IFSE bakes up state-of-the-art development kitchen for start-ups

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IFSE designed and outfitted the new bakery development kitchen for The Food WorksSW.

Croydon-headquartered distributor, IFSE, has completed a project to design and build a state-of-the-art development bakery kitchen for The FoodWorksSW.

The Food WorksSW, operated by The Food and Drink Forum for North Somerset Council, is a purpose-built food and drink technical innovation centre, located in Weston Super Mare. The initiative is providing five development kitchen spaces and 12 food grade business units for food and drink businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs, looking to develop their business and menu offer.

With the space officially launched in October 2020, a competitive tender was released for the design, build and fit-out of the bakery specialist development kitchen. The team at IFSE were successful in winning the design and build contract for the first bakery kitchen by proposing a fully flexible space that could cater for different production lines.

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Assuming total responsibility for the design, building works, equipment supply and installation the IFSE team focused the design around a large flexible central island kitchen that made use of zones for different types of cooking and baking. The open set-up is designed to foster collaborative engagement, with clear lines of sight to all team members. Mobile equipment can be relocated to suit the specific production line as required.

The flow therefore started at the entrance, with raw ingredient storage and straight into the prep area with all equipment required to create pastry, dough and cake mixes.

With the heavy equipment located around the perimeter, the design allowed a large open workspace in the centre, including a marble top section for preparing by hand.

A self-venting Bakertop Unox combination oven was utilised for fresh and frozen bakery, pastry and confectionery cooking, positioned over a high efficiency Electrolux blast chiller.

With a maximum temperature of 450°C, the Polin double deck oven was specified to provide precision control in the baking process as well as a proover with humidity control kit below the oven.

For specialist production lines, a tabletop tempering machine, vibrating table, sauce warmer, bun divider (moulder) and tabletop depositor were included in the facility.

Anne Peacock, associate director at IFSE, who spearheaded the project, said: “The FoodWorksSW is a fantastic concept for businesses in the South West, looking to develop their menu or their offer.

“The development kitchen that our team have designed will provide the opportunity for entrepreneurs to introduce new products to market utilising state-of-the-art equipment along the way. It’s been a pleasure to work with the onsite team; Zoe and Simon have been fantastic and we look forward to working with The FoodWorksSW in the future.”

Zoe Plant, new product development and innovation manager at The FoodWorksSW said: “Our new purpose-built, food-grade bakery is ideal for start-up and small businesses who don’t have space for any development work or who want to trial and scale-up their production.

“The pilot bakery facility will also be invaluable for large-scale companies requiring space for new product research and development and to trial new products. It’s an ideal solution for companies wanting to innovate and carry out R&D without having to break their current production lines.

“Overall, we have been really pleased with the smooth way IFSE have managed the project and installation of the equipment for the development room to be open on time.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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