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Part 4: How Do We Answer the Consumer’s Call for From-Scratch Baked Goods?

by Dina Hamed

In Martin’s 2014 article, Easing Labour Pains,” he mentions how the consumer at the time was starting to demand more from-scratch baked goods. I asked Martin if he believed that this demand was still present today in 2021?

Absolutely, and I think that most of the small bakers, pastry shops, and chocolatiers that have opened up [and are meeting this demand] aren’t aware that there is a baking association and are probably thinking that they are working in a vacuum. Or maybe, in the YouTube community. Or maybe they’ve turned to the Bread Baker's Guild of America. But we must engage with those people and ask them, ‘what are your needs?’...Let’s get together, identify the top needs that you have and make it an industry thing, so that everybody is getting trained at the same level and are not being trained in a vacuum or by YouTube videos. (Barnett, personal communication, September 28, 2021)

These smaller industry players are doing a spectacular job meeting the ever growing and popular niche demands of the consumer ("Why are specialty bakeries on the rise..., 2021). The level of creativity blossoming across the canvas through various entrepreneurial pursuits like David H. Chow's Chocolates and Confections in Toronto, ON or Beaucoup Bakery and Café in Vancouver, B.C. is astonishing. So now it’s time to give these industry leaders support and according to Martin, for bigger industry players to join in.

Big industry should support it! [Eventually] big industry will embrace these new ideas like they embraced “artisan” baking. And you know they will reinterpret and dilute it but that’s the way popular consumerism goes. Someone starts something, it’s popular, it grows a bit on the grassroots level, then at the intermediate level, then suddenly you can buy it at Loblaws. (personal communication, September 29, 2021)

I would say that if big industry were to come aboard the scratch-baking train they wouldn’t be embracing new ideas, rather they’d be returning to their own baking origins in new and exciting ways! But our training and educational systems also need to reflect this increasing demand, because when big industry inevitably joins in, the need for talented, well-trained bakers, knowledgeable in scratch-baking will be even more prevalent!

References

Why are specialty bakeries on the rise and how you can engage in this emerging trend. (2020, September 21). Retrieved from http://www.thebakerynetwork.com/why-are-specialty-bakeries-rise-and-how-you-can-engage-emerging-trend