Beyond the bean

first_imgWhen your customers are rushing to catch the 06.59 from Reading to Paddington, there is no time to get your product offering wrong. That’s why, even after 15 years of running coffee kiosks at major UK stations and airports, AMT Coffee regards quick service and using exceptional ingredients, such as 100% Fairtrade coffee and organic milk, as key. It also holds customer loyalty very dear, and even today, despite around 80% of customers repeat purchasing up to five times a week, the managing director reads every single customer comment.For the bakery goods on sale throughout AMT Coffee’s 44 kiosks, the standards are no less stringent. The latest additions to the food range, for example, use free-range eggs wherever possible. The chicken and ham used in its new sandwich and panini range is all British-reared, and only whole-muscle hams and mature cheese are considered.With bakery sales exceeding £1 million, AMT is naturally keen to capitalise on opportunities to take the company “beyond the bean”, so careful buying that succeeds in tempting the core coffee-drinking consumer into buying something to eat as well, is paramount.Retailing from small kiosks and catering for the ’grab and go’ consumer, there is little time and space for anything but the most basic on-site food preparation, with equipment limited to microwaves or panini grills, points out product manager Kate Bibbey, so products are mostly bought as finished goods.Products also have to be supplied at a competitive price. With so many direct and indirect competitors springing up both on high streets and in station concourses the country over, customers are very price-conscious, she says. For this reason, product price rises are an ongoing concern, and whether it’s because of cold winters in South Africa affecting orange harvests or soaring worldwide wheat prices, sorting out avoidable from unavoidable price rises is a time-consuming job.For these reasons, perhaps, would-be suppliers rarely get an immediate ’yes’ out of Bibbey. Suppliers who have met her would, she hopes, describe her as someone who is open and flexible, but who also knows what makes a really excellent new AMT bakery product. Finding a solution that benefits both parties may mean a frank, but collaborative discussion, she says, about work involving recipe reformulation – to ensure that only the very best ingredients are used – and involving product dimensions, so that new products fit well within existing ranges and can be displayed properly, given the space constraints within the AMT bars.About new suppliers, she says: “I love coming across suppliers who are genuinely passionate about what they’re making. Those that combine fantastic products – both ’old favourites’ and new innovations with commercial acumen – are really important in making sure that our partnerships with suppliers are fruitful.”With so many bars nationwide and weekly deliveries, shelf-life is also a consideration. However, even on this very crucial point, AMT can be flexible. Muffins from a new supplier offered such a powerful visual, taste and freshness appeal that Bibbey was prepared to take on their four-day shelf-life. The chain has also enjoyed success recently with a new sandwich range, which has a two-day rather than three-day shelf-life. The new range, which includes bespoke sandwiches, wraps and paninis, has surpassed even Bibbey’s expectations, as there has been a six-fold increase in sales of this category since the range was rolled out nationally in December.AMT finds its suppliers from the usual shows, as well as from keeping an eye on current events in the bakery world. Bibbey particularly likes to keep an eye on the latest winners of ’Great Taste Awards’ as they “often reveal the smaller suppliers who don’t necessarily have a marketing budget but who are making delicious, beautifully packaged products”. Kiosk managers also get to have a say.Recently, though, the company advertised for new business in trade titles, including British Baker, which proved particularly effective in reaching smaller, unknown suppliers. Three- quarters of respondents came from this sector, which has significantly added to the company’s potential repertoire. She adds: “Finding a supplier with a ’can-do’ attitude and passion about their products makes working together a pleasure. Some small suppliers don’t understand the importance of good packaging to sell products in the grab-and-go environment, so when I come across those with great products and flexibility regarding the packaging, I know I’m on to a good thing.”As a rule, Bibbey looks to add one new product a month, but may trial two or three, so sup- pliers have around a 30% chance of making it on to AMT’s shelves. Quality, presentation and logistics aside, the deciding factor on whether a product is stocked is how well it sells during the trial. A good example of a recent new listing is the Toffee Waffle, a delicious melt-in-the-mouth recipe from a small supplier in Wales, that uses only free-range eggs and gooey toffee. “These are especially nice when the toffee is melted by resting the waffle on top of your hot drink,” Bibbey notes, with the tone of some hands-on experience. At the end of the day, AMT’s mainstream business is serving its customers delicious coffee and providing products that match that quality. As Bibbey says: “No matter how great a product tastes, if it doesn’t look good, we’ll be disappointed with sales.”