Duhan van der Merwe’s rugby journeyFirst things first, big Duhan van der Merwe, of Edinburgh and Scotland via George in the Western Cape, wants to clear up a few things.That stuff about the origins of his Christian name on Wikipedia? The brilliantly curious claim that he was named after a musician from Limerick called Johnny Duhan? “It’s nonsense, man. I honestly don’t know where these people dream this stuff up.”And his brother, the Sale hooker Akker? “It says he was named after a guy who used to play the clarinet, Acker Bilk. He wasn’t.“It’s funny. We’re reading this and we’re laughing. Some people have great imaginations and way too much time on their hands.”Fine line: Duhan van der Merwe scores his first Test try, against Georgia (Getty Images)Back in October, after three years in Scotland, van der Merwe made his debut for Gregor Townsend’s team with a cap and a try against Georgia. His arrival on the Test scene was keenly anticipated given the regular destruction he has caused in the Guinness Pro14 in recent years – the barnstorming runs, the tries that come in waves.Townsend had been counting the months to his qualification. First chance he got, he put the wing straight in. Van der Merwe scored, carried 11 times and ran for 101 metres. He won a second cap off the bench in the win over Wales in Llanelli, then scored again in his next Test from a brilliant out-to-in line as Scotland defeated Italy. Not a bad start to an international career. “The debut was a very special day for me,” he says. “I’m not usually nervous before a game. I’m usually the one wandering about and making jokes, but I was nervous that day and I was even more nervous when I came on as a substitute against Wales. It’s a different level. You feel it more.“And I knew that everybody back home would be watching. The SRU set me up on a family Zoom call just after the Georgia game and they were all there. They had their faces painted with the Scottish flag, they had the flag hanging up in the living room, my dad was wearing the Scotland jersey. I was so, so proud.”All of this is something of an unlikely story. As a teenager in South Africa, he was a standout, a star of Craven Week two years running, a schoolboy international, a South Africa U20 player. The Scotland wing, who is joining Worcester from Edinbirgh next season, talks Tom English through his unusual route to Test honours Nice touch: Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe scores against Italy (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS In 2014, he came off the bench in the Junior World Cup final in Auckland, an England team captained by Maro Itoje winning 21-20 against a Springbok side led by Handré Pollard. Pollard would get his revenge on Itoje in the senior World Cup final five years later, but by then van der Merwe’s life had changed.Youth centre: Duhan van der Merwe trains with South Africa U20 in 2014 (Getty Images)“I had high expectations of being a full Springbok when I was 18 and 19, but when I hit 20 things weren’t working out the way I wanted them to. I had a lot of injuries that set me back and I found myself stuck in a bit of a rut.“I needed to get away, so I went to France to play for Jake White’s Montpellier, but that didn’t work out either. There were just too many good players ahead of me. I was probably just a nice little player but not tough enough. I didn’t play much but I learnt a lot. That was 2016.”He arrived in Edinburgh in 2017 in poor shape. He’d had a hip injury that required surgery, an ailment that saw him fail his medical. Richard Cockerill gambled on him regardless.“I owe him a big debt. Edinburgh spent a lot of time on me. I just wanted to get the ball in my hands and run, and when I got my injury problems behind me then everything started to come good.“Attacking is my thing and I want to get on the ball more and more. I don’t want single-figure carries in a game, I want double figures.“If I can carry ten times or more then I think I can make a difference. I can’t have games where I touch the ball three or four times, so that’s my target. I want to carry as much as possible. Double figures, no matter who we’re playing against.”He misses the family, of course. Now more than ever. He’d like nothing more than for them to come to Scotland to see him play a Test match in the flesh, but normal life is on hold right now. For his part, he wouldn’t mind nipping back to George for a week. “The heat, man. The heat. It’s 28 or 29 degrees. Gimme seven days of that and I’ll be fine.”As a kid, all he ever wanted to do was play for the Springboks, but it’s funny how life turns out. “It seems like a long time ago when I was dreaming of that,” he says.“The last three years in Edinburgh have been the happiest of my career. I want to get better, I want to stay involved with Scotland and win as many games and caps as I can. I’m a genuinely happy man. Honoured and privileged to be doing what I’m doing. People will look at the residency thing but all I can say is that I’m giving it absolutely everything I’ve got and I’ll keep doing it.” This article originally appeared in the January 2021 edition of Rugby World magazine.