.co.uk), advise that cafés need to make the most of seasonal business over the forthcoming festive period by planning ahead to give consumers maximum ‘tempt’ time for their festive treats. The company has a whole host of ideas for outlets to be able to make the most of their business, the main point being to make sure you have a good stock of store cupboard ingredients with a Christmas feel so that you’ll be able to develop a rotating menu with something different every day, suggest Dawn. Just some of their festive ingredients include Carrot Cake Base, Extra Moist Vanilla Muffin Mix, Bun Spice, Stollen Spice, Rum Belmonte Flavour, Delifruit Orange, Raspberry, Rum & Raisin, Black Cherry and chocolate inclusions and toppings, as well as Gold, Silver and White Sugar Stars, Chocolate Stars, Red, Green and White Frostings and Christmas decorations. Bakery manufacturer and food service operator, Delice de France (www.delicedefrance.co.uk), has unveiled its Christmas 2012 portfolio of 26 items, which includes six new products to complement their existing selection of seasonal cakes, sweet treats and savouries, in addition to a new range of tailored seasonal serving suggestions for year-round products. In line with the growing consumer desire for convenience and on the go eating, Delice de France has introduced individually wrapped slices including a traditional favourite Christmas Cake Slice and an innovative Christmas Mincemeat and Cranberry Slice. The slices, once defrosted for approx two hours, can be stored at an ambient temperature for up to 18 days and opens up a huge opportunity for outlets wanting to better cater for consumers eating on the go, suggest the company. These individually wrapped treats build on their existing range of festive wrapped slices following the success last year of the Christmas Chocolate cake bar with moist chocolate sponge and added chocolate chips and a Stollen cake bar – made to a traditional Stollen recipe packed with marzipan, sultanas and cherries, As well as the new wrapped slices, the brand has launched a seasonal Cranberry and Orange Flowerpot Muffin into its existing festive products, extending the range to four seasonal muffins. Flavoured using natural orange oil and filled with cranberries, the muffin comes in a decorative gold paper case for a decadent Christmas treat. Delice de France says that it has revamped the traditional Christmas pudding to create a Luxury Christmas Pudding that
Country Choice festive counter top display. further builds on the classic offering. This features a 35.5% fruit mix of sultanas, raisins and currants before being soaked in Brandy, Rum and Sherry. Adding a twist to another favourite Christmas ingredient, Delice de France has launched a Mini Mincemeat Danish Pastry (a sweet Danish pastry filled with delicious fruity mincemeat and drizzled with icing to create a festive alternative to a popular sweet pastry item). This year’s Christmas range from Country Choice includes seasonal best-sellers and a range of new products. Among the new additions are a Star Mince Pie comprising a shortcrust base with mincemeat filling and a pastry star on top. There’s also a Christmas Cookie (a butter enriched, chocolate flavour cookie with chunks of white Belgian chocolate and cranberry pieces) and a Christmas Cake Slice (a rich fruit cake topped with marzipan, white icing and an edible holly decoration). Shelf lives when wrapped are five days, five days and 28 days and case sizes are 12, 36 and 40 respectively. All three new additions are thaw and sell products. Simply remove the required number from the outer case and allow them to defrost for 2-3 hours, prior to displaying for sale. It is recommended that products that are supplied wrapped - the Christmas Cake Slice and Christmas Cookie - are defrosted in the wrapper. A full range of point of sale material including shelf-edge labels, Christmas shelf talkers and Christmas stickers is available free of charge. Christmas themed countertop and floor standing display units are also available to further promote the range in-store (www.countrychoice.co.uk). It is perhaps no surprise that sales of confectionery, biscuits and other sweet products increase during the run-up to Christmas, but Cotswold Fayre has revealed that their sales increase ten-fold in the last quarter of the year. From October and Halloween right through to Christmas and New Year, observe the firm, shoppers are looking for sweet treats, not just for their
own homes but also as gifts for family and friends. History shows that traditional favourites such as Christmas puddings, mince pies and shortbread always do well, but increasingly we are embracing overseas traditions too, with sweet treats of Italian and German goods like panettone and macaroons, advise Cotswold Fayre (www.cotswoldfayre.co.uk). “Manufacturers have long embraced the seasonal demand for sweet products, with eye-catching packaging and product innovation aimed at appealing to the nation’s sweet winter tooth,” comments Paul Hargreaves, managing director of Cotswold Fayre. “Retailers too embrace the consumer’s desire for attractive gift products by really using their shelf space as a marketing rather than storage tool. It is amazing what some glitter, baubles and merchandising can do for sales. “A trend that has also emerged over the past few years is to encourage customers to make their own gift hampers. By attractively displaying a range of festive products and offering free boxes and packaging, customers are encouraged to turn their sweet purchases into fabulous personalised gifts.” This year, Cotswold Fayre are predicting a record year for Christmas fine food sales, despite the economic climate, as consumers seek to treat themselves and their family. “I think that we will see families pitching in with the cost of Christmas, with guests bringing fine food contributions as gifts,” continues Paul Hargreaves. “This will be a combination of traditional staples such as fruit jellies, but also cost effective sweet gifts such as hot drink dippers.” Beverages According to Kerry Foodservice, their research shows that 60% of customers like to try a new drink every 60 days, meaning that operators are under pressure to keep their menus fresh and exciting. “As well as adding seasonal drinks to the menu, coffee houses must create a buzz around their establishment. By holding sampling events, baristas can involve their customers either by experimenting with recipes and gaining feedback, or holding exclusive ‘reveal’ nights when new menus are launched. These types of events also help build customer loyalty,” suggests Anthony Wilkinson, Kerry Foodservice’s marketing manager. “Classics like the Gingerbread Latte and Cinnamon Mocha are always going to be popular during winter months and shouldn’t be dismissed. Though coffee houses looking to be more creative could use less mainstream flavours like DaVinci Gourmet Green Peppermint syrup and White
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FESTIVE FAYRE Chocolate Sauce to create a classic mocha with a festive twist.’’ Kerry Foodservice’s DaVinci Gourmet (www.davinci-gourmet.co.uk) offers an extensive range of premium syrups to cater for the needs of coffee houses from multi unit accounts to independents. They also provide POS support such as custom display signage and seasonal recipes suggestions. “The profit margins for speciality coffee are great so it’s imperative that coffee houses tap into this market. Encourage repeat visit with loyalty cards and even consider promotions on just the winter seasonal selection,” adds Anthony Wilkinson. Cinnamon Mocha Ingredients Two shots DaVinci Gourmet Cinnamon syrup 120ml DaVinci Gourmet Premium Chocolate 60ml milk Two shots espresso To decorate: Whipping cream Method: Steam the Premium Chocolate and milk, add syrup and espresso to cup before pouring over hot chocolate. Top with cream and dust with cocoa powder. Profit calculator: Cost per 12oz drink: 92p (suggested selling price: £2.70 / Profit: 66%) Wintermint Mocha Ingredients Two pumps DaVinci Gourmet Green Peppermint syrup Half a pump DaVinci Gourmet White chocolate sauce Two shots espresso, fill cup with milk To decorate: Whipping cream and DaVinci Gourmet Chocolate sauce Method: Pour syrup and sauce into cup before adding espresso and steamed milk. Profit calculator: Cost per 12oz drink: 64p (suggested selling price: £2.70 / Profit: 76%)
“We advise cafés to incorporate speciality options into their beverage menus and make them core to their offering, rather than advertising a syrup shot as an extra on top of purchase,” reveals Grace Keenan, DaVinci Gourmet’s brand manager. “DaVinci Gourmet syrups and sauces have been created to hold up under heat and mix evenly within the drink – making sure the last sip tastes as great as the first. They can be used to create a variety of indulgent and luxury lattes, mochas, and hot chocolates that invoke warm and comforting feelings.” “If the drink is not marketed correctly
