Club Batch

The Soup Shack progress…

The Soup Shack is going well. Selling out of our 20 odd breads and soups last week. We did a luxury roast butternut squash and pepper soup and coupled it with a new recipe rye baguette. Feedback was great! Some customers even remarked it was the best soup n bread yet.

The Soup Shack

Club batch has taken a back seat for a while and  has been amalgamated into another business venture called the ‘Soup Shack’. We do top drawer home made soup and bread every Tuesday on campus. We are delivering and selling about 20 units of bread and soup a week. Yesterday we sold out of cups of soup and mini baguettes to 20 happy customers.

Here is a wee logo i popped out a few days ago.

And a stack of all of the baguettes…. Getting quite efficient at baking them now!

New Slate baking stones.

Been down the mines and picked up some slates. After cutting them to size i’ve got two incredible baking stones. Can fit about 6 baguette side by side on each shelf. Probably quite handy for pizza too…



Just got a delivery of Club Batch stickers for promotional use and packaging fun.

(A wee package prototype for a baguette)


Bread bin prototype

Prototyping the bread bin. Thinking modular compartmented shelves for different sized loaves and a drawer for bags, condiments special guest foods etc. Above the drawer there will be a surface for customer food prep. There will be a hole in the drawer front for customers to input money.


Soup and bread venture

Last week i practiced making the perfect mini baguette to munch with a cup of soup. Club batch teamed up with business partner Grant to supply a soup and bread lunch solution to hungry designers. First day of sales went spiffingly and we are currently fine tuning the packaging and delivery for this coming week.


Phase 1

Bread box

Time to get the bread ball rolling. Plan of attack for phase one is to get a working “bread bin” on my level the 7  product design floor. The bin will be filled weekly with delicious bready goods. The consumer will be asked to donate a suggested price for the day. A percentage of which will go to a food charity.

Every week club batch followers can also look forward to a special guest food/condiment

Folks will be told about the bread bin on twitter.


Some important ideas about food and learning.



Bread delivered by bike? Very carbon neutral.


Rapha creator Simon Mottram:

“We’re not trying to create a shop, or an offer, or a set of products. It’s an emporium.”


Tesco ‘Manvertising’ – I fell for it

Tesco have been churning out a hella lotta new packaging/range ideas lately and have rid their shelves of the ghastly old ‘value’ range packaging. The problem was the price was right but the packaging was about as attractive as a gray pebble dashed post war semi. Only now customers can buy ‘everyday value’ without feeling like its the early 1980s of Thatchers reign.

Anyway. I totally fell for this ‘Manvertising’ of Tesco’s new Chunky Muesli – Cereal for Men.



Prototyping ‘The Woodsman’

The woodsman is a rich, dark, seeded loaf to give you energy for foresting and other outdoorsy activities.

Incubating woodsmen

(note: Might add some malted flour to the mix next time for some sweetness)


First semi-successful baguette.

Crust is good, crumb is good, needs deeper slashes next time (should open up crust better).


What about stale bread?

Designers Gosia and Tomek Rygalik created this piece at the Vienna Design Week Lab intended to start a conversation about wasted food. What else can we make from waste?


The illustrious ‘poolish’ Baguette tucks up for an hour in the ‘couche’


Club Batch Packaging Ideas

Did not take these photos, credits to Baker D.Cherico


Nesta Fake evidence

As an exercise in writing your own future Nesta recommends looking forward to an idealized  future piece of evidence that your business is working. It’s really helped in visualizing where you want to be in the future.

The article takes the form of a Financial Times ‘Case Study’ in the Business Life section.


Club Batch Badge

Could be used on branded clothing like aprons, hats and t shirts. Could be used as a sticker to seal the bread bags.

Ive also decided what i’m doing defiantly fits into the dimension of a ‘Micro Bakery’. This also ties into my philosophy of breaking away from the mass produced soulless excuse for bread.


Using the power of story to launch business.

Seven obsessions that helped a scrappy start-up turn an industry upside-down.

