Summer placement

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About Clarkes Bakery

Clarkes Bakery is a prestigious family run home bakery and delicatessen totally dedicated to quality by a brother and sister. They can provide hampers for individuals or for the corporate sector.Their products are wholesome, fresh and additive free. Each morning they buy fresh apples and rhubarb for our pies and fresh meat for our savoury products Fresh local produce from land and sea is served daily in the coffee shop/cafe restaurant complemented with our selection of traditional and modern deserts.

The staff here take enormous pride in their work. The Clarke family believe that quality only happens when one cares enough.

The Home Bakery, being a traditional family run business, has been serving the north west area of Dublin with high quality bread and confectionary

With many years of experience in the business they have built up an excellent client base and a high level of service.Using this experience, coupled with the finest wholesome ingredients, they use traditional methods at the bakery in Cabra for all the bread, rolls and cakes.

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This is a business which provides food and service at a location chosen by the customer. They offer a menu of food that can be provided ranging from soup and sandwiches to large buffets and three and four course meals with starters, salads, entrée and desserts. They typically cater for banquets, conventions, family occasions christenings, communions, confirmations, weddings and corporate functions. They can provide waiting staff for food and bar service, furniture and decoration for the event if required.

The Clarkes deliver unique, delicious and mouth watering culinary solutions to the public,corporate and private catering sectors. They produce home cooked meals made from the finestingredients full of flavour and freshness. Operating from purpose built premises which are HACCP compliant, and are also registered with the department of environmental health and adhere to their regulations and are subject to inspection.

This Cabra bakery fell victim to a robbery three years ago were on this occasion on the vicious burglary that led to the death of a popular delivery man Jimmy Louth spent nine weeks in a coma after being seriously assaulted during the robbery which occurred in the early hours of Monday July 3, 2006The attack occurred at around 3.30am when three raiders, who had been waiting in the laneway at the back of the bakery, set upon Mr Louth and another worker.

Tragically, Mr Louth was off-duty but had gone to the bakery to help his colleague. During the attack, he was hit with the handle of a brush but bravely shrugged off his injuries and went back to work. However, he became unwell a few days later and fell into a coma from which he never recovered.

Mr Louth was a popular staff member who had worked with the bakery for over 20 years.

The Bakery

The bakery"s high class confectionary comes an extensive range of made to order cakes for any occasion. From wedding cakes to christening cakes and every birthday in between. They introduced not so long ago is also the Novelty Cake selection which is becoming an increasingly popular choice for those who wish for something extra special. This selection includes a customized high quality image covering the top of your cake which is completely edible! Children"s favourite characters from Bob the Builder to Power Rangers, from Barbie to Bratz, can be tailor made to suit with your child"s name and age. And for the ‘young at heart" you can even have a photo on your cake to bring back the memories of younger-years

Bakers for over 30 years offering many choices of breads, pastries,specialty cakes and wedding cakes all made from the finest and freshest ingredients produced daily at our in-store bakery.

It's a great little place and it's refreshing to find a thriving local bakery in the heart of this Dublin Community

In the baking whether their celebrated fruit loaves or simple things like farls and sticky buns - is well executed, but the skill which is so obvious is nevertheless quietly focused around that comforting homeliness which is so pleasing

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The bakery also called baker's shop or bakehouse is an establishment which produces or/and sells bread, pies, pastries, cakes & cupcakes, biscuits, cookies, muffins, rolls, doughnuts, and other baked goods prepared by bakers. Many retail bakeries are also cafés, serving coffee and tea to customers who wish to enjoy the freshly baked goods on the bakery's premises.

Coffee Shop/Cafe

When it comes to refreshing yourself, the best option that strikes is to have some coffee or tea. Especially while touring, energy is required to fully cope with the tiredness and to stay active for more fun and activities.These cafes not only deal with different kinds of tea and coffee and cakes but also breakfast and light meals in the afternoon, but also provide you with a place to relax and get yourself together provide the facility of take away.

The coffee shop offers a limited menu the serving of coffee is incidental to the serving of food. This local café is often the central gathering spot for conversation and meetings. Such is the reason its especially popular for breakfast.

Tea Rooms

Tea Rooms serve freshly baked scones, homemade soup and bread, paninis, wraps, homemade desserts and cakes, as well as tea and coffee

Outside Catering

The Clarke family as caterers Have a vision to meet customers expectations when organising an event no matter how small or big the event. They price events to include everything necessary for that event from the cutlery and delph to our highly experienced chef's and waiters. They want to let the client know from the first quotation how much the catering element of the event is going to cost and what standard of service they are likely to receive. They offer complete event catering services with restaurant standard food in a high or low volume environment.They also tailor menus to our clients specific needs and requirements

Whether it"s catering for a corporate or commercial event spectacular food for a wedding, outside catering for a private event or a fine dining experience, The Clarkes can provide the planning and preparation, exquisite food, and impeccable catering service that will make it simply unforgettable.

