Thomas the Baker adds EPP-supplied Koenig Combiline to increase consistency and production

UK-based Thomas the Baker has invested in a new Koenig Combiline to meet rising customer demand. The family business now has 29 bakery shops in the Yorkshire area, serving its award-winning curd tarts, sausage rolls and famed Helmsley H’eccles cakes amongst an array of other freshly baked products. The Koenig Combiline – supplied by EPP – can deliver up to 9,000 rolls per hour at its Helmsley bakery, to supply shops from Selby to Scarborough.

“Thomas previously had a very old white painted version of a Koenig line, which had no prover, a smaller forming station and a step-by-step retractor,” says Ged McBride, area sales manager, EPP. “EPP had been servicing and maintaining it, but after 35 years of use, parts were becoming obsolete, so it was becoming more challenging.” EPP provided additional support on the moulding head, which kept the bakery going for a few more months, but the time had come to upgrade. “They first came to me asking what we could offer to replace the line they’ve got. I met Simon Thomas who spoke about different options, and he was keen to invest in a machine that offers them more flexibility for their current and future needs.”

This new investment allows Thomas the Baker to produce a wider range of quality products. The new Combiline allows the dough to rest as part of the production process, which means the bakery can produce additional products such as hot dog rolls and half baguettes. The line can produce batched products such as hot cross buns and teacakes. Weights, moulding and settings are recalled at the press of a button. The bakery is now able to produce with a greater degree of consistency.

Before making the purchase, EPP arranged for the team at Thomas the Baker to visit a successful Scottish craft bakery in order to see a similar EPP-supplied Koenig Combiline and ensure it was the right choice for them. In addition, as part of EPP’s service, a master baker from Koenig visited the bakery to offer on-site expertise, along with the team from EPP offering additional training and support for the on-site engineers to help maximise efficiency and production of the new line and processes required.

Thomas the Baker has a longstanding relationship with the team at EPP, where various baking equipment has been supplied over the years including MIWE roll-in ovens (which have been in use for 20-plus years), a Comas DV depositor and a Comas pie line. The bakery prides itself on fresh products – ‘what isn’t sold today, won’t be sold tomorrow’ – and it uses approximately 65% locally sourced ingredients, including dairy, meat and wheat. A further 20% is UK sourced and the remaining ingredients are imported from reputable international sources, for ingredients requiring more exotic climates, such as cocoa beans and dates.

“Working with Simon and the team was a pleasure,” adds Ged. “Koenig and EPP were appreciative to win this important business. We look forward to working with Thomas the Baker on future projects.”

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