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With customers increasingly expecting delicious food on the go from their local shop, opting out of the in-store bakery trend is no longer a viable option for most stores. RN speaks with one business owner who has learned to embrace this growing trend
A year ago, Vip Measuria was still new to the realities of operating an in-store bakery. Unsure of whether it would take off in his Prior Way One Stop store in Derby, he decided to start small and grow the category. “I’d been thinking about an in-store bakery for around two years, and finally I got Cuisine de France on board. I’d heard at various trade shows about the margins to be had,” he says. Having set his mind on a slice of the action, he called in a rep to advise him. Cuisine de France looked at his existing stock and footfall and recommended a range of products including croissants, Le Parisien baguettes, and doughnuts as well as offering advice on positioning. Vip began with one display unit near the till selling fresh breads and pastries and followed on with another, opposite, for sweet treats like doughnuts. For the past year he’s seen an average 5% uplift in sales, but it’s the knock-on effect of baking on the premises that has been the real winner, he says. “The aroma in store has been amazing. We put our first bake on at 7am and by 7.15am the store is filled with the smell. I can’t help feeling hungry,” says Vip. Vip’s oven, supplied free of charge by Cuisine de France, is situated in his stock room, and his only cost has been a £300 freezer to store the products. The company fully trained Vip alongside two staff members and his rep checks in with him regularly to advise on the quality of his bake and to see how well each line is doing. “We haven’t quite got it right in terms of how many bakes we do a day. At first we had more waste than we wanted, but it’s all part ofthe learning process,” he says. However, he’s been pleasantly surprised at his electricity costs which he describes as “marginal” and feels that Cuisine de France’s product range is adequate for his store. “So far so good. I’ve had no burns, no fires, no disasters, my sales are up and the store smells great,” he says. For other first timers, he recommends teaming up with a partner like Cuisine de France to see how well a bakery works in store. “Perhaps if I scale up the operation in the future, I’d consider buying my own oven, but for the time being this partnership is a perfect solution,” he adds.
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