Eric Ryan: Style and Substance, The Method Method


Branding Experiments


Rye sourdough experiment. 
Overnight rising in some canvas.


Just finished the branding for my artisan bread startup ‘Club Batch’.

 I wanted a name and logo that reflected the high end exclusive nature of my products. It’s designer bread and i will communicate the brand somewhat like a couture fashion house. The branding is going to be instrumental in promoting the products to a young style conscious audience. Once i have standardized my sourdough ‘House loaf’ i will begin packaging ideas.


Why is bread the most wasted food?

Very interesting article about how the commodity of factory bread has become the most wasted food in the British home. It compares it with the artisan baking tradition with its longer production time and higher price that doesn’t get wasted.


Floury Zeitgeist

Part of the reason i’m thinking about going into  baking is that its very much part of the current British foody zeitgeist.

This is all to clear when you look at the wealth of material on the telly. Here is the mind blowing first episode of the Hairy Bikers’ new show ‘Bakeation’. They are riding around beautiful Norway punctuating their trip with stops at artisan bakeries and Norwegian food heroes.

Grab a glass of beer/wine and drink in the scenery. 


Small scale batch test, who wants some?

Too see if my idea has legs i’m going to try and flog 7 of my 50/50 loafs And turn a profit.

Loaves going for an overnight proof to develop some rich flavors.

Baking Timetable:
Make dough before bed and prove it over night:
Get up and cook it before class
Take in warm aromatic loaves and create some interest

Labour  =  Around 1 hour (should become faster with more practice)

After a small tasting i quickly ran out of  my batch and a bread crumb feast ensued in the product design department.

Made enough to fund buying some new equipment.

It became obvious to me that the loaves NEED good packaging. They did not feel like complete products at this point. I need to differentiate myself from to university cake sale lot and appear a lot more professional. I’m also going to have to learn a lot about selling my product and being outgoing. Next step branding and packaging.

Next Investment steps:
Buy appropriate equipment for mass production
Buy bulk flowers
Practice recipes
Look for big ovens. Perhaps get access to the university kitchen once a week to get a decent size batch out when the numbers are high enough.

Service steps:
Branding (name and style)
Bread delivery channels? (by foot, by bike,)
Social media? (face book, twitter, website, apps)  ‘I’m infront of the library i have got 20 loaves’ #warmcrustyloaf

Perhaps i could be like the Brew Dog of bread? Delivered in the Style of Graze….

A marriage of Product and Service.


Ideas rising

I have been racking my brains to try and think of a ‘quality product’ to bring into an enterprise situation.
Bread marries a couple of my passions.

Good Grub
Attention to detail
Health and Exercise
Hand Made Objects

Artisan bread fits this bill. I’m immensely passionate about it and willing to give it a shot.

I will keep referring back to these points that i have learned so far from reviewing several businesses.

Target foodie students with a bit of disposable income.

A simple delivery weekly or bi weekly should suffice

Deliver quality bread at an affordable price

Package the bread well. Make it taste so good people talk about it.

‘Tired of crap bread?’ etc etc

Make the craft, cool, foodie types think they need it.

Create some excitement around it. Branding marketing etc.

Contemporary branding, packaging website,  branding extras and so on.



Dollar Shave Club

This business is a fantastic idea and example of a quality product being ‘delivered’ through great service touchpoints to the consumer for a reasonable price. Exactly the sort of enterprise i’m interested in.

Lets examine their business the Tom Hulme way.

Value proposition:
Men need to shave.. Most razors are expensive and not very cool.


Dollar shave Club. A no fuss shaving affordable delivery service for men. Their strap line ‘shave money, shave time’ The shaver is given a choice of 3 models and sharp new blades are delivered regularly.

How do they work they deliver their enterprise to potential customers? Through a great website and Will Ferrellesque funny and to the point marketing video perfectly designed for the short attention span man. Its exactly the kind of site and video that will get blogged the buggery within no time at all. The site is simple and to the point. Looks great, has 3 steps in order to gain your dollar razor.

