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15 July, 2011

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National Craft Bakers’ Week 19th – 24th September 2011

With at least twice as many bakers taking part than ever before this year’s, National Craft Bakers’ Week took the high street by storm with hundreds of bakers taking their skills out into the community and their goods right out onto the street to ask shoppers to taste their freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries.

The week long event, organised by the National Association of Master Bakers, united independent bakers up and down the country, from the Sandwick Baking Company, Shetland Isles in the north to The Eden Cake Company, Jersey in the south in a vibrant campaign to reawaken consumer’s taste buds to the taste of locally produced, hand crafted, freshly baked bread and confectionery.
Promoted via local newspapers, local radio, facebook, point of sale material and driven by bakers the highlight of the week was A BIG TASTE with every baker taking part in National Craft Bakers’ Week joining in to offer high street shoppers plates and trays of cakes, speciality breads and local recipe pie samples to try. In-store customers were treated to discount prices and sneak previews of new and seasonal lines to savour.

‘I stood outside the shop and asked shoppers to take a taste challenge - can you tell which is factory made bread and which is craft bread made here at BF Done and Sons? It gave us the opportunity to introduce the bakery and what we do.’ Explains Amy Sehmbhy.
Interacting with the local community is great for enhancing customer relations and with competitions, charity draws and cake decorating demonstrations during the week David Yates, MD, Luke Evans Bakery was prompted to comment,  ‘National Craft Bakers’ Week was a good vehicle to raise interest locally in our bakery and our products. We gained quite a lot of publicity in our local newspapers and on radio.’

The commitment to National Craft Bakers’ Week was astounding with thousands of bakery staff determined to draw consumers in their local community into their shop to find out what is so special about their bakery and their hectic weeks of planning resulted in some amazing events – including competitions to guess the number of currants in a fruit loaf, most deserving ‘free lunch’ and best new recipe; a ‘new loaf for old’ price offer; ice your name on a cookie and a chance to decorate your cupcake. Warings Bakery in Reading celebrated every day with a different event including Marvellous Monday when they gave away 1,393 Dairy Cream Lemon Puffs, Tasty Thursday  ‘get a free sausage roll with every purchase’ (1,345 sausage rolls given away)and Fruity Friday when they gave away 1,614 free Fruited Muffins!

‘This is the third National Craft Bakers’ Week and it has gone from strength to strength. This year more than ever, it seems, bakers have found their voice and been proud to shout about the traditions, care, passion, provenance and skills invested in their locally produced, freshly baked goods. In return high street shoppers have been treated to A BIG TASTE of the best of British craft baking.’ said Gill Brooks-Lonican, CEO, NAMB. ‘I was thrilled too that many bakers including Hurst’s Bakery, Birkenhead focused on educating tomorrow’s consumers by visiting local schools. Teaching baking skills is crucial if children are to appreciate good food. ‘

A full review of the activities organised by bakers in celebration of National Craft Bakers’ Week will be available shortly on www.masterbakers.co.uk

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