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CheGuevara

Food Inc, Bake & Spice

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Food Inc has just gone into liquidation, yet they are still open for business. The directors are nowhere to be found.

Baker & Spice apparently has folded, then bought out, and reopened the next day shafting all the creditors in the process. The ex-owner of B&S Gail Mejia has left the country and is now living in Dubai. Certinaly she's on welfare over there.

-che

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I've heard you can add West Country Fine Foods to the list too.


http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Baker & Spice apparently has folded, then bought out, and reopened the next day shafting all the creditors in the process.

But surely they they wouldn't do that, I've just read this on their website:

'We do our utmost to behave responsibly and ethically, and to purchase our ingredients from sustainable sources.'

They wouldn't lie, would they?

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Baker & Spice apparently has folded, then bought out, and reopened the next day shafting all the creditors in the process.

But surely they they wouldn't do that, I've just read this on their website:

'We do our utmost to behave responsibly and ethically, and to purchase our ingredients from sustainable sources.'

They wouldn't lie, would they?

of course...it is always like that. a friend of mine got shafted with B&S, went to the offices and she is nowhere to be found. great way to run a business and then run-out.

similarly i tried getting the directors patrick macdonald and dominic ford on the phone for the last three weeks and nothing. in person and nothing. they ask suppliers to fund their business and support them, they then return the favour by showing a complete lack of decency when asked to face reality. i very much understand the difficulties a business can encounter, and bankruptcy is one of them. what disgusts me to the core are individuals like these who don't have the intergirty and courage to face the outcome of their actions and misjudged decisions. i have little respect for incompetent businessmen like these who should be restricted to managing shifts in a convenience store. they're big shots when things are good, while when shit hits the fan, rather than standing up like grown men they hide behind the poor office workers; complete cowards.

-che


Edited by CheGuevara (log)

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Apart from wondering how these guys sleep at night I also wonder how they pull off stunts like this overnight. Or perhaps they have been planning them for weeks just in case. I can't even open a bank account in 24 hours let alone buyout a business.

If our government does anything to 'help businesses' surely they can do something about the legislation that lets you sell a bankrupt business to your best mate handing over all of the assets but none of the debts.

If we can legislate on the shape of a banana then surely to god we can sort this out.

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No disrespect to anyone, but be sure you know all of the facts before making accusatory statements.

Here's a little more info:

Spice Bakery Limited acquires Baker & Spice Ltd

Kit, I see that you are writing from California, so please pardon my asking whether you are sure that you know about "pre-pack Administration"?

The report which you have linked actually confirms the essence of Che's report.

And no facts to contradict Che's statements.

The three-and-a-bit stores went into Administration on 20th February.

The Administrator continued trading, in the expectation of selling the business.

By 25th February, the outlets were under the ownership of Spice Bakery - seemingly a company newly created for this acquisition and part of Patisserie Holdings, itself a vehicle of Luke Johnson, a very successful "serial entrepreneur". Details here: -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Johnson_(businessman)

Patisserie Holdings (and thus "Spice Bakery") seems to be backed by "private equity firm Risk Capital Partners". http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2009...erie-chain.html

The problem with prepack Administration is that the people owed money by the old business don't generally get any involvement - or much (if any) of the money they are owed.

You might be interested to read up on the process in this article referring to Tom Aikins recent pre-pack : -

http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2009...-spotlight.html

Colourful language from a celebrity chef is not unusual, but when Tom Aikens last month admitted that he felt like a "shitbag" after leaving his suppliers in the lurch following the administration of his restaurants it was a different thing entirely.

Aikens's mea culpa followed criticism that he had acted despicably by putting his restaurant business into administration and then immediately buying it back - minus almost £1m of debts - in a process called pre-pack administration.

The move highlighted why pre-packs - used by hospitality operators such as Aikens, FishWorks, Duchy Catering and Laurel Pubs in recent months - have become the subject of much controversy.