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then operators cannot expect customers to ask for it when they place their order. Publicise the product with A-boards or chalkboards at the counter, and also make sure serving staff are informed so they can influence customers’ choices. If marketed correctly, speciality drinks boast huge profit margins, for example by adding just one shot of DaVinci Gourmet syrup to a latte allows coffee houses to charge an extra 25p to 40p, with overall profits of up to 80%. “One of our best-selling flavours over winter is DaVinci Gourmet Gingerbread and this is set to be the case again this year. Other popular flavours for winter include Almond, Chocolate, Irish Cream and Cinnamon. Or, a Wintermint Mocha, made from mixing Peppermint syrup and White Chocolate sauce, is a good alternative to the classic Gingerbread drinks. Caramel, Chocolate Mint and Hazelnut syrups also work well in flavoured mochas. Da Vinci Gourmet sauces, including Strawberry and Caramel, can be drizzled over the froth of a cappuccino, latte, or hot chocolate, creating extra visual appeal. “Hot chocolate is increasing in popularity so a strong hot chocolate offering is essential. To add a touch of elegance to beverage menus, our Gourmet Premium Chocolate is made with real dark chocolate and cocoa powder, combining flavour and luxury. It is an easy option for operators as it can be served on its own or combined with other flavours.” For warming winter tipples, the premium soft drinks producer Belvoir Fruit Farms have launched two brand new warming cordials as part of their warm cordials range. Consisting of new Honey Lemon & Ginger Cordial, new Apple Plum & Cinnamon Cordial, Spiced Winter Berries Cordial and Apple & Ginger Cordial, the Belvoir warm cordials range offers a comforting and warm, but caffeine free, drink. The Belvoir Fruit Farms range is still hand produced on the family farm in the Vale of Belvoir in Lincolnshire and is available from all good fine food wholesalers and suppliers
to the catering and on-trade or from leading supermarkets, delicatessens, food halls, farm shops or via the web site (www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk). The Drury Tea & Coffee Company has added a Christmas tea to its best selling pyramid-shaped speciality teabag range. This new, limited edition tea - only available in the run up to Christmas - is made from the finest black tea blended with apple, orange and Christmas spices, say the company, and is best served without milk. The new pyramid shape of the bag and the material it is made from, point out Drury, permits the use of larger leaf teas and allows the tea to brew more efficiently helping to deliver more taste, but without all the mess associated with loose leaf tea. This Christmas tea is also packed in attractive Art Deco style packs of 15 for display and selfselection with a wholesale list price of £2.95. Alternatively, catering packs of 100 cost £16.20.
“Our seasonal offering delivers the perfect taste of Christmas and the retail packs make perfect stocking fillers,” says Drury director, Marco Olmi. “The new pyramid packaging is particularly suitable for the blend. It allows the teas and spices to circulate and brew properly whilst at the same time avoiding any messy residue in the cup.” Tea Horse (www.teahorse.co.uk), who sell loose leaf teas, have released a unique Christmas gift called The Tea Horse Christmas Box, for £11.95 (including free recipe cards for making tea cocktails). The featured teas include Winter Spice (a bespoke tea created by Tea Horse with the flavours of mulled wine), Yunnan Golden Tips (a very special black tea from Yunnan in China made purely from the golden tips of the tea), Mellow Minds (a herbal blend of calming and soothing Chamomile and Lavender) and Jin Xuan Milk Oolong (an exotic oolong tea from Taiwan with an aromatic flavour between a green tea and a black tea). The speciality coffee supplier, Cherizena (www.cherizena.co.uk), has launched its popular seasonal Christmas coffee. Available
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FESTIVE FAYRE Glitter Berry provides the perfect solution for outlets looking to add a touch of sparkle to their Christmas soft drinks display and to help operators make the most of their display this year, new point-of-sale designs are available which include colours associated with Christmas and reference the festive party season.
in packs with own-brand labels or branded as Cherizena, the coffee is available as beans or ground, regular or decaffeinated. This flavoured Christmas blend has an aroma reminiscent of plum pudding, and has been created by flavouring the Colombian Excelsior medium bean with a tasty combination of rum, hazelnut, cinnamon, vanilla, orange and pecan nut flavours, say Cherizena. Last year around half a tonne of Christmas coffee was sold, report Cherizena. The Christmas coffee is available in packs up to a kilo in size and can also be teamed up with Cherizena’s ‘snip and pour’ packs for filter machines, which are available in boxes of 50, including filter papers. The soft drinks manufacturer, Britvic, has re-introduced its limited edition J2O Glitter Berry variant for festive occasions, following the brand’s best Christmas in three years. The seasonal flavour is once again set to add a touch of glamour to the adult soft drinks market and drive sales for venues over the winter party season.
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Festive flavours In time for the celebrations, many suppliers have launched limited edition versions of their products. New Forest Ice Cream, for example, has launched a mince pie flavoured ice cream that’s sure to be a big hit over the festive period. Part of the company’s distinctive dairy range, the new Mince Pie flavour combines a blend of brandy ice cream, interspersed with indulgent shortcake pastry and delicious real mincemeat pieces, say the company. Suitable for vegetarians, the new ice cream enables outlets to add an unusual twist to their Christmas dessert menu this year. “Mince pies are one of the many things consumed during the Christmas period of indulgence,” says Christina Veal, director at New Forest Ice Cream. “Adored by young and old, the aromatic, lightly spiced mincemeat and rich pastry emits a real sense of Christmas. Combining these delicious flavours with a dash of brandy, double cream and Jersey milk, our new Mince Pie Ice Cream has a tempting warming flavour, perfect for the time of year and an ideal way to keep your customers coming back for more, time and time again.” The new flavour has a dual benefit to caterers, working equally well as a
individual dessert or as an accompaniment to other dishes, including Christmas pudding, apple pie or even coffee based desserts such as tiramisu, suggest New Forest (www.newforesticecream.com). Beechdean Farmhouse Dairy Ice Cream, have also re-introduced their popular seasonal offering - Mince Pie Ice Cream. It is vailable in five litre tubs for easy multiple serve from 3663, Hensons Foodservice, and major pub groups and leisure sites or by calling Beechdean direct on 01494 563980. Made by husband and wife team Andrew and Susie Howard using fresh whole Jersey milk and rich double cream from their own pedigree Jersey herd living in the heart of the Chilterns, Beechdean is the best traditional luxury ice cream on the market. Like all of Beechdean’s ice creams the Mince Pie Ice Cream contains no artificial preservatives or additives just juicy raisins and succulent currants with pieces of orange and lemon peel for a citrus zing and real nutmeg and cinnamon with a dash of Courvoisier to give it that truly festive flavour. Crisp shortcake biscuit has been added to give an unexpected crunch. “We first produced our Mince Pie Ice Cream last year as a fun, seasonal product but we have brought it back by popular demand for this year. It seems to appeal to the festive spirit and is easier to eat than some other heavier traditional Christmas puddings and desserts and so is perfect for pubs and restaurants to have on the menu,” says Andrew Howard, MD of Beechdean Farmhouse Dairy Ice Cream. Award winning Yorkshire bakers and pâtissiers, Just Desserts (www.justdesserts.co.uk), report that they have launched new boozy alternatives to the traditional Christmas pudding as part of their handmade festive desserts range aimed at foodservice and hospitality markets. Their new Brandy Pudding, a luxurious ‘St Delia’ special, is made to a 20 year old sticky toffee pudding recipe and is finished off with brandy liquor for a delicious dessert and is ideal for diners who are looking for a change from traditional Christmas puds (it is available in 1 x 14 portions - 1.15 per portion/£16.10). They have also launched a Christmas cheese cake with a twist. This new Ginger Beer Cheese Cake features a combination of cheese cake and crushed stem ginger with premium Fever Tree Ginger Beer, award-winning ginger ale, brewed with natural gingers from Nigeria, Cochin and the Ivory Coast (it is available in 1 x 12 portions - £1.20 per portion/£14.40). Other options included their White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheese Cake and a favourite from last year, Three Kings Torte and continuing the festive tipple theme, the
