Loose Bakery

This is the place for general and miscellaneous posts on topics which might extend past the boundaries of any specific region. No non-grocery posts.
storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 6956
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 179 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Loose Bakery

Post by storewanderer »

Loose Bakery seems to be in trouble with Coronavirus.

Went to Raleys today and the single donut/bagel fixture (a small freestanding fixture- pathetic little fixture really, it hardly held any product) was gone and removed. Previously they had packed up small portions or dozens in the case. Some other Raleys with the case in-line with the bakery prep area had simply tied the self serve doors closed and were stocking the case with trays of loose donuts like before but operating it as a service bakery case. Saw prepackaged bagels, but did not see any prepackaged donuts today. Not sure if this is a one off at this store in Reno on Wedge Pkwy. or a new change across the board. Single pastry items at much higher price points were available at the sometimes open and infrequently staffed Peet's counter.

Smiths is more interesting. They got rid of the terrible .69/5.49 per dozen Kroger frozen dough bakeoff and frost donuts and switched to something called a "Doho" donut. This is made by someone called Madbrook in Utah and is a defrost, frost, and serve item. So quite a labor savings to sell this new donut. The donuts are .99 each or 10.80 per dozen or something and the sign says the dozen includes donuts, cookies, or croissants; so far all I've seen are donuts. The bars seem to be good sized, flour donuts are "square" and may be a little larger than the Kroger donuts, but the cake donuts look very small. We will see how this change goes. Definitely sacrificing volume to save labor and gain margin with the pricing change and this may backfire as people who went and bought the old cheap donuts by the dozen go elsewhere and also buy their milk, fruit, or other breakroom items elsewhere in the morning.
SamSpade
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 1067
Joined: September 13th, 2015, 4:39 pm
Has thanked: 329 times
Been thanked: 12 times
Status: Offline

Re: Loose Bakery

Post by SamSpade »

I didn't notice at Fred Meyer yesterday what was going on in the in-store bakery.

At Market of Choice the other week (first visit since March/precautions), they have removed the glass doors over their pastry and bread cases. The previous pastry case now holds (almost) all the cookies and the bread case has pre-packaged products.

Previously they were working with outside vendors for doughnuts and such. I'm not sure that they still are, as the recently purchased 4 pack of Boston creme doughnuts was delicious but seemed like maybe it was produced in house and then boxed up for sale. They did not taste stale after a day or two, which was surprising!

I agree, perhaps the days of "self service" bakery are done. If stores are willing to try selling single items again, they likely will have to switch back to the older style of counter service model.
Brian Lutz
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 828
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 5:51 pm
Location: Lake Stevens WA
Been thanked: 22 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Loose Bakery

Post by Brian Lutz »

At the 7-eleven locations here, donuts are now being individually wrapped. That presumably works OK for the small volumes they sell in a convenience store, but would likely be impractical for bulk donuts in a supermarket.
CalItalian
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 866
Joined: October 1st, 2009, 12:25 pm
Been thanked: 8 times
Status: Offline

Re: Loose Bakery

Post by CalItalian »

Brian Lutz wrote: June 18th, 2020, 10:12 am At the 7-eleven locations here, donuts are now being individually wrapped. That presumably works OK for the small volumes they sell in a convenience store, but would likely be impractical for bulk donuts in a supermarket.
Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions have all donuts, bagels, muffins and loose bread (rolls, croissants, etc.) in individual plastic boxes in the cases. But you can't buy one donut or roll, for example, anymore. They are packaged as 2, 3 or more. The prices aren't double or triple the individual donut price, though. Vons, for example, was .99 for one donut but they charge $1.79 for two donuts (in a box), $2.59 for three donuts (in a box)...
mjhale
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 134
Joined: October 2nd, 2016, 4:02 pm
Been thanked: 6 times
Status: Offline

Re: Loose Bakery

Post by mjhale »

CalItalian wrote: June 18th, 2020, 10:26 am Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions have all donuts, bagels, muffins and loose bread (rolls, croissants, etc.) in individual plastic boxes in the cases. But you can't buy one donut or roll, for example, anymore. They are packaged as 2, 3 or more. The prices aren't double or triple the individual donut price, though. Vons, for example, was .99 for one donut but they charge $1.79 for two donuts (in a box), $2.59 for three donuts (in a box)...
Safeway here on the east coast is pre-packing donuts, pastries and bagels as well. But they aren't pre-priced. When you get to the register they are charged by the piece just as if you would have picked them from self-serve pre-coronovirus with no quantity discount. With the ongoing demise of Shoppers Food Warehouse, Safeway in the DC area has adopted a donut recipe similar to what Shoppers was using. The donuts are quite good and if they gave a quantity discount people might buy more. As it is when I'm in my local Safeway in the later afternoon the donut and pastry case is still pretty full. I'd imagine a lot of it gets donated or trashed as I never see this stuff on the discount rack.
Alpha8472
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1974
Joined: February 24th, 2009, 8:55 pm
Been thanked: 31 times
Status: Offline