Personally, I think its open to question as to whether less than a week of "a discreet marketing exercise" (quote from your link, Kit) would be the best way to safeguard the monetary interests of those that had provided credit to the business. All the more so, since they weren't even told about it until after the sale had gone through.

Discreet?

Oh yes, very discreet! Some might even say 'hush-hush'.


Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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You're right, dougal, I have no idea what "pre-pack administration" means. My point is that there are many people involved here, many angles and stories which are unreported, and it is a very emotional issue to those of us with family and friends who are involved. This is a public forum and making bold judgments without ALL the facts, is unfair. That's all.


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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In a pre-pack bankrupcy people get shafted. Usually the investors and the banks. Less so the employees, since you want them to go on working, or the suppliers, since you need to continue to get supplies.

Certainly not the liquidators or professional advisors. However those people or suppliers that are not essential may be let go.

None the less the business is in trouble or it would not be bankrupt in the first place, so it has to change, often radically.

In many cases a prepack is the bes option for ensuring continued employment for the staff and suppliers

Where a pre-pack bankrupcy is more doubtful, and possibly illegal, is if the same directors and owners continue, especially if they had prior knowledge of the insolvency.

If a company is insolvent the fiduciary duty of the directors is to the creditors, which often means the bank or revenue as largest creditor. Only if the pre-pack is the highest or only bidder, and more than the likely asset value in a liquidation sale is it then ok to accept the bid - in which case the pre-pack is paying over the odds. However liquidation sales often do not realise much

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Thank you for that understandable explanation, jackal. Much appreciated.


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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You're right, dougal, I have no idea what "pre-pack administration" means.  My point is that there are many people involved here, many angles and stories which are unreported, and it is a very emotional issue to those of us with family and friends who are involved.  This is a public forum and making bold judgments without ALL the facts, is unfair.  That's all.

Without all the facts? So you mean supplying someone for years, in one's industry, and being owed thousands of hard earned pounds means we as suppliers are devoid of all the facts? You think we lack any judgment in how a business is run, and how one can chose to shut it down when we run businesses sometimes larger than the ones we supply? We have more information than what is out in the public.

One can chose to sell off or close a business conscious that many longstanding suppliers - many of which were an integral part of your earlier success - will be left with large unpaid debts. Or you can chose the more honorable route and ensure you leave the business with as little debts as possible, and at a bare minimum face your suppliers in person.

The only "unfair" issue in all of this is how a director who demands trust and professionalism from his peers decides to disappear, without granting any respect in return. Unfair is financing someone else's business through your hard work and not getting paid for it, even with an apology.

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It is also worth adding that ordering supplies when you know you will be unable to pay for them is illegal. This goes back to dougal's comment on their "discreet" marketing excercise whcih ensured none of the suppliers had any idea the business was in trouble, and furthermore that it was going to write off its debt in a matter of days.

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...

The three-and-a-bit stores went into Administration on 20th February.

The Administrator continued trading, in the expectation of selling the business.

By 25th February, the outlets were under the ownership of Spice Bakery - seemingly a company newly created for this acquisition and part of Patisserie Holdings, itself a vehicle of Luke Johnson, a very successful "serial entrepreneur". Details here: -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Johnson_(businessman)

Patisserie Holdings (and thus "Spice Bakery") seems to be backed by "private equity firm Risk Capital Partners". http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2009...erie-chain.html

The problem with prepack Administration is that the people owed money by the old business don't generally get any involvement - or much (if any) of the money they are owed.

...

There's a snippet in the business pages of today's Times about "Risk Capital Partners".

That too is Mr Johnson. Or at least partly.

He and his partner have put in £25 million. And raised another £50 million from others, according to the article.

It is suggested that they paid £500,000 for Baker & Spice.

Sounds cheap to me for the assets of three (and a bit) shops (depends on the leases as to HOW cheap) and a well-established brand presence.

Wonder how much of their debts the suppliers might ever get back? (After all, there's the cost of the discreet marketing exercise, etc to come out before anyone else sees a penny.)