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Choc n Rum Roulade. Just Desserts also offers handcrafted traditional festive favourites from Mince Pies to the Ultimate Christmas Plum Pudding, yielding 26 x 3oz portions per bar, or as an individual 100gm pudding. Commenting on its Christmas dessert range, James O’Dwyer, managing director, Just Desserts said: “We are delighted to launch our festive dessert range offering both traditional products and those with a seasonal twist and believe they are the perfect choice for caterers to add to Christmas menus.” Another traditional flavour that’s invariably associated with Christmas, but all too often overlooked for the rest of the year, is marzipan. Niederegger marzipan is officially classed as one hundred percent marzipan because it is made with a lot more almonds and a lot less sugar, and the company has included an entire traditional Christmas range on top of the plethora of the chocolate-covered treats it currently offers. The Niederegger Christmas range – called Frohes Fest - will appeal to everyone’s tastes from the grand parents to the grand children, feel the company. For those that enjoy festively shaped treats there’s the newly designed Christmas selection which includes star-, crescent moon-, boot-, Christmas tree- and snowman- shaped marzipans each covered with a range of dark, milk and white chocolates. If you’re looking for a large range of flavours then their new Marzipanerie in Christmas Sleeve features most of the different flavours Niederegger has to offer with its smaller confectionaries. They have also developed a wide selection of white chocolate covered marzipans as well as icing sugar-sprinkled traditional German Christmas cakes, known as Stollen, including some with the Niederegger twist of marzipan fillings. Festive flair Christmas, of course, would not be Christmas without some festive flair when it comes the serving of food and beverages, and glassware and tableware supplier, Artis
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(www.artis-uk.com), says that it has a range that’s up to the task. Helping your establishment to stand out from the crowd is their diverse range of glassware, including on-trend, vintage Champagne saucers, and handled glassware suitable for hot mulled wine, Liqueur coffees, or eggnog. To present seasonal delicacies in a stylish, dramatic and innovative way, they have devised a wide range of serving dishes and platters, including the Isola and Symphony ranges which offer maximum versatility, allowing caterers to create dishes in an organic way, innovatively utilising many different combinations.
For dramatic presentation, there is their slate range, as well as a modern revolving glass plate and various glass presentation platters and sampling plates together with a range of elegant tasting forks/spoons and an extensive range of stylish cake stands, perfect for serving and displaying Christmas patisserie. Also assisting with presentation is Gift Tag - the latest British-made label from the
label and packaging provider, Planglow (www.planglow.com). Created to make your chiller look and feel just like Christmas morning, the packaging has the tone and texture of traditional wrapping paper, trimmed with a delicate snow flake design that’s simple, subtle and full of winter-wonder. Combined with a unique ‘gift tag’ shape that is especially eye catching when applied at an angle, Gift Tag offers an authentic festive feel to Christmas ranges and treats without the expense and storage requirements of seasonal packaging items, say Planglow. Subtle branding to suit any interior, the label is ideal for use on deep-fill wedges, salad and tortilla packs and more, also blending with items from Planglow’s bestselling and fully compostable Natural collection too. Available in a 12 per sheet format with 100 sheets (1,200 labels) per pack, as with all Planglow sheet labels, Gift Tag can be simply and speedily overprinted with product information, logos and other branding elements using the company’s label printing software LabelLogic - a PC and either a laser of inkjet desk top printer. “We created Gift Tag to have a timeless and very authentic Christmas feel while avoiding looking over the top or dated which can be a problem for seasonal items,” said Planglow’s marketing director, Rachael Sawtell. “Developed to work with a diverse range of packaging products, the label’s subtle yet undeniably Christmassy design is so engaging, we suspect it may well crop up on a few actual gifts too!”
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There’s far more to clothing for caterers than meets the eye, with functionality being just as important as a stylish look. How can busy café staff keep their cool and still look good in their customer-facing role? Dress code “We would always recommend that staff wear some sort of uniform for a number of reasons. Firstly, it suggests a level of professionalism that you are unlikely to get from staff who turn up in ‘civvies’. Secondly, uniforms are a very good way of defining roles within a business making it easier for the public to identify specific figures of authority should the need arise,” says Rick Shonfeld, commercial director at clothing supplier, Tibard (www.tibard.co.uk). “And of course, stepping into a venue to be greeted by personnel in smart, crease-free uniforms suggests cleanliness and attention to detail which provides a positive start to the experience! “Generally speaking, most venues expect staff members to supply their own trousers/skirt and footwear and then provide them with whatever other items are required such as shirts/blouses/polos and aprons. This seems to be a good compromise because it offers staff a certain level of freedom and comfort whilst simultaneously enabling operators to keep a relatively tight control on their appearance. Without this control there is too much left to interpretation and an increased chance of the dress code being abused to the point where one might even question the point
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in having a uniform at all!” Tibard report that they are seeing a significant shift towards more ‘smart casual’ attire such as polo shirts and denim fabrics, and are also seeing more and more customers moving away from traditional black colours, opting instead for colours seen in high end fashion house collections. “Although these are still reasonably dark colours that are able to cover stains and spills they make a welcome change from black and create a point of difference,” says Rick Shonfeld. “This is a great alternative for venues that do not want to buy standard off the peg items, but who don’t want to go to the added expense of creating bespoke garments either.” A café or coffee shop’s staff require uniforms that are comfortable to wear and often this means providing a tailored garment that suits the wearer. Employers, then, should take note of this as staff who feel comfortable in their uniform and look the part will project a much more welcoming image to customers - something that has never been more important in the current economic climate. “To that end we would always recommend that an employer carries out trials of garments with their staff rather than just leaving the decision up to the purchasing manager,” says Rick Shonfield. “Involving
them in the decision making process adds worth to the chosen garment because staff feel as though they have had a direct involvement and have hopefully ended up with a uniform that they are happy with rather than something that has been forced upon them.” From the operator’s perspective, Tibard says that it is realistic when it comes to customer budgets, their aim being to provide a suitable, practical product that has mass appeal and, more importantly to the procurement team, is competitively priced. Pricing, of course, is a major factor when dealing with uniforms, especially for the larger chains where staff turn-over can often be significant. Dual purpose “Whether worn front of house or back of house, uniforms and workwear not only ensure the professional appearance of employees but also provide a hygienic barrier for those preparing food as well as for those serving,” says Heather Beattie, product/brand manager, Nisbets Plc
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CLOTHING Things to consider 1. The style of the workwear – is it specific to male or female employees and does it suit the organisation? 2. Pockets – whether these are required depends on the role of the staff member and their day-to-day job description. 3. The cost of material – can your supplier offer a wide range of workwear to suit all budgets? 4. Fabrics – not only is a wide choice of colours available these days, but temperature control and any such requirements should be taken into consideration too. 5. Will it be durable? Depending on the nature of the employee’s job, will the workwear withstand the day-today rigours of their job? 6. Is it washable? Kitchen and serving staff are likely to encounter regular spills (after all, it’s part of the job!), so the uniform should be able to withstand regular washing. 7. Comfort – uniform is worn for many hours at a time, so needs to fitted correctly to ensure overall comfort. The differing body shapes of men and women mean that gender-specific workwear options should be chosen to ensure a good fit. 8. Construction. How is the uniform made? Does it utilise light-weight cool-to-wear fabrics which help combat the heat of busy kitchen environments?
