The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery

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CCinNJ
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2009/09/05 13:51:27 (permalink)
My BILs Mother was a butcher in Shoprite for over 20 years. She became as skilled of a butcher as you could ever find. She tells me if she started the tour of duty today...she doubts she would have ever lasted a week at the current Shoprite.
 
These jobs were something back in the day. People were or became very skilled and they stayed at the job because the benefits and salary were very good compared to many other jobs. Now if there are job openings it does not matter how skilled you are in any certain dept. (other than maybe the meat dept.).
 
This is not a criticism but the majority of major supermarkets and wholesale clubs these day (outside of small regional places like Wegman's)  are clearinghouses for non-perishables frozen and pre-packaged refrigerated items. Most have dept. managers and trained workers. It is about turning profit based on volume under one roof. Some do a better job with quality and retaining trained and skilled employees....most do not.
 
The business of bread is much about time & labor..with great loss due to daily freshness. Supermarkets are not going to focus on in-house bread production from scratch. Too much time labor cost and loss. They make their great deals with suppliers to  get a head start in production with simple directions for the dept. workers to follow...if that is the case.
post edited by CCinNJ - 2009/09/05 13:54:20
#31
Lindseyup67
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2009/09/06 09:32:31 (permalink)
When me and my hubby got married last year, we got our wedding cake from Walmart! We were VERY impressed! It looked wonderful, and was absolutely delicious! It disappeared the next day. No one could keep their hands off it! Oh.......and the price was unbelievably reasonable!!! I highly recommend it....unless you want to pay HUGE money for a cake that probably would taste equally as good!
#32
David_NYC
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/09/20 13:15:10 (permalink)
Note this thread started in 2006.
 
For some time now, I have seen supermarket in-store bakeries selling hot dog buns, hamburger buns, and dinner rolls that hint they were baked fresh in the store. These buns are usually sold at a premium price.
 
I was in a supermarket the other day and saw four trays of these rolls and buns, along with a packing slip from a warehouse. There was no information on the bags except ink-jet printed production codes and expiration dates, just as on packaged breads. The plastic bags were not polyethylene, but that crinkly plastic supermarket bakeries sell their par-baked bread in.
 
So, I walked back to the bakery department, and found older bags of these products. The faux bakery department attached labels printed in the store that listed ingredients and nuitritional information, along with the (high) price.
 
These goods trying to pass themselves off as being baked fresh in the store were made by the same firm that supplies this supermarket chain with their house brand packaged bread in the grocery department. What I am now going to do is watch when this store gets in their unlabeled rolls and buns and labeled poly-bagged rolls and buns. I want to buy fresh samples of the same type of product and see if there is any difference between the two. (No names yet so they don't get tipped off.)
 
In one of the other threads about faux in-store bakeries, one member talked about the time his chain went to bake-off, partially because of a problem with finding bakers. But I have recently seen a lot (but bought little) of these par-baked products that says to me supermarkets can't even find people anymore who know how to properly bake-off stuff prepared in a factory.
 
Wegmans still owns their own bakery and makes wonderful donuts and cinnamon buns that they distribute to all their stores from Rochester, NY. Maybe it is time for supermarkets to hark back to the days of Dugan's, et al, and sell short-dated baked goods made in nearby factories at a premium price. About the only thing these faux supermarket bakeries bring to the table today is to add inscriptions to birthday cakes.
 
#33
BigDave67
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Re:The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/09/20 15:21:24 (permalink)
Publix has great in store baked good,I buy bread and cakes from them whenever I can.
#34
Greymo
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Re:The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/09/20 16:18:36 (permalink)
I  was talking to the  head of  the bakery department about their baked goods.  Most of the items come in frozen  ad  then  they bake it.  I would be willing to bet that this is how it is done in majority  of  supermarket  "bakeries".
#35
Foodbme
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Re:The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/09/22 03:39:50 (permalink)
In the Phgoenix area, we have a number of local Artisian Bakeries that bake their breads and then market them thru the Supermarkets. Sold next to the par-baked store brands.
#36
Foodbme
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Re:The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/09/22 03:40:18 (permalink)
In the Phoenix area, we have a number of local Artisian Bakeries that bake their breads and then market them thru the Supermarkets. Sold next to the par-baked store brands.
#37
David_NYC
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Re:The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/09/22 22:52:58 (permalink)
I recently saw a supermarket sell rolls baked by a local high quality bakery sold in their Faux bakery. This fact was not noted on the bag or label. A sign was posted where they are located. I tried them and they are much better than the par-baked ones are.
#38
MiamiDon
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Re:The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/09/23 07:05:45 (permalink)
To some degree, the Publix at which we shop bakes on-premises.  One can see the rising racks and the ovens from the counter, and occasionally I encounter warm-from-the-oven bread.  Sometimes we special order a certain loaf made a particular way that we use for muffaletta. 
 
