The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cops and Doughnuts

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mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

Cops and Doughnuts

Have any of you caught the news about this bakery in my home town?


http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=8172218


I will probably work part-time as their bread man this fall.  I interviewed with them and they are looking to introduce Artisan Bread into their offerings.  It'll be a real pleasure for me to bake in a real bakery (big toys) on a small town basis.

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Great story, Mike. Thanks for posting it. Let us know how those donuts are.


--Pamela

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

I am really not a big fan of the doughnuts from that shop, I am just trying to get them to produce quality bread for our townsfolk.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Simply terrific, Mike, to see how a 113-year old bakery was saved - and by the local police!


Thanks for sharing that story.  It should be the headline of every newspaper here in Michigan.


Can't wait to hear of your experiences in the bread end of the business.  I just might have to visit Clare and check things out come autumn.


 

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

trustme, if I get my bread baking gig set up the way I want it to go, everyone here will know.  If it goes South then I will tell everyone as well.  Right now they sell 10-15 loaves a week, of some pretty plain white bread, and this thing they call "creme bread" ugh.  In the meantime they are sell 1000+ doughnuts so they have got the traffic.  Just wait till I introduce "Bialys" to this area.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Ah, Bialys - they'll be a big hit at the Irish Festival!  :-)

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Well, I'm sure the Irish would enjoy them, as well as the rest of us. I just can't imagine why they would be a big hit at an Irish Festival, more than say..Tacos? Forgive me, if I'm missing something. Because his last name is Kelly?


Betty

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

Clare Mi. has an annual Irish Festival.  I used to sponsoer a recipe /cooking contest each year.  My Irish Soda Bread used to win when I entered it, but I removed it from judging.  I guess the previous mention of Bialys, in the Irish context had to do with that,  It all good.  Most folks around these parts can't even pronounce "Bialys".  All they know is that they're damn good.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I was just being facetious, Betty...although am guessing that good bialys would be well received at any cultural festival.  

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

I do hope the shop remains successful.


Just one unsolicted piece of advice -- and no, it's not "plastics" (lets see who gets that movie reference and who doesn't).


Start simple, and not too big.  I'm not sure how that would specifically apply to your situation.  It's not clear to me whether or not you've done this before, but take advantage of the fact that you're the person in charge of bread and get organized.  Do a really great baguette, maybe an herb/olive oil boule made from a piece of the same dough, and two or three other fabulous but simple breads to get started -- whatever seems to sell, of course.  Honey whole wheat, sourdough, focaccia -- whatever.


It might be tempting to go in there and want to open all valves at once, coming up with a staggering amount of variety that shows off what you can do.  But don't.  Get a sense of the facility, your equipment, and how your production flows within the overall priority (for them) of doughnut production.  And, being the new guy on their team, be especially careful to blend in as much as possible with the way things are already done.  You might want to enact changes, and maybe some minor changes can happen right away, but don't insist.  Give it time.  Let them love you first.


--Dan DiMuzio

SteveB's picture
SteveB

What is "The Graduate"?


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

I do realize the pitfalls of coming in cold to a burgeoning business.  I demo'd 2 breads and bialys to them, stating that they would be the backbone of their offerings. A rye (loaf pan) and a free form Ciabatta, any embellishments and or special breads could come later depending on the demand. I intend to occupy their kitchen in their off hours so I do not impede their doughnut production.

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Good luck.

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

It took some time for the Cops to get their very sucessful Doughnut shop on a steady even keel.  Once that happened they began to look for "the next big thing".  So around the end of January, they contacted me to ask if I had any "Crusty Bread recipes" and would I be willing to give them to them.  My answer was a resounding "No".  I explained that I would not just give them the recipes, but that I would be more than happy to come in and develop formulas and work with their bakers to create their own products based on my formulas. You can probably all see why I would not just give them recipes.


Well, the first product we brought to market was "Bialys" (based upon Kossar's style", they debutted on March 17 and we are currently selling 200 + a week!  The next item that we are currently bringing online is a "Rustic Italian Loaf" (based on BBA Ciabatta).  Yesterday we sold 12 loaves in 2 hrs., I could hardly bake them fast enough.  I will be introducing an authentic Caraway Rye Sandwich loaf in the upcoming weeks.


I am working there solely as an advisor (pro bono) snd demonstrator.  I have a full time career elsewhere so I only get to spend 10-15 hrs /wk working with them.  I am very excited to be doing this as it gives me access to the experience of working in a commercial bakery, as well as having "carte blanche" to develop new products for them.  It has not been without it's challenges, probably the largest hurdle to overcome was the fact that over the years my baking has evolved formulas to work in the home kitchen/ovens.  Reverting these quantities and techniques back into a larger yield has given me a great excuse to develop my baker's math skills.  And learning to use a commercial proofer has turned my time schedules upside-down.  I would like to end this rather lengthy post by thanking Dan DiMuzio for his sound advice here on this forum and for his excellent book (which saved my bacon a time or two)


 


I'll try to keep everyone updated on our progress.


Mike

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Both from the standpoint of getting the bakery business steady on its feet, and your expanding involvement.  Sounds like you've mastered the learning curve quite well.


I don't get down to the southern part of the state very often, but will definitely check it out on my next trip.  Doesn't look like it's too far off 127.


Congrats!

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

Southern part of the state indeed!  What now, I am located firmly in the middle part, just 50 mins. S. of Houghton Lake.  If you do happen to find yourself travelling in my "remote" part of the world, please let me know, I'd love to meet you, and possibly show you around that 100 yr old bakery

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Hi Mike,


Thanks for posting a great small town success story.  I think the buyers are wise in realizing that they need to expand their offering beyond donuts.  


You're wise in that you proffered your expertise onto their operation.  


Sounds like an excellent beginning for a successful outcome.  Keep us posted on "Pilgrims Progress"...,


Bien Cordialement, Wild-Yeast