Reflection

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As we are heading into the new year, as well as reflecting on 2018, we thought we would rewind back to around 60 years ago to when Fosters Bakery was still in its infancy. 2019 holds a lot of uncertainty for many businesses due to Brexit, and during times of uncertainty it’s always reassuring to look back and think how far you and your business has come. So, we will be throwing it back to around 60 years ago to see how times have changed!

Just for a comparison, here are some historical events which happened 60 years ago in 1958:

  • The Lego company patents their design of Lego bricks which are still compatible with the bricks produced today.

  • Motorway system opens with the M6 Preston bypass.

  • After warming to 100,000,000 degrees, 2 light atoms were bashed together to create a heavier atom, resulting in the first man-made nuclear fusion.

  • A World Fair opened in Brussels, Belgium, along with the 355-foot Atomium, representing a large scale molecule.

  • McDonald’s worldwide sells its 100 millionth hamburger.

  • The World Population was 2,924,081,243.

  • In 1958, Wham-O began manufacturing the Hula Hoop out of plastic tubing. Wham-O sold 25 million hula hoops in the first four months at a price of $1.98 each.

Other historical items worthy of note include our accounts from 60 years ago!

Fosters Bakery’s Accounts from 1958:

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Fosters Accounts 1958

As you can see, these accounts are from November 1958, where for example, a refrigerator was bought for £59 and sales amount added up to around £14,906 for the year. These were really interesting to look at and compare prices of items such as mixing machines!

Fosters Bakery’s Old Recipe Books

Shown below is an original recipe book by Emily Foster which contains lots of old recipes which we used to go by in the bakery!

Old Recipe Book Fosters
Old recipe book fosters
Old recipe book Fosters

This recipe book is an original from Emily Foster who started Fosters Bakery. It contains lots of old recipes that we used in the past. Most of the recipes in the book are for confectionery (which we have moved away from now as we specialise in bread) but it still a strong point for inspiration.

In order to innovate, we often need to look back on old ideas and see how we can develop them. Hardly any ideas are completely new, they are often modelled on an old product or idea and adapted to make it more exciting. As Mark Twain is often reputed to have said: “History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes”. This quote is hugely applicable to the food industry and using the past to influence the future is always a good thing to remember.

Our New Product Development Team are always looking far into the future, for example, we are currently discussing products and new innovations for Christmas 2019 and thinking about new flavour combinations we can try. So, looking back at old and trusted recipes is a great way to see how far we have come in terms of innovation. It is also a great way to think of how we can adapt a new recipe and bring it into today’s market.

Shown below are some of the old products we made including donuts and eclairs (writing this blog post is making me hungry…). Even though we now focus more on the bread side of baking, it’s lovely to look back on these products and thing how we could incorporate this into bread! For example, the NPD team have tried products such as cinnamon and chocolate brioche buns.

 
 

How we at Fosters Bakery, deal with uncertainty…

With Brexit looming around the corner in 2019, many business and the UK in general are filled with uncertainty about the effects of Brexit and what we can do to reduce the impact. Fosters Bakery are among those who do not know what 2019 will hold but we are proud of our positive, innovative mindset and will continue to strive in the face of uncertainty.

A blog post by Life demonstrates 5 ways we can deal with this uncertainty, which I have summarised below:

  1. Let go! We can’t control everything and we need to recognise there is only so much we can do at the moment, of course don’t forget but accept that some things are out of your hands.

  2. Envision the best and be optimistic! Try and image a positive scenario and work towards it.

  3. Reflect. We have all faced uncertainty before and overcome it, think about what helped you before or look at old memories, (like we have), to reflect on times when you might have been uncertain but overcome it.

  4. Avoid avoidance and keep moving! A small amount of uncertainty might help you to take action and avoiding the future may lead to negative consequences.

  5. See the possibility, try and think of a way where you can use what you’re uncertain about to your advantage, this links in with envisaging a positive scenario.

Our Managing Director John Foster ends 2018 on an optimistic note:

“Inside or outside the EU, the world is full of uncertainty. The real Brexit debacle wasn’t the vote, it is the collective energy wasted procrastinating and arguing about the score since.

We must not lose this energy but must redirect it into positive pursuits like improving products and service for customers together with selling our wares to the world with great enthusiasm.”

Fosters Bakery will definitely take this ethos into the New Year and keep our customers as our main priority.