I don't think they make the dough on premises, and may also not shape the rolls and loaves.  I do know that one can buy pizza dough from them.
#39
David_NYC
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/10/05 17:37:26 (permalink)
I'm revising my entry to reflect visits to two different branches of the same supermarket chain.
At the first store I visited, it turned out that the wholesale bakery-produced sandwich rolls were actually being sold by the deli department, which is adjacent to the bakery department. They were placed a rack that abuts the bakery department. These rolls were different (with a different formula) from similar rolls the same company sells in poly bags with their name on it.
At a second store I visited, I found round and finger dinner rolls in the bakery department, as well as sandwich rolls in the deli department. The round dinner rolls appeared to be an offering of the wholesale bread manufacturer's foodservice line. The finger dinner rolls, however, had the same weight as the poly-bagged finger dinner rolls in the packaged bread aisle. The weight, ingredients and nuitrition information labels were virtually identical. But, the price in the bread aisle was $2.19 and the price in the in-store bakery was $2.99. I didn't buy any yet since I already have too many rolls on hand.
At my visit to the second store, I found those finger dinner rolls in the bakery department with an expiration date 6 days out.  Makes a mockery of the in-house bakery concept.
#40
mjambro
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/10/06 08:39:24 (permalink)
How is that any different from Dunkin Donuts?  When was the last time they served a donut that wasn't trucked in perhaps weekly from a factory perhaps 100-200 miles away?
#41
David_NYC
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/10/06 09:25:41 (permalink)
mjambro

How is that any different from Dunkin Donuts?  When was the last time they served a donut that wasn't trucked in perhaps weekly from a factory perhaps 100-200 miles away?

Dunkin Donuts is a complicated case. Some of the oldest franchisees still bake on site from mixes supplied by DD. Some get deliveries (probably daily) of fresh donuts from regional bakeries. Still others get their donuts in frozen, and possibly add fillings, sprinkles, etc.
#42
mjambro
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/10/06 13:58:14 (permalink)
When I see a tractor trailer making a DD delivery, I highly doubt the deliveries are on a daily basis.
#43
cavandre
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Re:The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/10/07 08:12:27 (permalink)
It seems to me that the cakes from Publix look better than they taste.
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David_NYC
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2010/10/07 08:47:01 (permalink)
mjambro

When I see a tractor trailer making a DD delivery, I highly doubt the deliveries are on a daily basis.


I once came across a document on a municipal website. Someone was asking for permission to open a Dunkin Donuts. The municipality wanted to know about times of deliveries. The applicant stated that donuts get delivered in a box truck early in the morning, and other goods come in periodically by tractor-trailer. I guess they were talking about coffee, paper products, and presumably donuts and bagels if that store uses frozen baked goods
#45
David_NYC
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/01 22:13:59 (permalink)
Visited some friends over the weekend who purchased a "Fresh baked, no sugar added" apple pie from a Stop & Shop faux in-store supermarket bakery. They served it for dessert. I was assigned to cut and portion out the pie. The pie didn't cut right. I took my slice out and examined it on the plate. The crust resembled that of a frozen Pet-Ritz pie crust. The center of the pie was cold. At first, I thought some klutz picked up the pie in the bakery department, then put it in a freezer. However, the bottom of the aluminum pie plate was not cold.
 
Since the crust resembled that of a frozen crust shell, I believe what happened was that the bakery staff did not let these pies defrost before baking them off.
 
As always, they put the pies in an unbleached brown cardboard bakery box and tie the box with bakery string. Marketing people, 'ya gotta love them.
 
The pies tasted sweet for No Sugar Added. The label indicated Sorbitol and Maltitol were added.
#46
HollyDolly
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/04 15:44:29 (permalink)
H.E.B. Grocery Stores here in San Antonio have actual bakeries.You can actually see them working to make products. Their stuff is pretty good.
#47
Greymo
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/04 17:24:36 (permalink)
You say that you see then actually working to make products.  The bakeries in the supermarkets around here are wide open when you can see them at work  but  there are no bread kneading machines or anything else to indicate that any product is made from scratch.  It is all frozen product which is brought in, thawed and baked.  I have  bought  frozen loaves of Italian bread  from them so that I could bring the loaf home, thaw it and  have my kitchen smell like  freshly baked bread
#48
NascarDad
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/05 14:47:02 (permalink)
I wish I could find a decent bakery anywhere near where I regualrly shop in Richmond, but all we have are these dangnable cupcake shops.  Five or 6 cupcake shops in a 5 mile radius, but I can't find a pie to save my life. We also have panera for bread which is OK but..
 