Our Blades Are F***ing Great

Note the 3 million views in about a week. Men all over the world are crying out for this.

Competitive Strategy
In short. Gillette’s stranglehold on the market can bugger off. No other company is offering a razor delivery service. Will Gillette have a problem with Dollar Shave Club. Yes. Will their sales suffer. I hope so.

Pricing Model
Its in the name, Great.

Why is a service a great way to deliver a quality product?
If you nail the target market the customers do most of the advertising  by sharing the video and website.
It creates a talking point and gets people exited.
They should never really produce surplus product because they know exactly how much they need to make.
It can play on peoples inherent foibles. Being lazy, being tight fisted, getting swept up by pretty things, fashion, hype and ‘cool stuff’.
Can be run and organized by a small group of people.
Overheads for startup are pretty cheap, You might just need a website, video etc to see if your idea has legs. Then you can adapt to demand from the customers and grow accordingly

All in all very inspiring business. Really nailed their target market, value proposition and marketing channels.



The Peoples Supermarket. A social business.

‘Our vision is to create a commercially sustainable, social enterprise that achieves its growth and profitability targets whilst operating within values based on community development and cohesion. Our intent is to offer an alternative food buying network, by connecting an urban community with the local farming community.’

Just read an article on the guardian about the peoples supermarket Camden, London. Its a Deli-bakery-eatery-supermarket. They are a supermarket without all the price slashing, deal breaking bullshit. Their kitchen runs on the basis that most of the food they buy in wont last much longer and is relatively cheap but their bananas are not brown. They have strong environmental, social and commercial foundations.

‘The Supermarket is a sustainable food cooperative that responds to the needs of the local community and provides healthy, local food at reasonable prices.’

You pay 25 pounds a year and volunteer 4 hours a month. This gives you a 20% discount. NHS staff get a 10% discount. They are looking at expanding to 14 other sites and branching into catering. “We’re just trying to take a standard business model and make it a good business,” Hopefully there will be one in Dundee soon so i can get the hell out of Tesco.


Developing core values – brand – mission statement with NESTA toolkit

This week we have been introduced to the NESTA toolkit for starting up a creative business. I’m currently looking at my core values as a person and as a designer. These values will form the basis of my business’ mission statement. After a brainstorm in class i determined some of my core values as a designer:

Striving for quality
Hand made dimension
Deep thinking
Being at the forefront of fabrication
Deliver enjoyment and pleasure to others through my work
Being independent

Interests as a person:
Sport and health
Good food
Design and Culture

I have realized from my values that i need to be true to my talents and skills and use them give the consumer/user enjoyment. Craft that moves and inspires people In these have been my values for almost all of my projects as product designer and in fact for most of the content so far on my blog. I wish i had thought about this earlier!

Abi Yardimci
explains the difference between values and beliefs.

“ The difference between a belief and a value (for me) is that a value is something you hold very dear, like something precious that you protect against all odds to keep intact. A belief is something that underpins your actions and your direction in life. Beliefs can change, and when they do you see big shifts in energy, emotion and attitude…”

With ones core values defined and realized they were form the basis of my brand. The next NESTA tool step is to design a mission statement for my creative business idea.

Mission statement 1.0 ‘To inspire fun and enjoyment through quality design. To deliver considered design through appropriate service touch points.’


We managed to get an interview with Snook on Tuesday. Positioned on top of the beautiful butterfly and pig tea room their office is blazoned with tartan and bustling with ideas. We were hoping to interview them for 30 minutes but they were so accommodating and enthusiastic that we all spoke for about 2 hours on Snook. We got loads of invaluable insights into their vision, business, projects and future. Its fair to say we all came away really inspired.

The night of the interview our challenge was to piece together all the insights we had gained into our presentation. Nate had structured the start while we had been away and it was my turn to structure the 2nd half. A quick mind map of all our insights help place them into groups. We then took these groups and ordered them into:


This was the structure for the Snook section up until the Finnish.