My Refelection

I did my placement with Clarkes Bakery in Cabra in Dublin. This placement was chosen to experience a new type of catering for myself as I wish to specialise in pastry I was delighted to gain the opportunity to work in a bakery.

Whether you are an old friend or a new visitor you will always be assured of a warm welcome at Clarkes Bakery in Cabra. The Food in Clarke"s Bakery is lovely and tastes very fresh and home-made. They have a variety of breads, cakes and buns. I am a huge fan of their ginger bread men, The prices are reasonable, service is warm and friendly. It always seems to be packed anytime I walk by it, which says it all really.

When you walk into the Home Bakery it is not only the aroma of freshly baked produce that hits you, it is also the array of confectionary. With many different varieties of pastries, fresh cream and sweet cream tortons, fruit and madiera, Battenberg and carrot cakes, it is a truly feast for the eyes. With selections of rich fruit braics and tarts, as well as pancakes, scones, soda farls, potato bread and mouth-watering sausage rolls the choice is certainly yours.

While working on the outside catering side of this business I was overwhelmed by the level of service which was provided I was surprised that all the client had to do was invite guests, relax and enjoy the excellent food, fine wine and luxurious ambience of a restaurant in the comfort of your own home and have a memorable dining experience.

My days were kept busy by starting early for the breakfast service right up to serving a limited lunch menu. Mainly my daily tasks was to cook breakfast and lunch, this ment I spent most of my time in the coffee shop kitchen The menu was varied during the week therefore I was not bored out of my tree standing around doing repetition day after day. Breakfast was simple very busy especially towards the later end of the week and at the weekend. I also noticed that if there was a match or concert being held in the city centre that there would be much greater volumes in the crowds of customers at breakfast time. I also noticed the girls on the deli counter were much busier on these days also making breakfast rolls and sandwiches for take away.

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Some days where so busy that we would even run short on rolls now how embarrassing is that in an establishment that produces the bread rolls on site.

During my placement I was also offered the chance to do some function work, which was nice as it was a good idea to get out and see different types of catering. These functions consisted of buffet style work, to simple soup and sandwiches and sit down meals for birthday parties, funerals and family gatherings from christenings to communions and confirmations to corporate bbq and weddings.

What I taught of Clarkes Bakery

Clarkes gave me a good learning opportunity, and great experience. Upon commencing my placement I joined a team of professionals. Who had a goal to provide customers with the highest levels of service, quality and satisfaction. I am therefore glad that I could directly contribute to the company. I had an enjoyable and rewarding time in Clarkes on my placement. Although not very challenging I still managed to keep myself busy as I was allowed to work on my own initiative creating new ideas for the salad bar which I really enjoyed. There was not much I could learn on the practical side from Clarkes but I did pick up a few tips and shortcuts.

My mentor Yanick was great he is originally from France where he trained. He was very dedicated to my placement. Yanick gave me a lot of time and tired his best to ensure that I was learning new skills from all departments within the bakery. All of the staff were very warm and friendly towards me during my placement.

During my placement I did manage to be moved around all areas of the business however I was a little disheartened as I didn"t spend as much time as I would have liked with the Nickthe head baker.I would have liked to start early as 4am to see from start to finish the preparation and cooking methods of the baked goods.

I didn"t like the fact that I was used in order to get a recipe balance right on a chocolate biscuit cake that was on order for a wedding cake I spent a few days working on the recipes to perfect them and then I didn"t get to produce it in the end I felt very used that day as it was my time and efforts put in but that I didn"t get the credit for it.

Although I said i had an enjoyable time some days where very hard mentally as the owners of the bakery like to throw themselves into the midst of everything and cause a lot of friction and chaos for the staff which lead to a poor staff morale. I felt at the time that it was just very bad management on their part and that they had terrible communication problems between themselves. It"s a clear case of to many chiefs and not enough Indians everybody wanted to be in charge but when something went wrong no one would take responsibility. Nobody really knew who they where answerable to when it came to the owners as one of them would give instruction as what to do while the other owner would come along and totally contradict what you where told to do already.

This was the case as when I was hired for the summer it was made clear to me by Noel that I would be given work in the bakery and receive payment for the work done however at the end of a week while looking for my wages off his sister the co owner I was told that there wasn"t money to pay me because of the recession and that there was no longer any work she then proceded to want to know who told me I would be getting paid this lead to a heated row among the siblings which I taught to be a disgrace between two people that were supposed to be professional managers.