(www.nisbets.co.uk), one of the UK’s largest suppliers of catering equipment, offering over 18,000 products for large and small catering institutions and professional chefs. “Our ChefWorks brand, for example, is exclusively available from Nisbets and offers a wide range of workwear options – so no matter what the type of outlet and number of employees, there is something to suit every catering eventuality.” Workwear can be as basic as your average white chef’s jacket, or as sophisticated as options which incorporate concealed press-studs to ensure a more streamlined look, point out Nisbets who say that they specialise in catering for any requirements, depending on budget and the type of job role. Specific ladies’ and men’s clothing is available, with female trousers for example, that have been designed to fit the female form – narrower waists and generous hip measurements ensure a
comfortable fit which is more feminine and flattering. Men’s trousers include belt loops and elasticated waistbands for a more comfortable trouser. A choice of footwear can also be purchased from Nisbets, including designs with slip-resistant soles as well as versions that cover the entire foot in both slip-on and lace-up varieties, and they are available in a choice of colours and sizes
to suit all staff members. Before buying, however, you need to consider a number of factors, as it is vital to keep the job type of the staff being kitted out in mind, whether kitchen staff or serving staff. Nisbets says that it is able to colour match uniforms in accordance with corporate branding, as well as supply short/long sleeve options. What is more, their ChefWorks new ‘cool vent’ system can help regulate body temperature – keeping staff cool in hot working environments. “This revolutionary two-way venting technology sees cool vent side panels designed to provide improved breathability over the areas which need it most, helping to keep the wearer cool and comfortable even in the hottest of kitchens,” says Heather Beattie. “Health and safety, of course, should also be considered. Fitted clothing is safer and more hygienic. Illfitting, baggy uniforms will have a tendency to drag in foods – thus risking contamination – and are more likely to catch or become trapped in equipment. Fitted uniforms not only look nicer, but eliminate these risks.” A complete range of headwear is also available from
One for the ladies The Oliver Harvey (www.oliverharvey.co.uk) brand of chefs’ wear continues to grow in the UK and now has some great news for female chefs and caterers with the launch of its first ever jacket designed just for ladies. Available in short and long sleeved versions the shaped ‘York’ jacket comes with concealed press stud fastenings, mandarin collar, straight edge cuffs and front curved seams with side seam hem split on both sides. As with all Oliver Harvey products it comes with the now distinctive Oliver Harvey red tab on the side seam and branded collar ribbon. Made from a 65% polyester/35% cotton mix the jacket is available in white, in sizes eight to 20 as standard, but larger sizes can be made to order.
Headgear can be an essential part of maintaining good hygiene practices. Nisbets, including all manner of hats and caps for a variety of different services. Cool vent hats and total vent beanies wick moisture away from the skin whilst allowing cool air to circulate encouraging evaporation, keeping the wearer cool and comfortable. An internal sweatband is also included. “Appearance is an important consideration – you want to be served and catered for by appropriate looking staff members, who are wearing clean, smart uniforms. Of course functionality and safety are also key, and employees should feel comfortable in what they are wearing in order to fulfil their role satisfactorily,” adds Heather Beattie. “A coloured uniform can add a modern twist to uniforms, as opposed to the traditional colours which are commonly worn. ChefWorks, for instance, has recently introduced a choice of colours to its range, so now operators are able to choose pink, orange, grey, red, merlot and lime shades as opposed to traditional black and white options.” Workwear can communicate branding, and Nisbets offer a bespoke personalisation and embroidery service, with the choice of lettering being chosen in accordance with typeface and thread colour in order to best match branding. This can be used to identify staff members quickly and easily, and corporate logos can also be incorporated into the uniforms too as a good way of enhancing your branding and company image.
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Doing business the
As of July this year, John Steel became the new CEO of Cafédirect. He believes that bigger isn't always better and is looking to trade directly with a large network of small, independent farmers, feeling that smaller farmers take greater pride and passion in their product, and that by having a direct relationship with them, Cafédirect can work together to make the product even better. Consumers in turn appreciate and value the provenance of their coffee while enjoying a premium product.
Fairtrade commitment Cafédirect's direct trade business model ensures 100% accountability through the supply chain and that farmers also get a far fairer share of the profits than in other schemes – over 50% to date – say the company. The brand enjoys a market share in the total hot beverages category of 0.58% according to Nielsen w/e 18.8.12 data (the total hot beverages category being worth some £1.7 billion). Cafédirect itself is a £13 million business and has 27 employees. It was the first coffee brand in the UK to carry the Fairtrade label and is now recognised as a market leader supporting a unique business model with a dynamic mission to change lives and build communities. It operates under the ‘direct trade’ ethos, establishing direct, long term partnerships with 38 coffee, tea and cocoa smallholder grower organisations across Latin America, Africa and Asia, and impacting more than 280,000 smallholder farmers. Prior to joining Cafédirect, John Steel was chairman at Cornish Sea Salt Company, helping to grow that business by over 400% from under £200k in 2008 to approximately £1.4 million by 2012 (key growth drivers there were extensive foodservice development, listings in all major multiples and innovative new products). John Steel also currently sits as chairman of Quantock Brewery.
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our profits have been used to strengthen grower communities and businesses. For us, the small way is out of the ordinary, it’s passionate, it’s friendly and it takes care.
Define growing business the ‘small way’. Cafédirect is an independent, smallholder tea, coffee and cocoa company and our mission is to change lives and build communities through inspirational and accountable business. ‘Made the Small Way’ is the name we give to our business philosophy and the way we communicate this belief to our consumers. We believe that doing business the small way results in the best tasting hot drinks because of the pride and passion of smallholder growers on small farms. It means we are responsible and direct, developing rewarding personal relationships with growers, not middle men, leaving a positive mark. Doing business the small way also means that we share the rewards: to date over 50% of
Isn’t it just a gimmick to try and tell your customers that Cafédirect’s not simply just another ‘big business’? Absolutely not. We are a unique, pioneering business and these principles are at the heart of everything we do – and always have been. Cafédirect was the first Fairtrade brand in the UK, but that is only a starting point for us we go far beyond the Fairtrade standard in many ways. Because we have two growers on our board of directors they help to shape the strategy of the business, and the way we share our profits is also pioneering: We don’t just hand out cheques, we work with growers who chose how the money is spent, as in any true partnership. Cafédirect genuinely lives and breathes the principles of Made the Small Way and dedicates a lot of effort and resource into ensuring that our founding principles are adhered to in the most transparent and genuine way possible.
