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Say it with cake

first_imgLooking ahead to spring, although Easter will be flagged up as the main event in the bakery calendar, it’s important not to overlook another potential sales opportunity Mother’s Day. Falling on Sunday 3 April this year, Mother’s Day is traditionally a gift occasion and a time when your products may not sell on taste alone. Thought needs to be given to the presentation and packaging of your goods for example, the addition of a gift box could turn a selection of your brownies into a present rather than an afternoon snack. Inviting window displays are also key to reminding consumers they needn’t say it with flowers, or chocolates, but with biscuits and cakes instead.Mike Holling, retail and sales manager of craft chain Birds of Derby, says developing Mother’s Day products for your customers is a great way for craft bakers to bring in incremental sales to their business. “Last year we achieved sales in excess of £8,000; our target in 2011 will be to increase this by 15-20%,” he says. “We simply adapt some of our regular products, such as biscuits and novelty lines, adding inscriptions in order to generate sales. Strawberry and lemon cupcakes were a particular success last year.”Established in 2007, Biscuiteers is an example of a bakery and gift business at its best. Its strapline ’Why send flowers when you can send biscuits instead?’ says it all. Founder Harriet Hastings says people are prepared to pay for beautifully made premium products, especially when buying them as a gift. She says Mother’s Day is a very big occasion in Biscuiteers’ trading calendar, second only to Christmas. It sells its handmade iced biscuits, including the likes of ’I love you mum’ biscuit cards, in gift tins.”Biscuits are wonderful because they are so adaptable and have limitless design possibilities,” says Hastings. “We do launch new Mother’s Day collections every year, but we also sell a lot of the Flower Power, Cooks Tins and Cupcakes tins. We also offer personalised biscuit card teapots, which we can ice with customers’ messages. Those are popular.”With adequate packaging essential for sending biscuits through the post, Hastings says its packaging has been designed to “withstand the rigours of Royal Mail”, with its biscuits delivered in tins in custom-made outer packaging.The trend for elaborately iced biscuits appears to be gathering steam, with Juliet Stallwood, of Juliet Stallwood Cakes and Biscuits, experiencing a busy Mother’s Day last year, the first in her businesses’s trading calendar. The small family-run business, based in Semley near Shaftesbury in Dorset, offered three cupcake designs for Mother’s Day, along with handmade biscuits, and Stallwood says the business has since expanded really quickly, with enquiries from her website flooding in.Flower powerIf consumers want to say it with flowers, they can always do it with a cupcake bouquet. Victoria Forward, owner of Portsmouth-based Let Them Eat Cake discovered that her cupcake bouquets were an instant hit for Mother’s Day last year, making it ones of her busiest trade weekends to date, and will be offering them again this year. Forward also runs cake decorating workshops and plans to host a special one the Saturday before Mother’s Day in order to teach people how to make the cupcake bouquets for their own mums.She came across the idea of the bouquets after a spot of internet research, which showed they were gaining popularity in the US and, in just two weeks, she trialled the designs and marketed them, using her Facebook page, word-of-mouth and, interestingly, through free community ad site Gumtree. “The cupcake bouquets are something a bit different to giving flowers and chocolates,” she says. She offers a range of different styles: buttercream rose swirls, which were the most popular; hand-piped roses; chrysanthemums; and gerbera daisies, and says she plans to branch out and offer a more premium service this year with messages in icing and gift cards as options.last_img read more


Cricket News Ravichandran Ashwin’s similar injuries ‘unfortunate’: Virat Kohli

first_imgNew Delhi: Ravichandran Ashwin is in doubt for the Sydney Test against Australia after failing to recover from the left side strain which he sustained in the Adelaide Test. Although he was named in the 13-man squad for the final Test, India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli said his inclusion in the playing XI is ‘in doubt’ and admitted that all is not well with the Tamil Nadu offspinner. The Indian cricket team are currently leading the series 2-1 following their 137-run win in the Melbourne Test and are aiming to become the first Asian side ever to win a Test series Down Under. Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of the final Test, Kohli said the physio and trainer have spoken to him as to what is required.“It’s unfortunate that Ashwin has had two niggles quite similar in the last couple of away tours (England and now Australia). He, more than anyone else, will be focused to correct this. The physio and the trainer have spoken to him in terms of what’s required (from him) in order to get over that injury. He is very important for sure. In Test cricket, he is a vital part of this team and we want him to be 100 per cent fit and for a longer period so that he can contribute to us more in the Test format,” Kohli said.Read More | BCCI announces 13-man squad for SCG Test, call on Ashwin tomorrow Ashwin had sustained a left-side strain during the England series and he was less effective in the Southampton Test which India lost by 60 runs to lose the series as well. The offspinner was ruled out of The Oval Test and in Adelaide, he bowled 86 overs and did not allow Australia to score freely as India secured a 31-run win. However, Ashwin was ruled out of the Perth Test and has failed to make a recovery since.Read More | Not thought too much about losing series against India: Tim Paine“He (Ashwin) is very disappointed with the fact that he has not been able to recover in time, but the things have been laid out to him (as to) what needs to be done to get back to full fitness. Honestly, you can’t predict an injury. When it happens, you just manage and doing what you can to get over that injury,” Ashwin said.Vihari’s offspin a boost In Ashwin’s absence, the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari have chipped in well. In Perth, Vihari provided the breakthrough with his handy offspin while Jadeja was the star in the Melbourne Test. Kohli said Vihari’s offbreaks have given the Indian cricket team a real comfort zone in the absence of Ashwin.“Ashwin’s absence does make you alter plans a little bit throughout the course of a series. But the fact that Hanuma Vihari has bowled beautifully whenever we have given him the ball makes us feel absolutely calm about Ashwin not being able to play. But, if you see the way Vihari has bowled he has looked like picking up a wicket whenever he comes to bowl. He’s pitching the ball in the right areas so we are looking at him as a solid bowling option right now. Especially in this Test because he has pace on the ball, he puts in the effort, he’s economical and that’s all you need from a guy who is coming in to bowl 10-15 overs in a day,” Kohli said.Kohli revealed that he had been plagued by back injuries ever since he entered the Indian cricket team in 2011 but added that certain routines have ensured he remained on top of his fitness in all three formats. During the Melbourne Test, he had suffered a back injury but he played through the Test match without witnessing any kind of discomfort.“I have been able to manage it because of the physical effort I have put in in the last few years. he physical part has definitely helped me massively in the last three years. I feel like I can switch formats easily. And I can be at the top of my energy levels or intensity levels that is required to play international cricket because I work really hard no my fitness. There are many factors involved: the diet, the sleep patterns and all these sort of things are very crucial,” Kohli said.India lead the four-match series 2-1 and a win or draw in Sydney will help them create history. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more