And BTW, Mr Johnson was reported by The Times as being "excited by the opportunities from the credit crunch" ...


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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re. Food Inc.

Is this the same Patrick Macdonald who used to be a chef?...His name is mentioned in GR's biography as 'a plonker'or some such..

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re. Food Inc.

Is this the same Patrick Macdonald who used to be a chef?...His name is mentioned in GR's biography as 'a plonker'or some such..

It is indeed the very same.

I knew the name rang a bell.

He had a Michelin starred restaurant,many years back,inside a hotel called,

On the Park.in Cheltenham.(the hotel still exists)

We ate there regularly,and stayed overnight,spending many happy hours with the then wonderful owners discussing all manner of things

Including the very large amount of rent outstanding!

As it was,he was a very fine chef,who did not get the support,perhaps of the fine folk of Cheltenham that he should have done.

Now then you foodies will love this.

One Sunday, guess who he had as guest chef?

Your not going to believe this

Marco bleedin Pierre White,thats who.

I was invited with my wife,and two best friends.

As paying customers of course.

The food was excellent as you would expect.

The disappointment was,that he did not come to the dining room,typical Marco.

I at first doubted,perhaps he may not be in the kitchen,but fear not.

He was sitting out in the garden,after service still in his whites.

He was like a rock god then,to be admired from afar.

Well thanks for bringing back these memories.

Hope this has been of some help.

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I also remember Pat McDonald doing the first rendition of 'kitchen nightmares' back in the mid ninties, way before Mr R claimed it as his own. Didn't he also have a restaurant in Pershore (or somewhere sounding!)?

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I also remember Pat McDonald doing the first rendition of 'kitchen nightmares' back in the mid ninties, way before Mr R claimed it as his own. Didn't he also have a restaurant in Pershore (or somewhere sounding!)?

Your right, he was the original GR but without the swearing.

It made good viewing back then.

His history is a bit sketchy to me now,I know that he was a sort of consultant to struggling restaurants,for a fee of course.

He was, and still is a big man,just having seen a recent photograph of him.

Not the sort of guy to have an argument with!

Not sure about Pershore, thinking more a failed venture in Stow on the Wold?

The last I heard of him before this fairly public airing was his restaurant in The Mailbox, an upmarket shopping complex in the canal district of Birmingham.

It was called Paris?.

I did mean to go,just to see if he could still cut it, but!

Well what a wonderful day full of memories for me.

On thinking about it,he was a very good chef!

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re. Food Inc.

Is this the same Patrick Macdonald who used to be a chef?...His name is mentioned in GR's biography as 'a plonker'or some such..

It is indeed the very same.

I knew the name rang a bell.

He had a Michelin starred restaurant,many years back,inside a hotel called,

On the Park.in Cheltenham.(the hotel still exists)

We ate there regularly,and stayed overnight,spending many happy hours with the then wonderful owners discussing all manner of things

Including the very large amount of rent outstanding!

As it was,he was a very fine chef,who did not get the support,perhaps of the fine folk of Cheltenham that he should have done.

Now then you foodies will love this.

One Sunday, guess who he had as guest chef?

Your not going to believe this

Marco bleedin Pierre White,thats who.

I was invited with my wife,and two best friends.

As paying customers of course.

The food was excellent as you would expect.

The disappointment was,that he did not come to the dining room,typical Marco.

I at first doubted,perhaps he may not be in the kitchen,but fear not.

He was sitting out in the garden,after service still in his whites.

He was like a rock god then,to be admired from afar.

Well thanks for bringing back these memories.

Hope this has been of some help.

BTW I forgot to mention.

I bought Marco's book prior to a visit to Harvey's and took it with me to try and get it autographed.

It never happened!

I took it again to Pat Macdonald's,

And guess what!

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I also remember Pat McDonald doing the first rendition of 'kitchen nightmares' back in the mid ninties, way before Mr R claimed it as his own. Didn't he also have a restaurant in Pershore (or somewhere sounding!)?

Yes he had Epicurious (sp?) in Pershore.


http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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