—-=== Kate Bibbey at a glance ===Job history: Languages and Economics student from The University of Edinburgh, who became passionate about Fairtrade and the effect of our consumption habits on the developing world after living for a number of years in South America. This passion fuelled her decision to take the job at AMT Coffee.Bibbey has worked for AMT Coffee for one-and-a-half years.Top tip to new suppliers: “Do your research before you contact us, so that you can tailor what you can offer to our needs.”Favourite product: Sweet Oaties Scottish biscuits, made by hand in Edinburgh.Outside interests: “After sampling lots of goodies I like to run it off at the on-site gym. I’m also keen on singing and I like eating out in interesting restaurants. As in my work, I am always keen to try something different!”—-=== Potted history ===AMT was created in 1992 by the three McCallum brothers. The youngest, Alistair, had arrived in Oxford from Seattle and noticed that decent coffee was hard to come by. He asked his two brothers to join him in a new venture, selling real coffee from street carts in Oxford. The carts were quickly followed by kiosks in train stations and airports. AMT, which is a small, private company, became the first in the UK to offer 100% Fairtrade coffee and 100% organic milk. Its bars are built in the UK and the installation process is managed internally. No franchises are offered. More information is available at []last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Angela Lansbury Isn’t Circling GOT & More

first_imgAngela Lansbury(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Star Files Lin-Manuel Miranda Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Angela Lansbury Isn’t Circling Game of ThronesApparently it won’t be a case of Dame of Thrones. After the interweb was set abuzz today with reports that Dame Angela Lansbury would appear in the seventh season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, her reps informed EW that this wasn’t the case. So, we’re back to eagerly awaiting confirmation that the five-time Tony winner will headline the first Broadway revival of The Chalk Garden in the 2017-18 season then. Unless this is all an elaborate ploy by HBO to put us off the scent…wouldn’t be the first time!Lin-Manuel Miranda Banished From Hamilton RehearsalDespite being a Tony, Grammy and Pulitzer winner, as well as a certified genius, it seems that Lin-Manuel Miranda still has to listen to Hamilton director Thomas Kail when it comes to rehearsals for the hit tuner in Chicago. “If Lin brings a new lyric, I just send him out of the room immediately,” Kail told Billboard. As we’re sure you’re already very much aware, performances of the show begin on September 27 at the PrivateBank Theatre in the Windy City; it continues playing to standing room only audiences at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre.Christian Borle & Laura Benanti Team UpThis is some lineup! Christian Borle, Laura Benanti, Skylar Astin, Carolee Carmello, Bryce Pinkham, Will Swenson and more Broadway favorites are joining forces for a one-night-only reading in aid of The Actors Fund. Proud of Us and Other Short Plays by Wesley Taylor will play on November 14 at New World Stages; buy tickets here!Brian Justin Crum Kills It on AGT (Again!)With this number, we could just picture Broadway alum Brian Justin Crum (Next to Normal) in the sadly departed tuner American Psycho. He continued his incredible run on this season’s America’s Got Talent with a passionate performance of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears on September 6. Check it out below. View Commentslast_img read more

Dele Alli intruders ‘got past security guard’ at £2m home before robbery

first_imgTHE intruders who broke into Dele Alli’s £2m mansion before robbing him of his watch and jewellery at knifepoint are believed to have evaded his security guard who stays on the premises at all times.Two burglars armed with knives struck England star Dele, 24, in the face after bursting into his home at around 12.30am on Wednesday, as he played pool with girlfriend Ruby Mae and brother Harry.15 Dele, leaving his home today, was with his brother and girlfriend when the robbers struckCredit: The Mirror15 Dele was spotted driving away from his £2million mansion this morningCredit: Paul Edwards – The Sun15 The footballer’s girlfriend Ruby Mae drives away from the house todayCredit: Paul Edwards – The SunThey hit the Tottenham midfielder and his brother in the face before making off with jewellery and three watches worth around £350,000.It is unclear why the security guard was not aware of the two intruders who confronted the footballer after entering through the back of the house, The Telegraph reported.Dele was spotted driving away from his mansion in north London this morning.His model girlfriend, Ruby, was later seen at the wheel of another vehicle.Cops are hunting for the thugs who escaped with the watches and jewellery.Dele was in a downstairs room with long-time partner Ruby, Harry, Harry’s girlfriend and another male friend when the masked bandits burst in.They punched Dele and assaulted another man after demanding the frightened group hand over valuables.One suspect then ran upstairs and ransacked several of the star’s bedrooms.A source told The Sun last night: “The group have all been left extremely shaken.”Dele was still awake and playing pool with the others when the raiders got into the property.”It all kicked off downstairs and Dele was punched in the mouth by one of the two masked robbers.15 Dele has been isolating with girlfriend Ruby Mae during lockdownCredit: Splash News15 Spurs midfielder Dele, 24, was punched in the mouth until he gave over valuables including expensive watchesCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd15 One of the star’s pricey watches, which were targeted in the raid15 Police close to the footballer’s home todayCredit: Paul Edwards – The Sun15 The £2m home Dele was in with his girlfriend and pals at the time of the raid15 After attacking Dele, the raiders took two expensive watches from the star and jewellery belonging to model girlfriend Ruby, also 24Credit: Ruby Mae Instagram”One of Dele’s friends tried to have a go back. He was also beaten.