CASE STUDY
The Whipped Baker, Tauranga

Easter Rush Whips Local Baker into Shape

Forget complicated business plans - for New Zealand baker Frances Cooper, all it took was a couple of hot cross buns to push her into a growth phase of her business.
 
The Whipped Baker is an institution in its home town of Welcome Bay, Tauranga. The old-style bakery turns out glorious handmade goods, ranging from artisan breads to wedding cakes, and commercial catering to the best cream bun you’ve ever tasted.
 
For those not in the know, bakeries rely on those early hours of dawn to ready themselves for the day ahead. Before most have even stirred, The Whipped Baker will have turned out hundreds of loaves of bread, rolls, cakes, pies, and all the other things the rest of us were lying in bed dreaming about.
 
It was in these early hours during leading into Easter 2015 that owner Frances Cooper and her husband Aaron realised they were in trouble. Their reputation for incredible hot-cross buns had spread, and they were staring down the barrel of a monster Easter order...300 dozen, in fact. With the sun beginning to rise and the first customers for the Easter rush not far off, Frances realised something needed to be done.
 
To make a hot cross bun, you see, is more complicated than you think: once you have prepared and rolled out the thick, heavy dough; it must be cut by hand into 36 individual buns with a knife. It’s hard and hot work, and massively time consuming - even for a seasoned professional like Frances.
 
“We were worried we wouldn’t be able to get all the buns out cutting them singly; we were literally up for 24 hours going hell-for-leather leading up to Easter.”
 
When a worn-out Ms Cooper mentioned to a restaurateur friend that she was in desperate need of a bun divider (also known as a dough divider), he suggested she contact Silver Chef.

Give Silver Chef a call, they will sort out everything. And they did in such a fast and easy way.

“We found a 36-piece divider we liked through an accredited Silver Chef supplier, and phoned up Silver Chef and told them where the machine was. They phoned the supplier and then processed our application—we just had to fill out a few forms.
 
Later that day our application was approved and the bun divider was delivered the next day.”
 
The delivery of the divider came just in the nick of time, with the equipment installed and ready to go for the Easter Saturday and Sunday rush. However, it has continued to prove its worth in more than just rescuing the Hot Cross Bun Crisis.
 
The Coopers now use the bun divider not only for hot cross buns, but also bread rolls and doughnuts, saving them considerable time and labour. With the aid of the divider, they can process each batch of baked goods about 36 times faster than they could cutting them by hand.
 
The Whipped Baker kitchen was originally set up - like most small businesses are - with bits and pieces of second-hand equipment. Frances and Aaron had been using a 1960s gas oven to bake, which was slow to heat but otherwise perfect. However, as the business grew it was just not fast enough, so along with many other pieces of equipment, Frances used the Silver Chef system to update her kitchen.
 
As well as the dough divider, The Whipped Baker also now boasts a large spiral mixer and industrial oven, which means more efficient cooking, and the ability to bake overnight.
 
Which, when you are used to a 3am start, is the best news of all.

Frances Cooper
The Whipped Baker, Tauranga

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