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PROFILE Is direct trade with smaller businesses just about the coffee, or is Cafédirect deploying it for other products? Our focus is primarily on providing high quality, smallholder-sourced hot drinks; as well as coffee we also currently offer hot chocolate and black teas (hand-picked and Earl Grey), all of which are sourced directly from smallholder growers around the world for high quality. We also want to equip foodservice customers with the tools to serve the perfect hot drink, and are beginning to work with partners to source machinery and offer a more full-service solution. As part of this we also want to help our customers be sustainable in as many ways as possible, and subsequently save money in the process. As a result we have created our free online EcoToolKit, which allows customers to monitor their energy usage for free and find suitable partners to work with on the results. The EcoToolKit focuses on four key areas water, energy, procurement and waste, and offers advice and discounts from a number of partners, including Ecotricity, Keep Cup, Waterwise and the Carbon Trust.
Does this mean that Fairtrade coffee – which has suffered some bad press from some quarters in recent times will feature more or less at Cafédirect? We are immensely proud to have been the first Fairtrade certified coffee brand in 1994 and to have been pioneers in movement which, since its introduction in the UK in the early 1990s, with UK sales of Fairtrade coffee increasing in value from £15.5 million in 2000 to £194 million in 2011 (according to the Fairtrade Foundation’s Fairtrade and Coffee publication). But, to be clear, although we believe that Fairtrade is a decent accreditation and important hygiene factor for UK consumers, there is a huge difference between the work we do and other Fairtrade coffee companies. We have growers on our board, we reinvest profits into their businesses and the smallholders we work with are at the very core of our business. Our heritage as pioneers for small growers means that we are continually pushing for innovation and positive change for them and we will always continue this philosophy.
Tell us about one of your coffee supplier stories… Working directly with growers means that we are well placed to know exactly what issues are affecting them. Cafédirect has long recognised that supporting farmers in adapting to climate change is essential to protect their livelihoods and ensure a sustainable supply of quality coffee. The story of the CEPICAFE coffee farmers’ cooperative in Sierra Piura in northern Peru is the embodiment of these principles. We worked to bring together coffee farmers whose crops were being ruined by landslides and flooding with subsistence communities living higher up the mountains to create a truly pioneering reforestation scheme. This not only helped to restore the coffee crop for the cooperative, but by incorporating carbon credits into the system, it also provided a sustainable way of living for the community of Choco. This project was truly unique in that it is entirely owned by the smallholders in Peru, but with support (and up-front financial commitment) from Cafédirect. What are the benefits of this business approach? There are so many! By supporting our growers to help improve their lives, environment and businesses, we are improving the quality of our coffee. This translates into a better offering for end users, and ultimately more profit for us to invest back in to growers. It’s a virtuous circle that allows us to act sustainably and with multiple commercial benefits.
It also promotes long term relationships so any challenges can be addressed in the most effective and mutually beneficial manner. Working with a business model like this also allows Cafédirect to continue innovating, as can be demonstrated from the Peru project. How do you see it changing Cafédirect? The principles of ‘The Small Way’ are not, in themselves, a change to our business model. Twenty-one years ago, when Cafedirect was founded, our business was exceptionally pioneering and, over time, others have tried to emulate some of the practices we put in to place. As such, it is now harder for us to express our complex business model and our unique differences from competitors in the market. Made the Small Way is a clear message that aims to cut above the noise of our competitors to demonstrate a transparent, long-standing way of doing business. What are your immediate and long-term business aims? The overall key is for us to grow our business – without growth and sales we cannot continue to support growers with our business model. That said, it’s equally important how we grow and not just that we grow, which is what the Made the Small Way manifesto is all about. In the immediate term we want to accelerate growth, while long-term we want to double the size of the business and further strengthen our offering of premium quality, smallholder grown tea, coffee and cocoa. Are we likely to see any major changes to the brand? Our direct sourcing model means we have easier access to artisan, quality coffees, so expect to see more products come online as we continue to strengthen Cafédirect’s reputation for quality, smallholder grown tea, coffee and cocoa in the market. We will also continue to innovate, not just in our products, but also in the ways we find to support smallholders with the challenges they face. What have you found to be the main challenges in your new role so far? During my first few months it’s been important for me to learn as much as possible about our complex model – and to meet everyone involved. Because it is such a genuinely growerfocused business there have been a lot of people and partners to meet, all of whom are integral to the business. Now I am taking these learnings and distilling the main points for us to focus on to make the biggest difference. Watch this space…
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BEHIND THE BRAND It’s been all change at Britain’s iconic roadside stopover in recent times with the company having made some of its biggest changes in fifty years a new take away service, a brand new menu, a new and improved coffee offering, free WiFi in all restaurants and free baby food to name but a few. Little Chef Express This iconic brand has launched 11 Little Chef Express locations across the country, all redecorated with a focus on bright, simple décor and offering quality food, meal deals and better value than is often found on Britain’s A roads or petrol stations, claim the company. As a result, Little Chef’s brand new menu is now fresher and simpler with first rate quality ingredients used in all its dishes, point out the company. However, the nation’s well loved Little Chef favourites are still there, now including a premium beef burger and ham, egg and chips (a dish that proved to be a hit with customers selling over 10,000 in the first seven days it was introduced). The great British breakfast remains at the heart of the Little Chef menu. The chain serves over one million Olympic Breakfasts every year, and its second most popular dish is its Early Starter, a breakfast option that has been firmly on its menu for decades. Another significant improvement to its offering has been Lavazza (pitched as “Italy’s favourite coffee”), report Little Chef, the brand now being served at Little Chef’s restaurants across the country. The Little Chef chain, of course, was born in the BC (Before Coffee) era, when tea was undoubtedly our favourite hot drink. Now, however, the chain feels that it is not just catching up with the coffee culture, but leading it. With barista trained staff and top quality coffee, travellers who stop at a Little Chef these days can now take away a freshly made, premium coffee as well. Feedback Little Chef’s chairman, Graham Sims, says that such seismic changes are “a result of simply talking to customers”. The company asked 70,000 UK consumers in a June 2012 survey what they wanted from Little Chef, and the message from the 10,012 UK adults who responded was that above all they are looking for speed, choice, simplicity, value and quality.
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“The Little Chef of old had lost its way, today the fight-back is under way,” adds Graham Sims. “Over the last year we’ve learnt about quality and ethical sourcing and now we’ve put it all into practice. We’re upped our game with our new menu, new coffee and new take away services and above all we’ve considered customers’
perceptions of value throughout. Our goal is to bring back real value to Britain’s A roads. “Other little extras we’ve brought in include free WiFi in all restaurants for those who need to stay connected to the digital world, and completely free Heinz baby food for the little ones. So there’s something for everyone.”
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Darren Moore (director of dining at Little Chef) How long have you been in post at Little Chef and what is your specific role? I have been in my current role for the last year, and with Little Chef for three and half years. My specific role is to ensure that the development of the restaurant brand offer is in line with our customer needs and our business plan to deliver continued sales growth. In order to do this I support dining sales through the operating teams, respond to sector evolutions and lead the development of our food offering to ensure that the market perception of the quality and value for money we offer is best in class for our sector. Describe some of the recent changes to the brand? We introduced a new menu across our entire estate and a special Nation’s Favourite menu for the summer, Jubilee and Olympic period. We’ve recently updated our hot beverage offer by introducing key brands such as Lavazza bean to cup barista coffee, Taylor’s of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea, and Cadburys. We’ve also launched 12 Little Chef Expresses this year, a dedicated Little Chef take away service, with another 10 to 12 to follow early next year. Why were these changes felt necessary? Earlier in the year we completed in-depth customer research and recognised that we needed consistency of our food and drinks offer across the entire estate. We also recognised that whilst some customers like to take a break from their journey and sit for 40 minutes and have a value meal that has quality and provenance, there are other customers who are in a hurry and are after a quick take away option. Little Chef Express fits this take away market, which is rapidly expanding. Given Little Chef’s longevity and popularity, were these difficult changes to bring about? Not really. We serve over seven million customers each year, but needed to attract new footfall through the takeaway market which is very competitive. The introduction of great products and brands together with our Little Chef Express concept is helping us to offer our customers exactly what they want. We work very closely with our suppliers who have been a great help with food development and choice to make the implementation of these changes simple.