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/239275/fitzroy-terrace-welsh-major-architects Clipboard Area: 183 m² Photographs Projects Save this picture!© Brett Boardman+ 16 Share ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/239275/fitzroy-terrace-welsh-major-architects Clipboard “COPY” “COPY” Fitzroy Terrace / Welsh & Major Architects Photographs: Brett Boardman Save this picture!© Brett BoardmanRecommended ProductsEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesIsland Exterior FabricatorsCurtain Wall Facade SystemsFiber Cements / CementsApavisaTiles – Nanofusion 7.0WoodBlumer LehmannFree Form Structures for Wood ProjectsWoodHESS TIMBERTimber – GLT HybridFitzroy Terrace is a Georgian terrace row, built C1845, attributed to architect James Hume. It consists of seven separate terraces and is a state heritage item. The front of the terrace row remains largely intact. The rear of the terrace row has seen varying degrees of adaptation, extension and reconfiguration. Save this picture!© Brett BoardmanWe were asked to consider one of these terraces. Perhaps the most original of the seven, the property was in a state of serious disrepair. Our brief was to provide a contemporary reconfiguration of the rear of the house, particularly the kitchen, bathroom and everyday living areas and to provide separate visitor accommodation. Save this picture!© Brett BoardmanThe original arrangement of the house consisted of the main front four rooms of the terrace, which were serviced by 2 separate buildings to the rear; a kitchen/scullery with a loft/store above and an outhouse. The kitchen/scullery had been linked to the main terrace sometime around 1890-1900, firstly by a single level laundry, then later by an upper level bridge. In the early-mid 20th Century the breezeway that existed between the two rear buildings was enclosed, leaving the rear lower room of the front part of the terrace isolated from natural light. Save this picture!© Brett BoardmanOur response was to establish a series of codes to generate the new building forms. These are set out using springing points, levels and profiles of existing forms. A butterfly roof is established to transform the main upper level roof, creating an open light filled bedroom. The new studio roof is established from the existing outhouse roof, its profile extruded across the width of the property to create separate self-contained accommodation for visitors. Save this picture!elevations 01The shell of the outhouse accommodates a new bathroom. The breezeway is re-established between the front and rear of the terrace, providing light natural light once more to the rear of the front section. A plywood template, mirroring the profile of the old laundry, is inserted into the breezeway to protect exposed brickwork and conceal services. Save this picture!© Brett BoardmanElegant, prosaic materials are used to construct the new forms; all materials used in the new building elements can be found used elsewhere in the existing house. Part of the design approach was to salvage as much of the existing building fabric as possible: bricks from the demolition were reused in new garden walls and paving; timbers, where possible were reused as cladding. Save this picture!floor plansOnce again a new code was established in the use of materials. Externally salvaged timber is left unfinished; new timber is painted. Internally, brickwork is sealed and left exposed. Ashlar render is left so the extent of the original buildings is still discernable. Where walls have been removed to provide openings, the cut brickwork is left exposed; where walls already had openings, jambs are simply lined with timber. Save this picture!© Brett BoardmanMissing sections of original details such as balustrades, windows and thresholds have been replaced with respectful, clearly different adaptations of the originals. The house is an exercise in responsive, small scale details which collectively result in a flexible house respectfully wrapped around the existing heritage fabric.Project gallerySee allShow lessKhokak Panoram Resort / FCHY Architect Lab, C2H3.chArticlesVideo: Ames Boston HotelArticles Share Fitzroy Terrace / Welsh & Major ArchitectsSave this projectSaveFitzroy Terrace / Welsh & Major Architects Houses CopyHouses, Refurbishment•Sydney, Australia Architects: Welsh & Major Architects Area Area of this architecture project CopyAbout this officeWelsh & Major ArchitectsOfficeFollowProductBrick#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesRefurbishmentSydneyRefurbishmentHousesAustraliaPublished on May 31, 2012Cite: “Fitzroy Terrace / Welsh & Major Architects” 31 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021.