“After stealing two expensive watches from Dele, one of the robbers prowled the upstairs and some items of jewellery were taken.”Last night the Spurs star took to Twitter to reassure fans following the news.He wrote: “Thank you for all the messages. Horrible experience but we’re all okay now. Appreciate the support.”‘TERRIFYING ORDEAL’Dele and his injured friend did not require hospital treatment.But sources confirmed they were understandably traumatised by the shocking late-night robbery.Another source close to Dele said: “It was a terrifying ordeal to go through.“The two men who broke in had knives.15 Dele cast a cautious look as he left the plush property todayCredit: Paul Edwards – The Sun15 The footballer arrives for training this morningCredit: Doug Seeburg – The Sun“They grabbed items and they demanded that Dele handed stuff over.“Dele was there with his girlfriend, Harry and his girlfriend, and another man who all live there together so there were a few of them there at the time.“The police were called and spent several hours there collecting statements and CCTV from the property.”It all kicked off and Dele was hit in the mouth by one of the robbers.A sourcePolice believe the £150,000-a-week player could have been deliberately targeted by the robbers.Officers stayed at the house until nearly daybreak yesterday after the armed raid.Teams were scouring footage from Dele’s outside cameras in the hunt for clues.The Barnet property is near the M25 and it is feared the pair would have left the area extremely quickly — especially with so little traffic around during lockdown.Dele has been isolating at the gated home with Ruby and their three friends — including adoptive brother Harry. The pair are said to be extremely close and Harry also acts as Dele’s agent.The Met Police said: “Police were called at approximately 00:35hrs on Wednesday, May 13 to reports of a robbery at a residential address.”Two males gained entry to the property and stole items of jewellery, including watches, before fleeing.Thank you for all the messages. Horrible experience but we’re all okay now. Appreciate the support.— Dele (@dele_official) May 13, 2020 15 It is understood the valuable watches taken from Dele were a Richard Mille and Audemar PiguetCredit: Getty – Contributor15 Dele, 24, was in a downstairs room with his adopted brother, Harry, when robbers burst inCredit: Instagram @Dele15 Dele was playing pool with his girlfriend, Ruby MaeCredit: Ruby Mae : Instagram15 Break-ins at the homes of mega-rich Premier League stars have become commonplace in recent yearsCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd”Two male occupants at the property suffered minor facial injuries after being assaulted.“They did not require hospital treatment. There have been no arrests. Enquiries into the circumstances continue.”The raid comes just two months after four masked robbers armed with knives and machetes broke into the home of Dele’s Spurs teammate Jan Vertonghen in Hampstead, North London.The gang terrified his wife and young family while the Belgian defender was playing in a Champions League fixture in Germany with ­Tottenham.Aces are the target of raidersDELE Alli is the most recent football figure to be robbed or burgled.More than £1million in valuables was stolen from the London home of the late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.Burglars got away with £60,000 of jewellery and watches from the house of Chelsea boss Frank Lampard.Former England defender Ashley Cole, 39, was attacked by robbers before they made off with jewellery.In January, at least £500,000 of valuables were stolen from Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho, 30.Dele was adopted by Harry’s family, the Hickmans, and the brothers started out together as amateur footballers.A source said: “They are brothers and you could not get any two siblings who are closer. They have been locked up in isolation with their partners and another friend during lockdown.“This was the last thing that any of them expected to happen.“The watches and jewellery were obviously worth many thousands of pounds.“But they also had a sentimental value and can’t be replaced in that sense.” The source said security at the house would be reinforced.Break-ins at the homes of mega-rich Premier League stars have become commonplace in recent years.Many players have been forced to seal off access and bolster camera networks.Security for high-profile footballers is now a small industry in itself with many of them protecting themselves with 24 hour guards and even trained dogs.Yet crime has plunged by more than a third in the capital during lockdown.MOST READ IN FOOTBALLTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50’ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’PicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticThe house where Dele lives is close to the motorway network and the source said: “Unfortunately the robbers could have come from anywhere. Nobody knows whether Dele was specifically targeted or fell victim to robbers casing houses in the area.“But it is concerning that this comes after Jan’s family home was robbed and it raises worrying questions.”Dele’s official spokeswoman would not comment on the incident.Police appealed for anyone with information to contact them via 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD185/13May.Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4368 . You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.last_img read more