Actually the whole food bread is pretty good and seemingly made in the store.
 
I do sometimes make the trek to Westhampton bakery but its well out of the way and only has a 5 car lot and on street parallel parking for the bakery and 3 other places, almost always full, they get a lot of walk in neighborhood busines.  I could park a few blocks away but carrying armfuls of baked goods and riding herd on the kids and trying not to drop anything takes the joy out of the situation.
 
We also have a couple of bakerys near downtown , carytown, etc but those are all an hour from my house.
 
In my county we have a gluten free bakery.  Gluten free piecrust , well I  just isn't crust. Its mushy like eating a ricecake soaked in sugar water for a week.
 
If only one of these dang cupcake joints (that all always seem empty) would become a real bakery. 
#49
Foodbme
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/06 01:10:56 (permalink)
It's a pre-fab world we live in today. Everything from Bread to Ice Cream to Deli Salads to Breast Implants To------------
#50
SassyGritsAL
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/06 16:27:45 (permalink)
The grandgirls love the Birthday cakes from Publix's and everyonce in awhile I will get the crullers from Wal-Mart (bakery). They do carry some packaged individual pies for $.68 ea. and come in pecan, apple, peach and my fav. blueberry. I buy them and pop them in the micro for about 25 seconds and they are good w/a scoop of ice cream. I am hooked on the blueberry cornbread from Fresh Market.
#51
ces1948
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/06 19:54:27 (permalink)
The last birthday cake we bought at Publix and was one of the small sheet cakes was around $30. Actually we could have gone much higher with all the options, filling etc. To me it wasn't worth the money. It was as far as I know it was baked in store.
#52
rumaki
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/07 10:01:29 (permalink)
On a visit to Winona, MN, we tried Bloedows bakery, thanks to the listing here on the Roadfood site.  Wonderful donuts, and excellent hot dog buns.  Bloedows products are available at Midtown Foods, a local grocery store, too -- which also sells Coca-Cola in 16 ounce RETURNABLE bottles, from the local bottling plant.
#53
ces1948
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/07 10:32:12 (permalink)
The Dunkin Donuts in my area apparently get a daily delivery of donuts from the local "factory". A neighbor of mine took a part time job recently driving a delivery truck very early mornings from the "factory" to the area stores. It's not a semi but is a fairly large truck.
#54
David_NYC
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/08 06:07:04 (permalink)
In reply to this post by Holly and the subsequent comment by Greymo
HollyDolly

H.E.B. Grocery Stores here in San Antonio have actual bakeries.You can actually see them working to make products. Their stuff is pretty good.

I found this March, 2011 article in a trade publication that suggests that H.E.B. is going back to baking on-premises at least some breads:
http://modern-baking.com/supermarket_baking/ten-trends-in-stores-0311/
So, I would like to ask Holly if she did indeed see them baking from scrqtch.
 