A rent-controlled apartment building, Washington, DC.In March and April, over 22 million workers in the United States lost their jobs. So far, the stumbling economic recovery has brought 12 million back, but 10 million workers — 90% of them in the low-paid service sector — still do not have a job.A majority of these workers are women. Service sector job losses and remote schooling have had a major impact on Black and Latinx women; at least 824,000 Latinx women have left the labor force since February. (NYT, Nov. 3)It’s hard to get a true picture of what is happening in the job market and the overall economy because conditions and policies are changing so rapidly. It is not clear how many long-term (over 26 weeks) unemployed there are, because the labor force participation rate — the percentage of the working-age population working or actively seeking employment — is so low, even lower than it was in the 2008 Great Recession.For the week ending Nov. 14, initial claims for state unemployment were slightly above 743,000, a jump from the previous week, and there were 320,000 claims filed with the federal unemployment programs. This doesn’t indicate a real economic recovery with more jobs being created.How long an unemployed worker gets benefits, and what happens to them when benefits are exhausted, varies from state to state. The government’s priority is to keep workers from fraudulently getting state benefits, not to guarantee workers get what is their due. In some states, workers’ benefits have been held up when their claims are wrongfully flagged as fraudulent.Mass evictions on the horizonOne thing is clear. This pandemic is hitting low-income renters very hard. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reports more than half of renters who earn less than $25,000 a year lost wages between March and September. “While 15% of white renters at that income level are behind, 25% of Black and Hispanic renters are behind,” said Chris Herbert, the center’s managing director. This is another reflection of the systemic racism in U.S. society.There will be major economic fallout from this crisis. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has estimated U.S. renters will owe roughly $7.2 billion in unpaid rent by December. While evictions don’t clear up back rent, they do give landlords a glimmer of future revenue.There is a strong possibility that a tsunami of evictions will begin in January 2021. The CARES Act, the pandemic relief bill that Congress passed in March, prohibited evictions in buildings with a federally guaranteed mortgage — about half of the market for renters was covered.There was a lot of confusion about these restrictions. Landlords and tenants had trouble finding information; complex paperwork was required to prove that inability to pay was COVID-related. Some landlords resorted to “private” evictions — changing locks, taking away the front door, stopping maintenance, hiring thugs — most of which are illegal because they lead to strife and violence.The Centers for Disease Control stepped in and restricted evictions on the grounds that they would contribute to the current health emergency. Various states and even some cities passed similar restrictions.Even in states like Arizona and Arkansas, where tenant protections are scarce, court-supervised evictions fell sharply, and “private” evictions were sometimes reversed. Still, Princeton’s Eviction Lab has counted over 100,000 eviction filings during the pandemic in the 25 cities it tracks. However, these prohibitions against evictions are scheduled to sunset Dec. 31. There are predictions that as many as 4.1 million eviction cases will be filed in the first month of 2021. And the CDC’s order and the CARES Act just postponed the rent’s due date; the measures didn’t forgive rent debt.While many renters are struggling to stay afloat and avoid the catastrophes that homelessness would bring, the big bourgeoisie in this country are doing swell. Business Insider (Oct. 30) estimates that U.S. billionaires increased their wealth by half a trillion dollars in 2020, while 40 million U.S. workers applied for unemployment insurance. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
9 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena First Heatwave Expected Next Week Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Make a comment Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website Subscribe Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Business News Top of the News More Cool Stuff Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Parsons is pleased to announce that it has acquired Delcan, an international multidisciplinary engineering, planning, management, and technology firm that provides a broad range of integrated systems and infrastructure solutions to the transportation market. Delcan is a strategic addition to Parsons and signals the firmâ€™s intent to expand its geographic footprint in transportation, one of the corporationâ€™s four key market areas.