Derbyshire’s Luke Evans Bakery has invested £36,000 in new equipment as part of its on-going modernisation programme.
In a deal with Manchester-based, commercial bakery supplier Tom Chandley, a new 24-tray electric deck oven and a separate multi-rack proving unit have been installed at Luke Evans Bakery’s base in Riddings, near Alfreton.
The oven, which has the capacity to bake more than 260 standard loaves in about 40 minutes, sits alongside a similar oven installed five years ago and replaces another Tom Chandley Oven first installed in 1981.
Proprietor David Yates said: “The new oven and prover were bought as a package from Tom Chandley’s, with the provers being built on site by a company called Proven Limited.
“We are delighted to trade with a company like Tom Chandley, both by investing in our own country’s manufacturing industry, and by trading with a company with a rich pedigree in the bakery industry. Tom Chandley has been producing bakery ovens for more than 60 years.
“The increased capacity of the new provers, and the efficiencies gained by using more technically advanced ovens with improved insulation, will enable us to produce a more consistent product with a more even bake, to help us to demonstrate to our consumers the increasing advantages of buying traditional bakery products from their local craft baker.
“Obviously it is important for craft bakers like Luke Evans Bakery, which concentrates on craft baking, to strive for greater efficiency by improving products and productivity. This will enable us to share the advantages of these improvements with our stockists and our consumers.”
The acquisition of the bakery equipment follows investment in the office-based side of the business earlier in the year.
Set up in 1804, Luke Evans Bakery can call on eight generations of Evans family baking experience. Mr Yates’ daughter Sarah, 19, joined the business last year.
While proud of its heritage, Luke Evans is also embracing the future with a new website, online marketing tools and a bakery management software package together with the supporting hardware to drive it.
Luke Evans Bakery employs 50 staff and supplies around 300 wholesale and trade customers in Derbyshire, East Staffordshire, and Nottinghamshire including shops, schools and delis, as well as Pride Park – the home of Derby County.
Craft bakers work a shift pattern across 24 hours at its base in Green Hill Lane, Riddings, producing breads, cakes and savoury products. They also produce custom-made cakes for weddings, anniversaries and other special occasions.
Earlier this year, Mr Yates became a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, one of the oldest guilds in the City of London.
The Company of Bakers has more than 350 members and many are master bakers or work in allied trades. It provides scholarships and prizes for young people in the baking industry and is committed to upholding the traditions and history of baking.