bake - July 2017 - 34
In an ever-growing marketplace full of choices for
that is laminated with only butter," says Jory Downer,
consumers, retail bakeries recognize their bread
owner of Bennison's Bakery in Chicago. The same
and butter is scratch baking. Our 2017 Retail Bakery
level of commitment applies to ﬂour, he adds. "I am
Operations Study shows that 95 percent of bakers
very critical about the ﬂour we use. I expect it to be
bake from scratch. On average, today's retailer uses
from a particular mill, with very speciﬁc mill dates."
scratch methods most often for cookies (80 percent),
cakes (54 percent) and bread (51 percent).
The most inﬂuential trend related to production
methods, emerging on the horizon, appears to be a
"In my opinion, retail bakery is a very speciﬁc busi-
trend toward central baking and bringing the theater
ness with hands-on producing and personal customer
of bakery production to the public. Places like Amy's
service in the front end," says Michael Weber, owner
Bread and Zingerman's popularized such initiatives,
of Weber's Bakery, an iconic Chicago bakery since
and the practice of hands-on baking in modern facili-
1930. "We're not fast food - never will be - so I don't
ties that are in full view of customers continues.
see robots waiting on customers anytime soon."
La Farm Bakery just opened a new production facility
Still, some bakery owners see places to tweak produc-
in Cary, North Carolina, to allow the bakery more
tion methods to improve proﬁtability. Croissants,
production and retail space. The facility will be open
puff pastry and Danish are the top three products
Monday through Saturday for customers to purchase
that retail bakeries purchase frozen, according to
fresh baked bread and pastries and to watch bakers
our report. Nearly half (45 percent) of retail bakers
in action. Additionally, a food truck will be parked
purchase some type of frozen product.
outside the location Monday through Saturday to
serve breakfast and lunch items. La Farm plans to
Others are holding on steadfast to time-tested
expand on the location in the future to be able to
methods. "We still make our own puff pastry dough
serve coffee and sandwiches.
34 < JUL 2017 | bakemag.com