2018 – micro changes

Image result for hogmanay


It’s the 2nd of January – 2 days after Hogmanay.

And January is a great time to reflect on the past, and think about the year ahead.

Here at doughies HQ – we’ve been planning some micro changes for 2018.

Here they are:-

Thursday is the new Friday

During 2017, we baked weekly every Friday, plus bi-weekly on a Thursday, and then sporadically on Saturdays based on event dates.

We’ve decided to align these and make Thursday the new Friday.

So in 2018, each week we will bake on a Thursday, loaves ready by 4pm.

Individual Orders Open

We’ve had a rake of individual orders during 2017, and have been pondering how to accommodate orders from individual Fort William sourdough lovers. In 2018, if you are a local individual there will be two avenues:-

  1. One off orders – contact us (by text, email, facebook or twitter by close of play on Tuesday, for bread on a Thursday – pay by cash on collection from bakehouse.
  2. Regular orders – sign up to a monthly bread subscription and receive bread every bake. 1 large loaf per week = £15pcm; 2 large loaves per week = £30pcm. Pay in advance (we’ll do an invoice), and either collect from the bakehouse or if you are near to our weekly delivery route into town we will deliver 5-6pm on Thursday. Interested – contact us by text, email, facebook or twitter and try it for a month to see if you like it.

Simplify Doughs

There is such a thing as too many doughs (especially in our wee microbakery); some dough variations work quite nicely (doing rye alongside Bordinsky for example is easy-peasy), whereas others require a lot of logistical time between dough variants. So 2018, we are going to reduce our loaf choice (when ordering) to five doughs:-

  1. White wheat
  2. Whole wheat
  3. Rye
  4. Bordinsky Rye
  5. Spelt

Simplify Pricing

Probably due to our broadening range of doughs during 2017, our pricing got a wee bit complicated with variants ranging between £2.80 and £10 (and everything in between) – during 2018 we are going to keep it simple with three rates based on size –

  • £3 small 400g
  • £4 large 800g
  • £7 extra large 1600g.

No more card fees

We’ve been using paypal during 2017, both for invoicing businesses and allowing individuals to pay via our open food network shop – paypal business is “free”, easy to use and recognisable.

But its not free

We paid £70.61 in paypal card fees this year.

Not huge, but to put that in context that was equivalent to 3% of our 2017 turnover or a “wasted” oven load of 18 large loaves.

So in an effort to avoid monetary waste (not just food waste), we’re doing two new things in 2018:-

  • For invoicing – moving from Paypal and a google drive spreadsheet, to Zoho  – at our micro scale Zoho should be free (or if we grow our invoice customers a bit it will be a flat rate of £50 per annum). This will mean invoice payments by BACS rather than card, so the full invoice amount hits our bank.
  • For individuals wanting to pay by card, moving from Paypal to Stripe on our open food network shop. This is for two reasons; a) the pricing on stripe is lower (1.4%+20p for locals), which we are going to start to pass on as a surcharge at checkout, and b) (excited about this one), stripe is a pre-cursor to the open food network doing recurring orders / payments – which I think will be very beneficial to the logistics of managing local food subscriptions.

Not just bread; time to grow some selected veg.

We grew and sold some surplus heritage potatoes this year, grown on our co-owned croft; and sold this via the local food hub / vegbox scheme. We love doing sourdough on a weekly basis, but also yearn to increase production of other non bread items – so during 2018 keep an eye out for some selected veg appearing alongside our sourdoughs.

A new bake schedule sheet

OK – bit boring this one, but we’ve created a new bake schedule sheet, for scribbling down orders, dough required, levain required, dough mixed, loaves made, loaves sold – we’ve been doing this every bake during 2017 informally (think scribbles on pieces of paper pinned to fridge), during 2018 it will be more formal which will a) be good to integrate into our HACCP cleaning schedule and b) good for measuring food waste.


A Sourdough Croissant

We did zero sourdough croissants in 2017.

We reckon we can beat that statistic in 2018. Croissants should fit nicely into our bread bake schedule – between folds, and during proofing, we’ll be able to laminate some dough, and shape some croissants.

The aim is to trial and eat a small batch of sourdough croissants each bake of 2018 (hard life we lead eh?) and once we’ve mastered it, shape croissants for events and batch orders.

New Rye Bread Variants, and a trip to Rye-land

Finally, we’re determined that 2018 will be a year of new rye variants entering our lineup (local + historic recipes) – we love rye, we want to start a local #ryevolution, and 2018 we’re planning to visit rye-land – enough said – stay tuned.

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