British Bakers were proud to welcome back students from The Worshipful Company of Bakers this September, for a three-day Bursary Training Course in the Baking Centre.
The annual event saw 14 bakery students from various stages of education attend the three-day course, designed to bridge the gap to the commercial world of baking.
The course kicked off with a welcome to the students from the Bakels team, led by Ambassador Director, Keith Houliston. This was followed by a series of presentations, tours, market insights, practical demonstrations and finally a creative assignment. The agenda was a great opportunity for attendees to see first-hand how a bakery manufacturer operates.
At Bakels, NPD and customer relationships is driven by market insight. Day one contained a presentation by Marketing Manager, Michael Schofield, who talked through macro trends shaping the baking industry, along with consumer and flavour trends to fuel the students imagination for the proceeding two days.
The demand for free-from products has accelerated through COVID-19 and so this formed a central theme for the course. Demonstrations by members of the Bakels NPD and Technical Applications Team on cake and caramel within the free-from category, provided students with insight into not only the challenges faced by manufacturers in developing such ingredients, but the range of options produced by British Bakels.
Scratch vs Premixes
As students transitioning from academic studies to industry careers, a hands-on practical session with Bakels’ team of cake experts gave all an insight into the benefits of premixes in scaling-up production.
With consumers demanding more from their cake in terms of consistent flavour, texture, appearance and shelf life and many of the students looking to start-up and grow their bakeries in the future, premixes give them the tools they need to optimise production and deliver consistently high quality cake products.
Turning insight into concepts
With a wealth of market insights in the forefront of their minds, coupled with access to a wide range of Bakels ingredients, students were tasked with creating and presenting a bakery product for launch to a Dragon’s Den-style judging panel, which included the Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, Christopher Freeman, accompanied by British Bakels Chairman, Paul Morrow, and members of the Bakels team.
The process gave the students a flavour of the key stages and considerations of successfully launching a product to market, with thought required for consumer suitability, packaging design and pricing strategy.
Guest Presenter – Lewis Freeman
Bakels welcomed sixth generation baker Lewis Freeman of Dunn’s Bakery in Crouch End, London, to deliver an insightful practical presentation on Multiseed Bagels. Lewis has been at the helm of this local institution after taking the reins from his father Christopher, who is Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers. His visit was a great opportunity for students to hear and learn from someone running a successful Craft bakery.
Recognition and Careers
The course was concluded with presentation of certificates by Christopher Freeman for students, as recognition of their attendance and efforts over the three days.
With nearly 40 years experience in the bakery industry with Bakels, Keith delivered a presentation on careers in the industry. From CV creation to tips on how to stand out, students were given all the tools they require to build a successful career in baking.
This was supported by William Bowen and Katie Garrett, both young members of the Bakels team who attended similar events in years gone by. Now a Key Account Manager and Food Technologist respectively, William and Katie are examples of Bakels supporting and nurturing the next generation of baking industry professionals.