How have the changes been received by customers? Customer reaction to our new menu, improved food, beverage and coffee offering and our new take away service has been very positive to date. In particular, at what stage did Little Chef decide to improve its coffee offering and why? Little Chef has always been known for its great breakfasts and a pot of tea (we sell around two million cups of tea each year), but our coffee offering was lacking behind the key coffee brands. Following the customer research earlier in the year we started looking for an established, quality coffee partner. From our research, Lavazza became our number one choice to offer our customers a full barista bean to cup service. The quality Italian coffee brand joined us in July and all our staff, including our executive team, went through full barista training with Lavazza. We’ve also set up a continual programme of staff training to ensure that the coffee is consistently served as it should be across the chain. We invested in new barista coffee machines and equipment for all our sites, including branded crockery and Little Chef branded take away cups.
ingredients, including items which Heston introduced such as our popular Ramsay of Carluke Black Pudding. Who do Little Chef now see as their main competitors? The market place is extremely competitive and the garage forecourts who have traditionally been our competitors have really improved their ‘grab and go’ offerings, with Costa, M&S and Wild Bean Cafés rolling out to more sites. Other quality take away brands such as Pret a Manager and more recently Greggs have become available in more locations making our competitive market place even more crowded. What changes/developments can we expect to see in the near future? We will continue to roll out our Little Chef Express offering alongside our refurbished 21st Century sites across the estate, as well as looking at potential new locations. We’re also launching The Little Chef Franchise model which has already gained a lot of interest. Plus, we’re looking into mobile branded Little Chef units to use at events around the country.
Do Little Chef see themselves as being ahead of other brands when it comes to tackling their coffee offering? The coffee market is huge and most brands have identified the need to offer great coffee as customer demand continues to grow. We knew we had to make changes quickly and as a result our coffee sales are now starting to overtake sales of tea for the first time.
What are the main challenges the brand currently faces? Remaining competitive and offering customers great value, consistency and quality products across the entire brand in the face of continued food and fuel price rises. Finding new hub locations to expand our portfolio will also be challenging.
How did Little Chef set about enhancing their food offering? We learnt a lot through our work with Heston Blumenthal and his team which has led us to our Little Chef food evolution. Our key learning was the importance of using quality food ingredients with provenance. Despite these advances we also acknowledged our customer feedback and so have now brought some of the old favourites which customers loved back on the menu. Our customers really love a menu that has good, honest British food without too much fuss. As a result we’ve worked very closely with our suppliers to develop a menu full of dishes our customers love, made from quality
Does the brand hope to become a ‘destination outlet’ in its own right, irrespective of whether people are travelling? This depends on location, but we have noticed evening sales increased at some of our new concept sites as customers have started to use them for a two or three course evening meal with wine. However, we continue to offer to all segments, especially the take away market as a key growth area with our Little Chef Express concept. We will be looking for more hub site locations in the future for standalone Little Chef Express units and destination restaurants depending on the demands of the area.
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The Coffee Clinic
Here, Glenn James of maintenance company Coffix (www.coffix.com), responds to some of your frequently asked questions and concerns about the day to day use and smooth running of coffee machines by offering some practical advice and guidance.
Question We own a café in mid-Wales and do suffer from being out in the middle of nowhere when it comes to our espresso machine needing repair! As I'm a mechanical engineer, I’m just enquiring as to what I could do myself on the machine to look after it and change parts on it without voiding any warranties but also keeping the machine working safely. Gareth, Wales Answer We at Coffix do show some of our customers like yourself that are qualified engineers a few repairs that are common on your machine to repair without the need of an engineer’s visit. You mustn’t touch anything to do with the
Question We are setting up a new café in Bridlington which we are planning to open around the start of this month. We have carried out a lot of work replacing the old interior and made our café look modern and welcoming. This has cost a lot more than what we first thought but we needed to get it right as there is quite a bit of competition along the seafront. After looking over a lot of espresso machines and trying a few at the sellers’ showrooms, we ended up buying a machine from eBay as we just couldn’t afford or justify the price of some of the machines. We have since fitted the machine and turned it on only for it to trip all our electrics. We have had an electrician in and take a look, but he says our electric supply isn’t strong enough for the machine. We have a normal plug socket to run the machine on and he has said our machine is 6kW (I hope that makes sense). What can we do to get this machine working in our cafe? Angela Simons (Bridlington) Answer The answer is in the name CAFE. Sorry, but if you are trying to get known in a competitive area the first thing you buy, or put aside money for, is the equipment that
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boiler (pressure vessel) as this needs to be certificated every year and is the most dangerous part of the machine if tampered with. We, as part of a regular visit say, would show you how to change the group seals and shower plates from the group heads - these are the parts that wear out the most. We would also show you how to adjust or replace the grinder blades as these are also easy enough to change if you know how to adjust your grind setting. Other things to tackle yourself are setting the drink levels and programming your machine so that if anyone does tamper or accidentally re-program it, you can return it to the correct settings.
will be bringing you in the money, namely your espresso machine package. The help that your supplier would have been able to give you would have made you busier quicker then a few fancy lights (if you have fancy lights) out the front! People will come back for great coffee and customer service but not if the café’s nice looking and the coffee is badly made. As for the machine you have purchased off eBay which again is a bad start (it’s on
If you have a coffee machine-related question that you would like answered, then why not email email@example.com or write in with details of the name, location of your café and question to Café Culture, Association House, 18c Moor Street, Chepstow, NP16 5DB and Café Culture magazine will endeavour to source an answer for you!
eBay for a reason and normally it’s because there is a fault with the machine or its scaled up or it just hasn’t been looked after) which means money needing to be spent on it before you can use it anyway. As for the electrical problem your electrician is correct, you will need a 32 Amp separate supply to safely run that machine in your café and at present you only have a 13 Amp plug. If you downgraded the machine if possible (depending on the machine) it would take a very long time to heat up and the recovery time from using the water side would be excessive. These are things that a machine supplier would have explained in a site survey if you had purchased through them. I have three suggestions. 1) Ask an espresso engineer to look over the machine and see if it can be downgraded so it can be checked. 2) Ask your electrician if it’s possible to install at this late stage a separate 32 Amp supply. 3) If you get a ‘no’ to either of the questions above then I would seriously think about putting it back on eBay and talking to any of the companies you talked to previously, or to an espresso engineer in your area as they may have a re-conditioned machine which will be far better suited to your café?
