How To Find A Good Food Supplier

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Uncategorized |

 

When you run a food business and need bulk buying groceries, it’s no overstatement to say that your choice of suppliers can be the difference between success and failure. And there’s a lot to consider. Price, yes. But equally important are things like delivery schedule, accreditations and – most important of all – food safety management. Here are some pointers to streamline the search for your perfect restaurant food suppliers.

Have a clear idea of what you are looking for

Finding a Catering food for events that fits your business starts with having a well-defined idea of what you’re looking for. So before you begin hurling questions at potential suppliers, you need to ask yourself some. Would you like ingredients to be sourced locally? Do you need your supplier to deliver to your premises at certain times? Knowing what you want before you begin searching will save you a lot of time, so it’s worth some thought.

Figure out the financials

Andrew Myers gently harvest baby-lettuce leaves for the popular mixed greens salad mix at Manakintowne Specialty Growers, a 21-acre farm in Powhatan County, Virginia, where Jo Pendergraph, her family and team raise specialty produce for chefs and markets of Richmond, Charlottesville and Williamsburg and a food hub, on Friday, May 6, 2011. The plants regro leaves and can be harvested several times before they have to be replaced. Rotating the crop types and using proper intervals, maintain sustainable soil and plant health. Manadintowne is one of the Fall Line Farms cooperative suppliers participating with the online food hub Lulus Local Food. This is one of the farms that chefs get those seemingly unique greens such as French Sorrel, Pea Shoots, Frisee, Tat soi, Mizuna, Pink/green radish shoots, Sunflower shoots, Baby red mustard, Tuscan Kale, Beet greens. All harvested by hand and scissors micro greens such as Pak choi, Tat soi, Mizuna, Purple kohlrabi, Shungiku (edible chrysanthemum), Ruby chard, Purple/Daikon/Triton radish, Red amaranth and Bull's Blood Beet.  To be enjoyed by the eyes and mouth, edible flowers such as African Blue Basil, Nasturtiums, Johnny Jump Ups, and Chive blossoms Dianthus (pinks) are grown here. The seasonal choices are listed by suppliers and ordered by members on Lulus Local Food website, the food is distributed to pick-up points in the Richmond area.  Together, they offer a wide variety of household food staples and specialty fruits, vegetables, meats, soaps, eggs, cheeses, flowers, honey, pastas, sauces, syrups, baked goods, mushrooms, flour and grains from and for the Richmond area.  USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

As well as knowing what you are looking for, you need to know how much you are willing to pay for it. What’s your budget? How far are you willing to stretch to get the right food products? How much room is there for you to add mark-up to the products before they become too expensive for your customers? Is that mark-up enough for you to return a comfortable profit? Stretching for high overheads can put a lot of pressure on small businesses. Happily, you know your accounts better than anyone. You’re the perfect person for the job.

Ask about your supplier’s delivery schedule

Once you have found a prospective supplier, there’s plenty of information you will need to wheedle out before you can decide whether to work together. One of the first things to find out is how your supplier’s products will get to your premises. Do they deliver or will you have to send someone to collect them? Do they have a set time of day for delivery and does that fit with your rotas? And if you need your supplier to deliver fresh produce seven-days a week, is that something they can offer?

What are your supplier’s policies for food safety management?

Food safety is the most important aspect of any food business. And it’s something consumers are increasingly sensitive to. How does your supplier ensure the safety and integrity of their produce? Do they use temperature monitoring systems? Or automated food safety software? Where does your supplier source their products or raw ingredients from? If you are big on food provenance and traceability, you need a supplier who is too.

What industry accreditations or awards does your supplier have?

Be sure to ask for evidence of all food safety certificates and industry accreditations. You might also want to ask if your supplier has won any awards for their produce. It’s true that a lack of awards doesn’t signify a lack of quality. But when a supplier does have awards, you can be reasonably sure you’re onto a good thing.

Who are your prospective supplier’s existing clients?