â€œIn addition to increasing our presence in Canada and other key strategic geographies in the world, the acquisition of Delcan continues the progression of our corporate objectives through the expansion of our transportation and infrastructure business lines and our suite of technology offerings,â€ said Chuck Harrington, Parsons Chairman and CEO. â€œMoreover, the shared heritage of Parsons and Delcan combined with our shared values further strengthens the strategic and cultural fit of the organizations.â€Over its 60-year history, Delcan has been providing high-quality transportation solutions within the rail and transit, road and highway, structures, water, freight, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) markets, developing a reputation for exceeding customer expectations. An acknowledged leader in ITS, Delcan will further strengthen Parsonsâ€™ offerings in this area across all markets.â€œDelcan has long prided itself on working with the most talented customers and colleagues in the industry. We are passionate about delivering innovative work and believe that this acquisition will allow us to accomplish these worthy goals on an even greater scale,â€ said Jim Kerr, Delcan Chairman and CEO. â€œI look forward to working with Parsons to ensure that our customers continue to receive the best service possible.â€Harrington added, â€œWeâ€™re enthusiastic to welcome our new colleagues to the Parsons team. They are innovative and technically savvy, and this combination will enable us to achieve even greater success.â€With revenues of approximately $126 million in 2013, Delcan has 800 employees working from more than 25 locations across the globe, including the United States, the Middle East, and Hong Kong. Delcanâ€™s customers include all levels of government, regional network and transit operators, port authorities, and freight and logistics companies.With revenues of $3 billion in 2013, Parsons is one of the largest transportation planning, engineering, and construction firms in the world, having successfully delivered 10,000+ miles of roads and highways, 4,500+ bridges, and 400+ airports worldwide. The corporationâ€™s extensive portfolio of diverse transportation projects includes rail and transit, road and highway, bridge and tunnel, and aviation infrastructure. Parsonsâ€™ expertise encompasses all phases of transportation engineering operations, from the initial planning stage through final design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, and financing.Parsons, celebrating nearly 70 years of growth in the engineering, construction, technical, and professional services industries, is a leader in many diversified markets, with a focus on transportation, environmental/infrastructure, defense/security, and resources. Parsons delivers design/design-build, program/construction management, and other professional services packaged in innovative alternative delivery methods to federal, regional, and local government agencies, as well as to private industrial customers worldwide. For more about Parsons, please visit www.parsons.com. Community News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Herbeauty5 Things To Avoid If You Want To Have Whiter TeethHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty12 Female Fashion Trends That Guys Can’t StandHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Of The Most Notorious Female Spies In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyKate Beckinsale Was Shamed For Being “Too Old” To Wear A BikiniHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyTips From A Professional Stylist On How To Look Stunning In 2020HerbeautyHerbeauty Company News Briefs Parsons Acquires Delcan Acquisition Broadens Parsonsâ€™ Global Footprint in Transportation From STAFF REPORTS Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 | 10:59 am Community News
Brad James FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailEPHRAIM, Utah-After going 18-14 last season, Snow College men’s basketball also excelled academically as four standouts from last season’s squad received NJCAA Academic All-American Honors.Congratulations to our four Academic All-American! Trey Farrer 2nd team, Taylor Miller 2nd team, Jonah Roth 3rd team & Tredyn Christensen 3rd team! pic.twitter.com/PFU46JRwBv— Snow Basketball (@SnowBasketball) July 10, 2020Farrer, who has since transferred to Utah Valley University, posted 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Badgers. The 6-9 235-pound center starred at Pine View High School of St. George before coming to Ephraim.Joining Farrer on the second team, Miller, a 6-2 point guard out of Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas, averaged 7.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season as a freshman for the Badgers.Roth is a 6-9 power forward out of Sacramento, Calif. and averaged 2.5 points and 1.6 rebounds for Snow, while shooting 60 percent from the field.Christensen, a 6-7 small forward out of Saratoga Springs, Utah, averaged 9.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in his freshman season for the Badgers. July 10, 2020 /Sports News – Local Snow College Men’s Basketball Receives Four NJCAA Academic All-American Honors Written by Tags: NJCAA All-Americans/Snow College men’s basketball