Re: Loose Bakery

Post by Alpha8472 »

My local Safeway in the San Francisco Bay Area had donuts in ziploc plastic bags, but I still feel hesitant to buy them as anyone can just open the bags and touch the donuts.

7-Eleven in my area has fresh donuts in machine sealed plastic wrap. I am more confident in buying these donuts as you see if they are tampered with. The prices at Safeway are absurd at either 89 or 79 cents.
klkla
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1593
Joined: February 24th, 2009, 3:26 pm
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 66 times
Status: Offline

Re: Loose Bakery

Post by klkla »

I was in a Vons earlier this afternoon. They might as well board up the bakery until this situation is resolved. They aren't even trying.
vons2a.jpg
vons1a.jpg
storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 6956
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 179 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Loose Bakery

Post by storewanderer »

Some NorCal Safeways look this way. Other NorCal Safeways have a very nice spread of items packaged neatly with donuts in plastic cake slice boxes and bagels neatly in small plastic bags with a tie wrap, organized, and very presentable. Still others have a good spread of items, but packaged so poorly that you wouldn't buy it because it looks terrible (donuts in plastic bags with frosting stuck to the bags bagels in plastic bags but again not sealed shut), hand knot tied shut. You would think someone in upper management would notice some bakeries are still selling this stuff (the ones that actually try) and some are not but maybe this is such a low dollar proposition to sell these items in the first place that it does not even move the needle one way or the other.

I had the same experience with Vons back in May. The store in Mammoth Lakes had a well stocked individually or 2-pack single bakery (bagels individual, donuts mostly in 2 packs but it was pretty full with good variety). The trainwreck poorly managed store in Bishop looked just like the store you photographed if not even worse. I was in both stores early in the afternoon.

The Safeway remodel in South Lake Tahoe got rid of those open air cases and now has "door cases" for everything. Curiously the Truckee Safeway remodel (last year) did the same thing. However the new Safeway in Sacramento that opened last fall still has some open air cases for bagels/rolls. I think the open air cases were to save labor from having to clean all the little clear plastic bins they previously used, which do get pretty misty and dirty pretty fast if not cleaned steadily and cleaned very well. Also those clear plastic bins they previously used in the 90's got very wet/damp if product was put into them that was not fully cooled. I like the open air cases because they preserve the hardness of the crust but think they are not really good for sanitation reasons. But I've bought a lot of open air bagels/rolls from Safeway over the past 20 years when they started to install those open air cases and I'm still here.

How does Vons even staff its bakeries? That store you photographed does not appear to be staffed. I noticed in Bishop they had no staffing; there was a bell, which nobody responded to, and ultimately a customer picking up a cake went up front to try to get help and despite multiple pages when I left the store she was still not yet helped. Given they are still basically on the Safeway bakery program (unlike Southwest, Intermountain, and Oregon which are on a hybrid of some Albertsons items and some Safeway items) it appears they have someone doing a graveyard shift to scratch make the breads and donuts and then a couple morning people to handle cakes/stocking/bakeoff items. Safeway's bakery program is more labor intensive than other large chains due to the additional scratch preparation that takes place on the breads/donuts, use of actual whipped cream on certain cakes, etc.
storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 6956
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 179 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Loose Bakery

Post by storewanderer »

Also Smiths "Doho" program for donuts appears to be a complete flop. The cases are still full at night at all locations I visit. There are also many boxes of donuts left with $2 off coupons (10.88/dozen minus $2 is still a lot more than the old donuts were- especially at night when the old donuts got packed up and marked down to 3.49/box (box had anywhere between 12-20 donuts in it depending how generous someone was).

It is possible since these things are a thaw and sell item that they sell in the daytime then the stores refill the cases again in the evening, but I kind of doubt it.
SamSpade
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 1067
Joined: September 13th, 2015, 4:39 pm
Has thanked: 329 times
Been thanked: 12 times
Status: Offline

Re: Loose Bakery

Post by SamSpade »

Is Doho a program with this local Reno - Sparks doughnut shop?
https://www.doughboysreno.com/menu/
Post Reply