The Penny Loaves

Monday, 20 January 2014 Jonathan O Donohue Tags  Company News

So the Penny Loaves are finally here! Our Blast Freezer and Holding Freezer have been installed, We've purchased a brand new 6-lane  depositor which allows us to produce up to a massive 46000 penny loaves per day! Our sales department are currently out on the road trying to get some orders for these little beauties.

The Penny Loaves represent a real departure from the business model that we have employed at O'Donohues Bakery over the last 25 years. The recession has certainly had an effect on our sales just like almost every other business in the country. It's becoming increasingly difficult to compete with consumers moving to large discount supermarket chains and it has become clear that if we don't try something new then like many other companies today we might not make it.

Our passion here at O'Donohues is quality. What we do, we do well. Our standards are extremely high, our products are premium and while we are definitely pitched at the more expensive end of the market, we make no apologies for that. However, our challenge is trying to get our quality produce to the end user while trying to drive down the costs. Frozen Bread may be the solution to this problem.

There's a perception in the public domain that frozen produce is somehow inferior to fresh produce. Take our Penny Loaves for example. Within 2 hours of them being baked they are 'blast frozen' to -18C before being transferred to a holding freezer where this temperature is maintained until they are ready for despatch. When the products are defrosted they are almost exactly the same as they were before they were frozen. In fact they are arguably 'fresher' than the bread you buy from the shelf in your supermarket. And here's why: Ordinarily bread is baked today, it is sliced and wrapped this evening/tonight and is delivered to the shops tomorrow morning, which essentially means it almost a day old by the time it gets to your kitchen table.

I think frozen produce gets a bad name because people associate the freezer with dodgy ready-made meals or other processed foods. Our products are premium. The fact they might be frozen is incidental, they're still premium! 

Now I'm not saying that O'Donohues Bakery is suddenly going to start making frozen bread exclusively, we have a very loyal customer base whom we have every intention of continuing to supply the way we always have. The purpose of this blog entry is simply to challenge some old beliefs. At the end of the day if we can supply you with product that is high quality, for a lower price and minimise waste then everybody wins.

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For Now,

Keep the dough in Town,


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