Editor’s Letter: April 2009
By Brian Hartz
As winter finally recedes, the trade-show season shifts into high gear.
The Canadian Food and Restaurant Association Show, to be held in
Toronto, is less than two weeks away as I write this, and three weeks
after that advertising manager Stephanie Jewell and I will be off to
As winter finally recedes, the trade-show season shifts into high gear. The Canadian Food and Restaurant Association Show, to be held in Toronto, is less than two weeks away as I write this, and three weeks after that advertising manager Stephanie Jewell and I will be off to SIAL Montreal. Then, at the end of April, comes the biggie: BAC Congress 2009 in Vancouver.
If you hadn’t noticed already by the text on the cover of this month’s issue, Bakers Journal is a major supporter of BAC Congress – the official media partner, to be precise – and we look forward to seeing as many of the 140-plus exhibitors as possible. We know the past few months have been a tough time for many of you, so if you stop by our booth or see us around the show, let us know how we can help.
In addition to having 45 per cent more exhibitors than the 2007 event, this year’s BAC Congress welcomes 60 first-time exhibitors, which says a lot about the strength of our industry in a struggling economy. Being new to this industry, I’m looking forward to meeting and getting to know as many of you as possible, so don’t be shy.
BAC Congress is an ideal time for us to come together, make new connections, renew old friendships and learn about cutting-edge developments that will shape the future of baking. And it’s not too late to register at www.baking.ca. With that being said, if you need more motivation to attend this year’s Congress, please see page 66 for my interview with BAC president and CEO Paul Hetherington.
Also in this issue, there’s good news for bakers targeting the ever-elusive “natural” and “organic” markets. London, Ont.-based Organic Works Bakery, the subject of our cover story by Cameron Johnston, is balancing retail and wholesale success while specializing in gluten-free and organic baked goods. I first met the bakery’s owner, Peter Cuddy, at the Ethnic & Specialty Food Expo in Toronto last October, where I was impressed with the taste and texture of his breads and cookies. As the spouse of a wheat- and gluten-intolerant person, I’ve been exposed to, shall we say, a wide range of quality when it comes to these products, and it’s exciting to see that Canadian companies such as Organic Works Bakery are taking them to the next level in terms of flavour and quality.
I can’t end this month’s editorial without extending a huge “thank-you” to the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan., which graciously put me through its All About Baking course tuition-free in early February. I spent a week learning the art and science of making high-quality baked goods, including tortillas, pan breads, layer cakes, sweet dough cakes and rolls, and yeast and cake doughnuts. I had a great time making these products, even though the results, in my opinion, were mixed. OK, I know – bad pun.
But in all seriousness, my heartfelt gratitude goes to AIB vice-president of education Kirk O’Donnell and instructors Debi Rogers, Aaron Clanton, Tim Sieloff, Steve Sollner and Jeff Zeak, as well as my All About Baking classmates, who so kindly tolerated me constantly taking photos of them for a story about the course, which will appear in a future issue of Bakers Journal. In the meantime, if you’re interested in what other courses AIB has coming up, check out the events section at www.bakersjournal.com.
See you at BAC Congress 2009!