Robert Winters, co-owner, Tapa Bakehouse & Coffeehouse, GlasgowYou’re from New Zealand originally, so how did you end up running an organic bakery and coffee shop in Glasgow?It’s a complicated story. Back in New Zealand, I was a trade union official and my wife, Virginia Webb, was a policy advisor. We decided to take a career break to do some travelling, and ended up in Scotland. We liked the place so much, we decided to stay. I’ve always been an enthusiastic home baker and we are both really into coffee – New Zealand coffee shops are way ahead of those in Britain in terms of quality – so we decided to set up a bakery and a café. Tapa Bakehouse launched in 2003, selling organic bread such as sourdough, focaccia and rye bread.We then developed a wholesale business to delis, food halls and restaurants, and started attending farmers’ markets. We opened the 60-seater Tapa Coffeehouse three months ago and employ 24 people.What formal bakery training have you had to date?I did a year-long National Certificate in Baking at the local college, which taught me the fundamentals, and I’ve learned a lot from books and the internet. I’ve also had some great advice from Andrew Whitley at Bread Matters and the team at the Lighthouse Bakery. Most of what I’ve learned has come from trying out different recipes at home and learning on the job. I’m passionate about using organic ingredients and I’ve developed recipes without additives, improvers, fat and sugar. We employ six bakers now and I’ve helped train them all, passing on the knowledge I’ve built up.What’s your role in the company?We’ve employed a master baker from Hungary, who has brought some fantastic skills to the business, so I’m less hands-on than before. I’ve taken on more of a general manager role, helping with training, new product development and the overall direction of the business. I’m keen for staff to take ownership of their roles. For example, one of our bakers is being trained to look after new products and another is responsible for wholesale. It’s a similar story with the coffee shop staff. We are looking at ways of developing this further, with staff able to buy equity in the company so that, if it performs well, they will benefit.What’s the secret of your success?We have an eye for detail and are never happy with what we have achieved. Our products are great and people love them, but it’s impossible to produce the perfect loaf. There’s always something you can improve on.
The U.S. travel industry won’t like it, but only 44% of Americans are taking a vacation this summer, and “the vast majority are not planning on going into debt over it,” according to a new CreditCards.com survey.Simultaneously, the credit card sector won’t like the fact that 80% of U.S. adults who plan to take a vacation this summer will pay for some or all of it with personal savings “Most Americans want nothing to do with debt these days,” says Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com senior industry analyst. “With the Great Recession still fresh in their minds, people are watching their budgets more closely and making sure they’re not overspending, even if it means scaling back on vacations – or skipping them entirely. If they can’t pay for the trip quickly, they just won’t take it.”It’s possible that people are realizing that adding to their debt is simply not smart, says Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations for Freedom Financial Network. “The average U.S. household that carries monthly credit card debt owes more than $15,000,” he notes. “Interest and fees mount up quickly. If people are looking at long-term goals – such as putting a child through college or retiring someday – they may realize that going into more debt for a vacation is counter-productive.” continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
While the departure of goal-scoring dynamos Nick Van Sicklen and Jed Hohlbein may have hampered the offense of the 2005 Wisconsin men’s soccer team, the team’s defensive core only grew stronger in a year’s time.With four incoming recruits joining four returning letter-winners in the back, the defensive outlook looks improved for a Wisconsin team that recorded only one shutout last season.“It all starts with our captain, all-Big Ten central defender Aaron Hohlbein,” head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “I think everybody is a better player because of Aaron’s presence back there. I also think there has been some great improvement by some of the other guys — Hamid Afsari, for example, has done very well. Both Andy Miller and Zack Lambo have also done a good job so far and both played great over the first weekend.”Not only did freshman standouts Lambo and Miller successfully work their way into the starting lineups this past weekend at the Big Toe Invitational, but they also played important roles in securing 2-1 victories in both matches.Against UNLV, Lambo set-up the team’s first goal of the 2005 campaign with a free kick from the left flank. Lambo’s cross found Hohlbein on the back post, whose header brought the Badgers back into the game.In the victory over Drake, it was Lambo assisting again, this time serving in the ball that produced the game-winning goal. Only 46 seconds into overtime, Lambo picked out junior forward Reid Johnson whose flick-on found sophomore Sho Fujita directly in front of the net.“I think Zack brings a very polished left foot,” Rohrman said. “He served a great ball to Hohlbein for the goal on Friday to get us going, and he also served the ball to Reid (Johnson) in overtime allowing us to win the Drake game. His ability to play well in the flow of play and also on set pieces is a pretty nice weapon to have.”Lambo, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound defender from Crystal Lake, Ill., has adapted well to the college game early on, but admits that concentration and focus are aspects of his game he must continue to improve.“The general pace of the game has been the main transition from high school,” Lambo said. “You have to know where you’re going to play the ball before you get it, so the first touch is so important. Everybody is bigger and has a little more pace to them, so it’s been tough. But, it’s encouraging because it’s making me a better player.”Along with Lambo, Miller has made great strides with the team, playing stellar defense in his first career start against Drake. The Barrington, Ill., native is a physical defender for his size (5-foot-10, 150 pounds), but, like Lambo, is still adjusting to the speed of the college game.“Coming in as a freshman, you’re obviously not as developed as some of the other guys,” Miller said. “Dealing with bigger and faster players will probably be the most difficult change. The play is a lot faster too — a hundred times faster than high school.”As Rohrman employs his new freshman talents, he can also enjoy the luxury of having veteran defenders, such as Afsari and reserve Andrew Cardona, available on his roster. “Andrew (Cardona) is a seasoned veteran with the team,” Rohrman said. “He played some key roles for us the first couple of years and right now he is in a bit of a support position for us. He’s done a great job in what we’ve asked him to do and I don’t doubt that Andrew will certainly get on the field — it’s just going to be a matter of where and when.”When the Badgers head to Milwaukee for the Panther Classic next weekend, the young men from Illinois, Lambo and Miller, will most likely be on the pitch, fighting for a win. The influx of talent will provide Rohrman with plenty of room for tinkering with the lineup this weekend and throughout the season.“We’re always looking to tweak and adjust things so that we can be sure we’re putting the 11 on the field that will work best for us going into each game,” Rohrman said. “We changed things from Friday to Sunday this past weekend and I felt they were good adjustments. Going into this next Friday, we’re going to look at a few different things back there and possibly make a few more adjustments.”