My purpose in keeping this thread going is to promote the "Back to Scratch" movement that the article talks about. Around here, the instore supermarket bakeries helped kill off the retail bake shops that baked from scratch. They were cheaper and did not require a side trip by the shopper. But hired help was not going to bust their ass on the night shift for stockholders. While I can't find the post at the moment, we had a member here post about the time that Stop & Shop or a similar northeast chain went to frozen because the hired help was not turning out decent product. We have  now come to the point (see my post of August 1 above) where the hired help can't even properly bake off frozen product. I am advocating that people not buy this frozen crap so that the supermarket chains either have their bakeries become unprofitable (causing independents to again open up) or clean up their act and bake from scratch. One way to get people to stop buying this frozen crap is to point out all the deception these bakeries employ to pass their stuff off as fresh. The younger generation growing up will never taste really great baked goods if all the scratch bakeries die off. As noted in the last few comments, people in some parts of the country have to travel fair  distances for a really good bakery.
The fundamental problem is that the frozen product, with all their chemical additives to make the stuff "go", still cannot rival baked from scratch in many categories of baked goods.
#55
ann peeples
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/08 09:36:39 (permalink)
I was a bakery manager in a grocery store from 2000-2003. Let me preface that I MUCH prefer scratch baked items anyday. However, I think a few facts need to be cleared up. The frozen products we brought in( rolls, bread, etc) had no chemicals in them.Simply frozen dough.We thawed ,proofed, and baked said product.The shelf life after packaged was short, as there were no chemicals like the products in the regular bread aisle.No deception-our products were freshly baked, just not made from scratch.
Now pies and cakes were totally different. Cakes came in already baked and frozen-thaw, frost and decorate.
Pies-think Mrs.Smiths.Just bake off.Horrible stuff.
But to be honest, with the volumn that a GROCERY store needs to keep up with, it would be nearly impossible to go to scratch baking.Plus, they dont pay enough to get quality, experienced bakers.Its a shame, but its true.
The same could be said about the deli or meat department in the chains. Most salads in the deli are brought in, and the meat in the butcher area is rarely still hand cut.For those you need to go to an independent butcher...thats what I do now.I dont count on my grocery store for aforementioned items;I am lucky enough to have a local butcher with not only superior, hand cut meats, but also makes their own deli salads. And I travel to a stand alone bakery for rolls, etc. I would much prefer to support these types of businesses, anyway. I just think that looking at your grocery store chain for top notch items such as these is, sadly, futile.
#56
David_NYC
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/09 09:11:00 (permalink)
Thanks for you comments, Ann. It made me realize my posts are disparaging to the people who work in these in-store bakeries. For that I am truly sorry.
 
Thanks for pointing out that there are frozen bread and roll products out there that are not loaded with dough conditioners. The bread and roll products I see around here do list chemicals on the label. However, it is really hard to tell if they baked something from a dry mix in a paper bag, or (as I caught one chain doing) if they brought it in fully baked from the same vendor who bakes their store brand bread for the bread aisle, or if they are using frozen dough. I have bought rye bread from a supermarket selling LaBrea frozen and also Whole Foods that just laid in my stomach. No chemicals in those two, but it sure wasn't like Pechters bread baked in Harrison, NJ. No frozen here; you can see trailer trucks from Bay State Milling pumping in flour through a hose. OTOH, I originally posted this link in the thread about the smell in Subway sandwich shops. Check out the ingredients in the breads they bake on site:
http://www.subway.com/applications/NutritionInfo/Files/usProdIngredients.pdf
 
Cartons of orange juice have to read "from concentrate" if they are not filled with fresh juice. It is my position that MOST people think baked goods from in-store bakeries are baked from scratch. People who work in supermarkets know what the true story is IN THEIR STORE. My definition of "fresh baked" is a product whose liquid ingredients were first mixed with the dry ingredients in the same location where they were completely and finally baked.
 
Wegman's in Rochester, NY still runs a bakery where they make excellent breakfast buns and deliver it to their stores as far away as Virginia. They never see a freezer.
#57
ann peeples
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/09 14:19:58 (permalink)
Luckily, there is a local bakery here, Mila's, that still bakes their rolls, desserts cakes.etc from scratch, and they supply to various stores.I know this as I toured their facility when they offered me a job.
Subway's bread is par-baked.It comes in frozen to the stores, already in the loaf you see when purchasing a sandwich, and simply "baked off".
I applaud Wegman's for having a central bakery-that used to be the case in lots of store years ago. No freezers, just fresh product brought in daily.
#58
MilwFoodlovers
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/10 07:04:53 (permalink)
David_NYC, THat is an eye-opening link you just supplied. It might be the secret to living a long life. With all those chemicals one might never age!
#59
Davydd
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RE: The Faux In-Store Supermarket Bakery 2011/08/10 10:24:03 (permalink)
Chain supermarkets consider uniform consistency more important across its stores. That is why today they fresh bake but don't mix and provide pre-packaged cuts of meat. If they allowed individuality from store to store the "rotten apple", if reported, would spoil the "bushel". Customers have come to expect uniformity as people are not confined to their neighborhoods as they were 40-50 years ago for their shopping needs. I have access to 3 Supertargets, 3 Lunds & Byerlys, and 2 Cub stores depending on which way I am heading to and from home. I travel 14 miles to a Costco and a Trader Joe's for some things. What is said about them in this forum around the country is generally true where I live. Chains also do it for economy scale as well.
 
We don't have Wegmans in Minnesota. Every time we travel to Northern Virginia we make it a point to go to the Fairfax Wegmans just for the shopping experience. Since I was on the original SuperTarget development team I still have those instincts to go out and check other stores out of professional curiosity.
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