Landlords who sold a buy-to-let property last year made a capital gain of £86,660 on average in the UK and had owned it for just under nine years, it has been revealed.But the capital gains made in London put these national figures to shame. Landlords selling up in London last year made a capital gain of £254,000 on average per property, says Countrywide.Its latest buy-to-let research reveals that, therefore, a landlord who invested in property within London eight years ago will have made three times more money from selling their property than those outside the capital.Eight of the top ten places where landlords have made the largest capital gains from their buy-to-let properties are in London and include Brent, Waltham Forest, theCity of Westminster, Haringey, Lambeth, Pendle, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea and SouthwarkBuy-to-let gainsIn these areas landlords who sold up last year enjoyed huge capital gains including, in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, gains of over half a million pounds on average.Also, in these areas of London 28% of landlords who sold up last year doubled their original investment.“Even in areas where price growth has lagged behind, most landlords have made a profit from rising prices,” says Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide.These figures are based on Countrywide’s own sales and lettings operations. Last year it sold 41,722 homes, down 17% on the previous year, and had 62,646 rental properties on its books.Rents have also been reducing, the company says, down from a year-on-year increase of 2.4% in February to 2.1% last month.The average rental per property for new tenancies at the moment is £1,686 a month in London and £954 outside the capital.“London continues to see the greatest falls in the stock of available homes to rent, on the back of reduced investor activity, this scarcity of supply is driving rental growth,” says Johnny.Read more: Does buy-to-let still stack up? Johnny Morris buy-to-let Countryside March 9, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Landlords enjoyed £86,600 buy-to-let bonanza last year previous nextHousing MarketLandlords enjoyed £86,600 buy-to-let bonanza last yearCountrywide reveals the huge capital gains investors made during 2017 when they sold up their properties in the UK, including a £254,00 gain in London.Nigel Lewis9th March 20180615 Views
Prince William was not only greeted by excited students and fans of the royal family at the Blavatnik School of Government. After the prince’s official opening of Magdalen’s Longwall library this Wednesday, former Oxford student and Glasgow lecturer on Russian culture Martin Dewhirst held a picket outside the School building.The protest was aimed at the University accepting Leonard Blavatnik’s donations, which helped build the School, as the origin of the Russian businessman’s fortune is controversial.Dewhirst carried a sign which read “due diligence or undue negligence?” and was accompanied by a few other protestors in the inconstant weather.On top of William’s visit, a conference on world-wide corruption held by David Cameron on the next day motivated Dewhirst to protest. “I wanted to do my bit in Oxford today to in-crease the chances that Russia will get more public attention,” he said.“Mr. Blavatnik has been accused of being corrupt, but not much of the evidence is available in English. I don’t understand why the University didn’t invite Transparency International and Global Witness to do some research on Mr. Blavatnik’s activities. I was able to express my concern on this point to quite a number of people in Oxford today – this made the trip worth while.”Talking to Cherwell after staff from the Blavatnik School of Government refused to accept his photo being taken in front of the new glass building, he said, “Maybe the attempt to control us was a sign of worry, if not fear?”Oxford graduate and founder of the Moscow alumni society Ilya Zaslavskiy, who has been protesting against donations from Blavatnik and Saïd at Oxford, held a picket in front of the Oxford North America Society Office in New York at the same time as Dewhirst was outside the Blavatnik School. Zaslavskiy had been asked to leave the premises of the Society after raising a sensitive question on April 11, and has launched a petition for the University to “review cooperation with Putin’s oligarchs”.Its description states, “We believe it is high time to demand transparency and procedural reforms at Oxford with regards to foreign donations and awards that will be benefi cial to the University in the longer term and thus will open a cleaner chapter in broader UK-Russia relations.”Mr Dewhirst is a signatory of Zaslavskiy’s petition, and told Cherwell, “I spoke several times today about the scandal at the LSE five years ago when its Director, an honourable man, felt he had to resign because he had accepted money for the School from the Libyan Gaddafi Foundation.“I was not, of course, comparing Mr. Blavatnik to any member of the Gaddafi family, but providing an example of how dangerous it can be to have any dealings with people who are regarded by some experts as morally suspect.”Commenting on Mr Dewhirst’s remarks about University due diligence processes, the University told Cherwell, “Oxford University has a thorough and robust scrutiny process in place with regard to philanthropic giving. The University is confident in this and in its outcomes.”
The hauling of 50,000 cubic yards of bay mud to Wildwood has not begun.Moving the material is one key to restarting Ocean City’s long-stalled efforts to deepen shallow and unnavigable waters on the island’s bay side.The material is part of a filled-to-capacity site in the marshes near 34th Street, where Ocean City has permission to dump dredge spoils.The city in February awarded a $2.7 million contract for a company to haul the material away to make room for new dredging.But Ocean City Business Administrator Jim Mallon said Wednesday that the city is still waiting for environmental test results before Wickberg Marine Contracting gets the final green light to move the material to Wildwood. Mallon said the results are expected any day.In the meantime, Wickberg is constructing a reinforced landing under the 34th Street Bridge, where trucks will meet a barge moving the material from the nearby spoils site. The trucks will then shuttle to Wildwood, which has agreed to accept the material to help cap a landfill.Mallon said he did not know if the contractor would complete work by July 1 — the opening of the permitting window for new dredging projects to begin.Bids are out for a contractor to dredge lagoons between Eighth and Ninth streets (Snug Harbor) and between 16th and 17th streets (Carnival Bayou). The Snug Harbor project would use a separate spoils site under the Ninth Street Bridge.On Thursday, City Council will consider a resolution that changes its contract with Wickberg.Council had authorized a $2.7 million contract for Wickberg to haul the material and agreed to pay a separate $14-per-cubic-yard tipping fee to Wildwood. But when Wickberg proposed saving the city $2 per cubic yard by hauling the material to a privately owned site, council then awarded Wickberg a bundled contract for the work and the tipping fees.Facing the prospect of losing its partner in the shared services agreement, Wildwood dropped its price to $10 per cubic yard.The resolution council will vote on Thursday restores Wickberg’s original contract amount. Ocean City will pay Wildwood separately, and save taxpayers $200,000 with the tipping fee that is $4 per cubic yard less than originally proposed. A contractor is preparing a landing under the 34th Street Bridge in Ocean City for trucks to meet barges carrying material from a nearby dredge spoils site.
Since winning a Baking Industry Award in September last year, you’d expect potential new customers to be making a beeline for Kent-based Monty’s Bakehouse, banging on the bakery’s doors. Except there is no Bakehouse as such; the firm outsources its manufacturing to a third party. Anyone setting their Sat Nav for the bakery would likely find themselves in Cornwall.And just like the mythical Mr Kipling, the eponymous Monty is a figment of a marketer’s imagination. Nevertheless, Monty’s Bakehouse does make exceedingly good Food-to-go Innovations – though thankfully it hasn’t adopted this as its tagline – having won the Baking Industry Award of the same name.Monty’s has its own, bluntly succinct strap – ’hot, posh pastries’ – a tag that surely fits well with the handful of sporting arenas already selling Monty’s packaged bake-off products to upper-crust fans: Twickenham, The Oval, and the billionaire’s playground, also known as Chelsea FC.But confident branding alone was not enough to scoop the Christian Salvesen-sponsored Food-to-go Innovations Award at September 2007’s Baking Industry Awards (BIA). Clever packaging, a quality product and CSR principles were all crucial to this pastry-maker seeing off tough competition from giants Brambles Foods and Country Choice. “We’re a small business competing in a marketplace that’s represented by very large companies,” says MD Matt Crane (above), whose CV lists stints with ad agencies and supermarket Safeway as a buyer and marketer.”Trying to get yourself heard with smaller resources is not always easy. We’re now able to turn around and say we’ve won an award for innovation, and actually have evidence that what we’ve been doing is being recognised by the industry – both in terms of product development and the quality of the product itself. From that point of view the Baking Industry Awards accolade has been extremely useful.”TWIN PROPELLERSMonty’s is the brainchild of Crane and Jacqui Davidson, who provide the marketing and product development drive. The pair met fortuitously at a party in 2003 and are both creators of the brand and the twin propellers behind the business. This aviation analogy is all the more fitting given that the young firm – which has yet to celebrate its fourth birthday – took off when it ditched its first incarnation, supplying motorway service stations, and focused instead on airlines.Crane says he wasn’t afraid to pull the plug on clients Little Chef and Road Chef. “We realised that unless we were in an environment where the uptake of the product was rapid – that is, where service was quick – we couldn’t guarantee the product’s quality. So we withdrew.”BUSINESS TAKES FLIGHTCrane and Davidson then dabbled with a kiosk concept, but the breakthrough came when they were introduced to an airline – a meeting that saved the business. “We’ve always had the belief that what we’re doing is good enough; we just had to find a place where it would work. So much of life is chance and tenacity. You’ve got to network yourself in the best way possible, and if we hadn’t been introduced to the right people at the right time, within two months the business would have been in an utterly different position.”Airlines ticked the boxes for quick service and handheld products and the business took off. “We now know where our business model will work and where it won’t work,” says Crane.The idea was carried into sporting venues, which have proven successful avenues. “Why? Because you can slip a Monty’s in your pocket and get a round of drinks. It’s thinking those little things through that have helped us.”Brand-building, done in-house with advice from branding contacts, has also sparked interest in the product. “We really try to encourage customers to get in touch with us. We hear from Air Canada passengers every week, sometimes every day. And every time they serve a Monty’s on an aeroplane it’s like a focus group! People are bored on a plane, so they’ll key a message into their Blackberry, tell us how much they enjoy the product or ask where can they buy it,” says Crane.So what’s the story behind the clever packaging, noted by the BIA judges? “We realised that if we could develop a product that didn’t require any food handling or preparation – and could be baked in-packet – we could save on costs, as well as protecting product quality for the retailer or foodservice partner,” says Crane.Rather than choose one packaging developer, different suppliers from across Europe were sourced for each element of the packaging. The board takes temperatures upwards of 250?C; the lining prevents sticking; the inks don’t bubble or degrade with heat, nor present any contaminant to the food; and the packet is vented to release moisture. The process took a year to get right.MOVE TO GREEN PACKAGINGThe next step will be to make that packaging 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. “It’s really important to us,” says Crane. “We’re selling 50,000 Monty’s a week, so how many cardboard cartons, how many trees is that? The beauty of our business is that we can make that decision and sort it out quickly.”The product itself was developed with clean labels, quirky flavour profiles and carriers with international appeal in mind. Monty’s does plenty of its own market research and develops exclusive products for different clients. In November, Davidson launched new product ranges aimed at European tastes, including Italian chicken, Spanish tortilla, and dauphinoise and beef stroganoff in a pastry or yeast-free oblong carrier. “There are so many standard flavour profiles out there – especially vegetarian products – so we try to do something different, such as a bubble and squeak filling. That’s gone down a storm,” says Davidson, who joined the business having previously owned her own catering business.RETAIL TARGETWith the product and packaging nailed, the next move for the brand could be into retail. Monty’s was approached by a major convenience store chain on the back of the Awards exposure, and retail remains a real possibility in the frozen aisles. But Crane is not getting carried away.”As a small business, we have to be quite careful now: do we focus primarily on airlines or diversify into other areas? Our challenge is to stay very close to the bits that are working and maximise out where we’re winning before we spread ourselves too thinly.”I look at the frozen food aisle and how that’s changing. Frozen food shouldn’t just be dominated by own-label. There’s room for us in there in the fullness of time – a premium product using the right ingredients with recyclable packaging, a quick snack for mums to give kids. It’s just a question of when. So long as we can build the brand carefully, we will get there.”That’s the challenge, that’s the buzz. I don’t think any of us are very good at standing still.” n—-=== What winning the award meant to their business ===Matt: “Having the industry turn around and recognise you gives you huge credibility.”It enables us to move faster down the channels that are already working well for us. Other people have contacted us purely from having read about our award in the magazine. It’s a high-profile way of pulling in leads.”Jacqui: “When I made the announcement to our existing clients that we’d won, the encouragement and support that came back was really great.”
Pantheon has added a new ’ST’ toaster to its range. It is available as a four- or six-slot model and is made entirely from stainless steel. A five-minute timer and removable crumb tray are also included and there is the option of only using half the slots during quieter periods in order to save energy. Pantheon also offers a 12-month parts and labour warranty.Cost: £99[http://www.pantheonce.co.uk]