We wanted to include an animated element to the presentation to provide and visual and musical few minutes to inspire our audience. Nathan and I decided that the journey on how and why we chose snook could be expressed by the staircase that we climbed to get to their HQ. Each step and story providing insights and goals. So we took an A2 peice of paper and filmed a wee sketch up of the journey. Here it is. The response has been great.



Our presentation stands just a week away and we have chosen to present about the colorful Glasgow based service design outfit, Snook.

Why did we choose Snook? Because they are young Scottish visionaries who run a successful social business. Snook want to change the world, empower communities and give people a voice. They got off the ground in 2009 when they launched My Police. A platform for communities to give feedback to the police in the form of stories to help public/police relations.  They offer their Scottishness as a brand identifier and do a lot of their branding and advertising through social media.  They are an inspirational fresh young company and i cant wait to meet them on Tuesday to get a slice of the Snook vibe and passion.

The Snook girls in Berlin.


Failure is not a failure.

Some time ago i watched the inspiring speeches by Sir Ken Robinson about the current state of education. Especially its attitude toward the arts and creative practice. Be believes creativity should be treated with the same respect and status as literacy. Our lecturer Mike Press recently showed us a clip of Sir Ken speaking. He was examining the uncertainties of the future and how to educate our children for it. The honest truth is we don’t have a clue about what problems they are going to face, its extraordinarily uncertain. He goes on to explain how children have an amazing capacity to ‘have a go’ they are not scared of being wrong. However mistakes are stigmatized not only in childhood education but also in the workplace. This has the effect of educating people out of their creative capacities. I can think of innumerable examples of this in my education and ‘im sure you can too. ”If your not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original.”Sir Ken Robinson Meanwhile its ‘failure week’ at Wimbledon High School.


Group enterprise research project.

This semester we are doing an enterprise research project culminating in a presentation about our chosen enterprise. We narrowed or search down to young, innovative, ambitious and local businesses. Brew dog fit the Bill quite well plus i love their craft brews. James Watt and Martin Dickie perhaps encompass the perfect 21st century entrepreneur. They started their business from the seed of passion and aimed to change a stagnant market culture into something, fresh, new and exiting. Since 2007 they have bulldozed their way through 27 different countries, innovated a multitude of spectacular brews and achieved growth that would make Crispin Odey cough on his caviar. If they cant get money from banks they raze it themselves. They even have a environmental strategy for their new brewery complex, turning all the brewing waste into energy to power their business. With lidless ambition, eye catching branding and campaigns and attention to quality and ingredients i cannot think of a better business brew.


Emma Walker of Craft Scotland

Self proclaimed ‘Audience Developer’ and Chief exec of Craft Scotland Emma Walker spoke at our Design and the Market class today. She gave an inspiring and epiphanic lecture on the process of engaging and finding an audience, personal branding and networking strategies. Emma Walker delivered a slick, passionate and persuasive presentation in a refreshing design and creative context.  She tied together a lot of loose ends i suspect everyone had about how to manage their future work beyond study. Craft Scotland aims to give the craftsman/women power and autonomy. If it’s showcasing work, seeking out funding or networking with other like minded individuals Craft Scotland can act as the hub and stepping stone for up and coming designers.

Emma almost single handedly turned the idea of craft in Scotland from knitting to something young, sexy and diverse. Much to the horror of the established craft scene apparently. An advertising campaign for this new vision was drawn up with comparatively little money and showcased as cinemas. This pole vaulted the idea of  ‘new craft’ in Scotland into the states and now Craft Scotland enjoys a lot of business and sets up showcasing opportunities for up and coming Scots designers.

Some key points:

Give yourself a name Secure your brand and be flexible with your product range Branch to the Bespoke commissions market if needs be Brand=Personality Who is the market? Who is your network? How do you intend to speak and interact with them?

‘BRAND IN THE HAND’   (when pushing your brand you need to be able to almost place its very viscera into a clients hand) Oh and she picked up on something i practice as a slight hobby. Applying Conan Doyle’s Holmesian deduction skills to everyone you meet to gain a quick insight of how to interact and operate.


§ One Response to Club Batch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: