Bakery on the Water U-Select Case Study
The Bakery on the Water has been building an enviable reputation for its artisan bread and delicious cakes since it opened in 2014. The bakery and cafe has enjoyed a roaring trade from locals and tourists alike. And no wonder: owner Clare is the fourth generation of her family to make their living from baking.
“My grandmother started the tradition in Leamington Spa, and I then started a business in Oxford with my parents when I was just 18. I learnt alongside my father and have loved baking ever since. We came to the Cotswolds and saw this empty shop and we just couldn’t resist getting back into the business.”
Working alongside her husband and daughter, and having help with marketing and design from their other two children, Clare is proudly keeping the business within the family.
But great businesses never stand still – after three years of success Clare wanted to add more options to the cafe’s lunch and afternoon menus.
“If people are coming in in the early afternoon then the pasties, quiches and whatever else has been cooked early in the morning needs to be heated up again, but we are pressed for time and don’t want to use a microwave, as it makes everything soft.”
The team began doing their research and discovered the remarkable Merrychef E2s. The machine combines microwave, convection and impingement cooking technologies to massively speed up cooking times and allow chefs to crisp their food easily.
Clare found U-Select online, and called to see how the service operated. She was delighted to be offered the chance of a demonstration of the capabilities of the oven at U-Select’s Cheltenham headquarters – just 20 minutes down the road.
The Bakery on the Water team brought examples of their entire menu to the demo and spent a happy afternoon putting it through its paces.
“It was brilliant to see the results it could achieve with our actual menu,” she said, “and the results were amazing.”
The demonstration showed them the oven was more than worth the investment and soon after their visit, they agreed to purchase the item outright. Working with the U–Select sales team and Merrychef themselves, they arranged for a day of training for their entire team the day before they first used the oven in the cafe.
The trainer took them through not only how to use the machine, but also how to create bespoke programmes for each of their dishes.
“It has transformed the way we operate – cooking off bacon and sausages for sandwiches is now quick, easy and less messy than it used to be,” said Clare. “ The ovens are so good they have allowed us to add open toasted sandwiches to the menu and offer some fantastic options to our customers throughout the day.
“It is an investment that will give us more options on the menu for years to come. It was great dealing with U-Select – Kelli has been fantastic and it has been great dealing with a local firm.”