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Lynsey Harley is coffee development manager and Q grader at United Coffee UK and Ireland (www.unitedcoffeeuk.com). She is also UK chapter co-ordinator for the Speciality Coffee Association Europe (SCAE) and the 2012 UK Cup Tasting Champion. This issue, she takes on the mantle of the Barista Talk column, sharing with us her knowledge on what makes the perfect espresso and how to do it yourself. Exceptional espresso Since I first drank my first cup of coffee I’ve probably tried thousands of different espressos in all sorts of different establishments. This has allowed my palate to develop, meaning I can identify coffees that are sweet, acidic and bitter, know complexity, clarity and balance in the cup and tell whether it’s under or over extracted. Trying these coffees – both the good stuff and the bad! – means I’m fairly well equipped to identify what makes the perfect espresso. And for me, the perfect espresso is simple. It’s served in a ceramic cup, has a nice, evenly speckled hazelnut crema and tastes amazing. What is espresso? Espresso is in essence a solvent resulting from dissolving ground coffee into water. The amount of coffee that is dissolved is controlled by two things; time and resistance. Time is very simple, the longer we brew an espresso, the more we dissolve until we hit a point in which the water is fully saturated. If you continue passing water through into the cup, you’ll start to dilute the espresso. Resistance is the relationship between the dose and grind, both of which play a very important role in the perfect espresso. Over the years, the dose has evolved from 14g to 28g and is now between 20-21g. Grind size evaluation is becoming a very interesting topic; the quality of the grind blades are a very common problem. Low quality burrs produce too many fines and coarse particles. What we want is a nice bell shape distribution curve, preferably with short tails, and therefore a very tight spread of particle size. This
should result in an evenly extracted espresso. Since I drank my first espresso 10 years ago, coffee has moved on light years and consumers’ tastes are now a lot more discerning. To learn how to make a great espresso that meets today’s consumers’ expectations is actually really simple, once you have the right recipe. All you need to do is follow it precisely, using the best ingredients and you’ll get great results. Coffee blend/roast It might be stating the obvious but one of the most basic things to get right is the coffee. Always start with a quality raw product and use a coffee that you enjoy and your customers will appreciate. I appreciate a single origin espresso for the origin characteristics it showcases. I do prefer a blend just for the balance, but this is just my personal taste. Talk to your coffee supplier or roaster about the best espresso blend or roast for you and look at what’s in season. Freshness is vital to the quality of the drink. Try to use coffee within 28 days of roasting, after that the coffee loses most
If you have a barista-related query that you would like answered, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write in with details of your name, location of your café and question to Café Culture, Association House, 18c Moor Street, Chepstow, NP16 5DB and Café Culture magazine will endeavour to source a reply for you!
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RISTA A B
of its CO2 and quality of flavour decreases. Like most things we consume, the fresher the better. As consumers get increasingly savvy about what’s in the cup, it’s also important to consider where the beans are from and highlight the origin of the beans to your customers to show them you are knowledgeable about the product you’re serving. Dose size As I touched on earlier, for years the standard espresso dose size was 14g but as consumer palates have developed, this has changed to a recommended 20 to 21g. If you’re not entirely happy with the flavour of your espresso, then you can vary and play with the dose to find the optimum amount and adjust your grinder accordingly. Ideally, you should aim for 30 to 32g of liquid espresso in the cup at the end of the extraction.
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BARISTA TALK Grind size The perfect espresso should take around 25 seconds to extract and the grind size will affect the timing. If the grind is too large then the water will pass through the coffee too fast and no crema will be produced. Too fine and the flow will be too slow. The coffee should be like a fine grit, not as fine as talcum powder but not as course as sand. Water quality Coffee is made up of around 99% water, so this key ingredient can really affect the taste of your brew. Water should be filtered and as close to pH neutral as possible. Around 60% of all tap water in the UK is hard water, which will also cause a build-up of limescale on your equipment, which affects performance, as well as the flavour of the espresso. Fitting a water filter to your machine is essential; it safeguards the performance of your machine and enhances the flavour of your espresso. Around 90-110 ppm hardness of water is where you want to be, any less and the water is too ‘thirsty’ and extracts too much coffee. Any hard water won’t have enough space left for the coffee, and therefore will under extract.
‘burn’ the coffee and produce a bitter, burnt flavour. A regularly cleaned and maintained machine will also help to produce good results. Once you have all the variables in place, practise until the optimum espresso is achieved and test the product regularly to ensure consistency.
Coffee equipment and water temperature 1961 was the last real advancement in espresso technology, with the E61 group head being bought to market. Now a lot of the manufacturers are focusing on pressure profiling and temperature stability, from Dalla Corte to Nuova Simonelli all are offering these in their top specification machines. You need to make sure that the brewing temperature is between 92oC and 93.5oC - any higher and the water will
So, is yours a great espresso? There’s no set definition of what is the perfect espresso, but it should tantalise all your senses. It should be balanced, with sweet, complex acidity and a pleasant aftertaste. My recipe for a show stopping espresso is as follows. 1. Weigh out 20 to 21g of coffee into the portafilter. 2. Flush the group head and insert portafilter. 3. Extract with filtered water at 92 to 93oC for 23 to 28 seconds. 4. Measure the extraction by placing the cup on the scales. Once you’ve reached 30 to 32g liquid espresso in the cup you should have near enough the perfect espresso. In my opinion, this simple, easy to replicate espresso recipe tastes great when brewed with a blend for a wellbalanced cup.
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2000 trees have been planted in Haiti, offsetting the carbon footprint of 2 million paper cups! The Paper Cup Company has been working with Green Earth appeal since April 2011 to plant trees to offset the carbon footprint of printed paper cups. It has been a huge success and their customers think it is great that they can make their cups carbon neutral for just 99 pence.
For just 99p per 1000 cups, Green Earth Appeal plants a single tree which not only offsets the carbon associated with the production of the paper cups, but also replaces the paper used in the manufacturing process. The Green Earth Appeal’s branding can also be printed on the cups,
Reflex® Portable: The first of its kind The Lotus Professional® brand has unveiled the launch of Reflex® Portable, the first dispenser of its kind to solve the problem of uncontrolled centre feed dispensing on the go. According to Lotus’s research, enabling staff to easily and hygienically transport centre feed rolls to the task in hand, the Reflex® Portable dispenser from the Lotus Professional® brand is proven to reduce consumption by 37% through controlled single sheet dispensing. The dispenseries are compatible with the standard Reflex® 150m rolls for minimal refilling, eliminating excessive usage of wipers and reducing waste through controlled single sheet dispensing. Fully encasing paper towel rolls in a wipe clean plastic dispenser; the portable solution protects paper rolls from dust and germs, in addition to preventing loose rolls becoming wet or damaged in transit from one task to the next making them deal for the HoReCa and manufacturing sectors (call 0114 2856666 or visit www.lotusprofessional.co.uk).
44 NOVEMBER 2012
showing their customers that they are a responsible company. The Paper Cup Company picked up a Green Apple Award last year, an award which recognised the company’s environmental efforts (visit www.thepapercupcompany.co.uk or call 01200 449900).
QED installs impressive new bar refurbishment at famous Scotstoun Stadium Glasgow-based Quality Equipment Distributors (QED) is a leading UK designer and supplier of modular bar, coffee shop and food service equipment to catering and retail environments. They were appointed by Encore Hospitality Services to supply a new back bar system for the club bar at Scotstoun Stadium, an athletics and rugby union venue located in the west end of Glasgow (Glasgow Warriors rugby union club will play their home games there from the 2012-13 season). The QED back bar system consists of eight metres of back wall shelving, finished in cherry wood with mirrored inserts, glass shelving and overhead canopy spotlights. A True TDD-2 two
font beer dispenser which takes two half barrels of beer or lager was also supplier and can be fitted with castors to become totally mobile and is available in one, two, three or four fonts (call 0141 779 9503 or visit www.qualityequipment.co.uk).
