Date of Issue: March 2022 Issue of Bakery Japan  Category: Knowledge

20 to 30% of Bread Ingredients Should be Procured by Bakery Owner Himself

For retail bakeries, it is very important to manage the purchase of bread ingredients. For small-scale retail bakeries that sell handmade products, I think it is not very difficult to procure bread ingredients because ingredient distributors frequently deliver them to their shops. Moreover, they also introduce the products that are likely to sell well along with their recipes and ingredients need for making them. I think this is the most valuable information for small retail bakery owners.

When you are ready to open your own bakery after many years of hard working at a bakery, you can ask the ingredient distributor delivering ingredients to the bakery where you worked to deliver ingredients also to your newly opened shop. The distributor will instantly understand what you need and deliver them to your backyard at the most appropriate frequency, considering the amount of bread you make each day and the amount of space you have to stock them.

In addition, many distributors hold regular exhibitions inviting retail bakeries, and provide various information to help retail bakeries thrive. Many ingredient manufacturers that sell ingredients for bread and confectionary to retail bakeries through the distributors participate in these exhibitions, and each of them proactively proposes various bread and confectionary ingredients for making products that sell very well. As a result, the product development motivation of the visiting retail bakery professionals will be infinitely enhanced. Thus the retail bakeries rarely have trouble procuring ingredients.

However, there is one pitfall here. The distributor is not your exclusive supplier. The ingredients that are delivered to your shop are also delivered to other shops in the same area. This means that any retail bakery that buys bread ingredients from the same distributor is choosing ingredients from the same selections of that distributor.

If your supreme goal is to make bread that cannot be bought anywhere else," then it is important for you to differentiate yourself in terms of not only manufacturing methods and techniques, but also ingredients that cannot be used anywhere else.

Among the successful bakeries we covered in our monthly bakery magazine, there have been many bakeries that have achieved good results by using bread ingredients that cannot be used in other shops. For example, one bakery uses vegetables from the owner's farm in their baked goods, and another bakery produce "Okara Bread" by using okara, which is soy pulp,from a local tofu(bean curd) shop. There is a famous bread item in which whole wheat flour from a small local flour mill is used. The whole wheat flour is rarely used for baking.

Today, as the value of "local production for local consumption" is deeply recognized, there are many retail bakeries that actively use local ingredients in their baked goods. And bread ingredient distributors are of great help for retail bakeries to obtain local ingredients that are not used in other shops. What if the distributors didn't regularly deliver the ingredients to the shop, and the shop owner had to procure all of the ingredients by himself? It would be quite difficult to keep the shop operation.

From what I've heard from the owners of successful bakeries I've interviewed so far, I think the ideal situation for retail bakeries would be that they select 70 to 80% of the ingredients used in the shop from the lineup of the distributor, and the remaining 20 to 30% should be procured by the owner himself, strictly according to his own values, and by steadily searching for ingredients from scratch that are truly necessary to realize the bread that they want to produce.