A look at a supplier’s client list can tell you a lot about their philosophy and how they work. Do they work with multinational supermarkets? They can probably guarantee a minimum level of quality, but you might find them to be extremely busy. Does your supplier prefer to work with small independent retailers? Provenance and traceability will likely be important to them, but they may not be able to guarantee enough supply to meet large orders. If you’re feeling curious, there’s no harm in contacting an existing client of a prospective supplier to do a little detective work.

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What Makes A Great Coffee Shop?

Posted by on May 17, 2017 in Uncategorized |

There is no one secret to a successful coffee shop; in fact, most secrets in business boil down to either hard work, extensive experience, or luck or a combination of all three. Coffee shops NY relies on success for this post to mean financially sustainable with an appropriate ROI for the owner, which means not necessarily giving the customer everything they would wish for.

8459809062_94145117b8_oConsistently serving the finest espresso – It is rare in business to discover a product where consistently offering 100% quality is the best commercial decision you can make. In fact, I am the greatest advocate for the 80% is perfect model. But espresso coffee is one of those rare products where consistent 100% quality matters. Customers will walk past ten other competitors to get the best espresso, which is why this factor alone means you don’t need the highly visible, most expensive location. So buy the best espresso coffee machine (3/4 group Italian made with e61 groupheads and set to the right pump and temperature levels), install it with a water purifier and demineralizer, use a conical grinder, and only buy top quality Arabica or Arabica 90%/Robusta 10% freshly roasted beans, and make sure every cup is made by a fully trained barista who is continually seeking the ‘god shot.’

Ergonomics is vital – Make sure the coffee workstation and layout is such that the barista hardly moves their feet in performing all their coffee making duties, and they are not competing for the space with other staff members. High volume coffee sales are the foundation stone of every coffee shop, so make sure this workstation is perfectly laid out with easy access to underneath bins, bean storage, and bar fridge milk, having the right height benchtop with easy access to cups, grinder, accessories, and reachable overhead storage of supplies. The best setups also have a small inbuilt sink to allow for quick and easy ongoing cleaning. Also, place the cash register on the front counter in close proximity to the barista’s workstation. This allows the barista to hear the customer orders and get a head start on making them in the busy times, while allowing the barista to work alone in an efficient way in the very slow times.

Use loyalty cards – I resisted using these for a long time … but they really do work. Make sure it is a quality card that will last the wear and tear and look good in a customer’s wallet. Nothing better than seeing a new customer’s face light up when you give them a buy seven get the eighth one free loyalty card, but tick off six of them so that on their very next purchase they get a free one. Cheapest customer acquisition ever.

Promote multiple sales – A coffee shop will never make enough money to pay the bills from coffee sales alone. Coffee may be the prime motivator for customers coming to the business, but they must leave with multiple sales if you are going to be successful. As a target, coffee should be no more than 40% of your weekly sales and two item sales per customer transaction means you are getting it about right. So make sure the traditional coffee accompaniments (muffins, cookies, cakes) are close by at the point of sale, and the coffee shop offers cold food, cold drinks, and hot food to ensure the best chance of multiple sales.

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Remembering A Loved One

Posted by on May 17, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Accept that loss is a basic part of our life cycle. Whatever is born must die. Whatever grows must decay. These are universal laws. We tend to forget that these physical bodies are mortal. Everything we see around us will one-day decay and cease to be. That includes all plants, animals, people, buildings, cities, the planet earth, the sun and even the galaxy. Everything in the physical universe is temporary. When this fact is understood and accepted, we will begin to seek other, inner sources of security and happiness.

Confront death: We need to ask, “what is death?” What is the nature of that energy, that power, that consciousness which, when it was in that body, caused it to think, speak, move, love, feel and create? Now that it is gone, there is a mass of cells that will soon decompose. What is life? What is its purpose? A number of us have been forced by the death of the loved one to investigate these questions. Death forces us to look deeper into the nature and purpose of life. Reexamine our life values and goals: Contact with death awakens us to the fact that someday we too will die. This generates a number of questions. Will we have fulfilled our life purpose? Why have we come here to the earth? Why have we taken this physical body? Is our life part of some greater process? If so, 8127410463_9e3f04af2b_owhat does it require of us? How can we live our lives more in harmony with that purpose?