New frappé bases from Cream Supplies The brand new Le Frappé de Monin range of frappé and smoothie bases is now available from Cream Supplies. Created to complement Monin’s vast range of syrups, sauces and purées (all available from Cream Supplies), these frappés can be used across a wide range of hot, cold and alcoholic beverages. The range comprises three frappé bases (Vanilla, Chocolate and Coffee) and two smoothie bases (Yogurt and No Dairy). They come in 1.36 kg canisters, complete
with a measuring scoop for precise portion control. Each canister holds sufficient for over 40 drinks making them a versatile and low cost ingredient. Also, with a two year ambient shelf life (60 days once opened) they are easy to store. They can be used with or without syrup or sauce (if using without, just use two scoops of the base). Simply add ice, milk or water and optional flavour and blend (call 0845 226 3024 or visit www.creamsupplies.co.uk).
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Wobbly tables ‘things of the past’ Wobbly tables and annoying ridges between adjoining surfaces are set to become things of past with the invention of self levelling and stabilising table bases which, Graham Waring owner and director of Warings Furniture one of the UK suppliers of the Australian technology FLAT® - believes will revolutionise the dining experience in restaurants. “We’re due to take delivery of a large quantity of table bases which use FLAT® technology and are currently talking to all of our clients about this brilliant system. We believe FLAT® technology will make wobbly tables and the difficulty of aligning tables things of the
past forever, which is why we’ve invested in the product,” he says. FLAT® technology is always on and automatically adjusts the table base to the surface below, locking firmly into position. If the table is moved again, the system adjusts automatically (call 01953 499949 or visit www.waringsfurniture.com).
International Paper ‘holds’ its own in ‘on the go’ market International Paper has reported a surge in sales of its doublewall hot cups as the ‘on the go’ market continues to dominate, on the high street and beyond. The leading foodservice packaging company’s insulated paper hot cup product, Hold&Go®, has proved very popular with operators due to its superior quality and simple de-nesting compared to other insulated cup options. Hold&Go® uses International Paper’s Thermashield™ technology, a double-wall
design which eliminates the need for a sleeve or extra cup to protect hands. Insulated air gaps create an additional layer of comfort and the fiber used meets Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) standards. The cups come in four sizes – 12oz, 16oz, 20oz and 24oz – with two lid styles in black or white, with common lids for the 12 – 20oz sizes and are available in custom prints or stock designs (visit www.ipfoodservice.co.uk or call 01606 552537).
Triple gold for Snowbird sausages For the second year in succession Snowbird foods has struck gold in the highly regarded British Pig Executive competition for the best of British sausages. Entering fully cooked and frozen sausages, Snowbird won gold in the class for traditional pork sausages with its innovative Lincolnshire sausage. The same sausage struck silver in the classes for the best pub pork sausage and for an iconic British banger. Another two golds were
awarded to a new variety of sausage launched this summer – a Gourmet Pork & Tomato Chutney. It collected the awards in the classes for a speciality pork sausage and the best innovative pork sausage. This nap hand of awards followed the company’s 2011 success when it won two gold awards, silver and a bronze, described as “a huge vote of confidence” by managing director, Philip Paul (call 020 8805 9222, or visit www.snowbirdfoods.co.uk).
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Café Society Suppliers Index Beyond the Bean Ltd. Unit 6, Cala Trading Estate Ashton Vale Road, Ashton Vale Bristol BS3 2HA Contact: Paul Maxwell Tel: 0117 953 3522 Fax: 0117 953 3422 Email: email@example.com Web: www.beyondthebean.com Café Boutique 25 Dale Road, Stanton by Dale Derbyshire DE7 4QF Contact: Greg Campher Tel: 0800 028 3175 Fax: 0800 471 5205 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ipanemaespresso.co.uk Coffix Unit 25 Hill Lane Close, Markfield Leicester LE67 9PY Contact: Glenn James Tel: 01530 242800 Mobile: 07790 402144 Email: email@example.com Web: www.coffix.com
Edgcumbe Tea and Coffee Co Ltd. Wicks House, Ford Lane, Arundel West Sussex BN18 0DF Contact: Alice Rendle Tel: 01243 555775 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.edgcumbes.co.uk
Rapido Coffee Services The Garden House, Sugnall Eccleshall, Stafford, Staffordshire ST21 6NF Contact: David Wiggins Tel: 01785 851348 Fax: 01785 859388 Email: email@example.com Web: www.cappuccino-rapido.com
Erlenbacher Backwaren gmbh Wasserweg 39, 64521 Groß-Gerau GERMANY Tel: +49 6152 / 803-0 Fax: +49 6152 / 803-347 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.erlenbacher.com
Sugar & Spice The Old Bakehouse, Bakers Yard Ardington OX12 8PS Contact: Martin Popple Tel: 01235 835194 Fax: 01235 862212 Email: email@example.com Web: www.sugarandspicebakery.co.uk
London School of Coffee 2 Princeton Mews, London KT2 6PT Contact: Gayle Reed Tel: 0208 4397 981 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.londonschoolofcoffee.com
Technomic Inc. Knowledge Center, 300 S Riverside Plaza, Suite 1200, Chicago, Illinois IL 60606 Contact: Patrick Noone Tel: +01 205 991 1234 Fax: +01 205 980 3770 Email: email@example.com Web: www.technomic.com
Nelson Catering Equipment Unit 1, Rowley Industrial Park Acton, London W3 8BH Contact: John Nelson Tel: 0208 993 6199 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.nelsondishwashers.co.uk
United Coffee 2 Bradbourne Drive , Tilbrook Milton Keynes MK7 8AT Contact: Elaine Higginson Tel: 01908 275 520 Fax: 01908 648 444 Email: email@example.com Web: www.unitedcoffeeuk.com
magazine SUBSCRIBE NOW CAFÉ CULTURE is published six times a year and currently distributed at the promotional subscription price of £55 per annum (£95 outside the UK). Name:.................................................................................................................Job title: .......................................................................................... Business/Company Name: ................................................................................Address: .......................................................................................... ...........................................................................................................................Post Code: ....................................................................................... Tel No: ............................................................................................................Fax No: ................................................................................................ email:..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................
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I enclose a cheque for £55 (£95 outside the UK). Cheques should be payable to Café Society and returned to: Café Culture, Association House, 18c Moor Street, Chepstow NP16 5DB or contact Tony Lorimer on 01291 636333 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, if you wish to pay by credit card, please enter your details below. Card No: ________________________Valid From ______ /______ Expiry date: ______ /______ Last 3 digits of Security No. on Reverse _____ Name on Card:__________________________ Post Code_____________ House No. ____________(for security purposes only)
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TO ADVERTISE CALL
PAUL STEER TEL NO:
At Crosta & Mollica Italian Bakeries we source authentic breads and biscuits that are made using traditional methods and taste wonderful. Our Torcetti Sweet Italian biscuits are ideal for Christmas. Light and crunchy they are perfect for dipping. Please get in touch to find out more about our Really Italian range.
Contact: James on 0207 224 2488 Or email email@example.com Visit our website: www.crostamollica.com
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n Crockery/Cutlery n Cooking Equipment n Chilled & Frozen Displays n Dish & Glasswashers n Cleaning & Hygiene Products
TEL: 01494 44 66 69 NOVEMBER 2012 CAFÉ CULTURE 47
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We take a look at Hackneys Empire's cafe, as well as business advice for the family-run cafe.