Answering these questions might motivate us to change our life style, live a more meaningful existence, improve our character, purify our love, or investigate the deeper truths of life. We may also discover that life is more meaningful when we value others and their needs.

Someone you know may be experiencing grief – perhaps the loss of a loved one, perhaps another type of loss – and you want to help. Victoria Funerals can only do so much to take the edge off the grief and promote closure. The fear of making things worse may encourage you to do nothing. Yet you do not wish to appear to be uncaring.

Remember that it is better to try to do something, inadequate as you may feel, than to do nothing at all. Don’t attempt to sooth or stifle the emotions of the griever. Tears and anger are an important part of the healing process. Grief is not a sign of weakness. It is the result of a strong relationship and deserves the honour of strong emotion.

When supporting someone in their grief the most important thing is to simply listen. Grief is a very confusing process, expressions of logic are lost on the griever. The question “tell me how you are feeling” followed by a patient and attentive ear will seem like a major blessing to the grief stricken. Be present, show that you care, listen.

Your desire is to assist your friend down the path of healing. They will find their own way down that path, but they need a helping hand, an assurance that they are not entirely alone on their journey. It does not matter that you do not understand the details, your presence is enough.

Risk a visit, it need not be long. The mourner may need time to be alone but will surely appreciate the effort you made to visit. Do some act of kindness. There are always ways to help. Run errands, answer the phone, prepare meals, mow the lawn, care for the children, shop for groceries, meet incoming planes or provide lodging for out of town relatives. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.

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Your Coffee & What It Says About You?

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Once seen as the height of sophistication (in 1964, perhaps), the combination of espresso and foamed milk has failed to see off the competition from the latte, the flat white and the drip filter (the johnny-come-lately of the coffee world). with so many starting their day with a coffee hit, what does it say about you when you order from brooklyn Coffee shops?

Skinny latte
The Diet Coke of the hot beverage world and the default choice of the slightly harassed mother/career woman. It promises the maternal comfort of warm milk and a gentle bump of caffeine but without the calories. The joke is of course on them as the evidence now suggests that whole milk is less fattening than skimmed milk (it’s to do with the way sugar is absorbed, apparently). All those wasted years!

Regular latte

The choice of the well-respected man who will never rise beyond middle management. Once opted for the gingerbread version – a bit silly, really! But does enjoy an occasional strawberry yum-yum.

Soya flat white8459809062_94145117b8_o
The tell-tale sign of the lactose-intolerant, gluten-spurning, orthorexic control freak. If you do happen to suffer from any of these modern afflictions, the dignified order is black coffee.

Almond milk flat white

As above, but also has a large Instagram following, a line of yoga-wear and a bestselling cook book.
Erm… can I just have… a normal coffee… white two sugars… oh fiddlesticks what is it called these days?
You can hardly blame the upstanding pensioner for their moment of panic as the milk machines hiss and the time-pushed East European workers hammer spent grounds from the espresso pods and fail to understand their order. Unfortunately, “coffee” ceased to exist in approximately 2003. What you’re after is “white filter” (a sort of brownish dishwater) or “white Americano” (espresso topped with too much water.)

Instant coffee
“Builder’s coffee” may be hard to find outside greasy spoons and church coffee mornings, but when a typical morning cup involves someone writing your name on a paper cup in felt tip, there’s a lot to be said for a stimulant that can be prepared in five seconds for about 2 cents. A discreet kettle and a jar of Gold Blend is the choice of the deadline-surfer with their priorities in check.

Mango frappuccino
If you are eight-years-old, fine. If you are any older, please examine your life priorities.

Double espresso
The choice of the intellectual sophisticate.

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