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Taste the World with Bakers Maison

I looove traveling. I have always been a person who's just ready to jump into an adventure, especially to far off places full of history and mystery, each with their own story to tell. It’s just amazing how the world contains so much diversity and culture. But do you know? One of the best ways to get to know new places is to taste their food. To me, that's also one of the best parts of the journey. So whenever I travel, the first thing I look for is the best places to eat, especially cafes, bistros and bakeries as I'm a sucker for breads and pastries!

When I heard the news of a bakery-café opening in the Philippines that offers breads and pastries from all over the world, I was super thrilled! Not to mention super thankful when I was invited to its grand opening last Feb. 14 at SM North EDSA! I was one of the few people who got to taste the world first, and wow, what a delicious experience!

This new ‘premium neighborhood bakeshop,’ called Bakers Maison, is an authentic Aussie bakery-cafe franchised by Gardenia Bakeries Philippines. It offers world-class quality pastries and breads inspired by a fusion of flavors from around the world. First established in New South Wales, Bakers Maison has been serving Australia’s foodservice sector with authentic French-style breads and pastries since 1998.

Danish pastries, French baguettes, Austrian croissant and Italian focaccia are just some of the many choices you can find here. You can have them for take home or dine in while sipping a cup of Bakers Maison's signature coffee blends.

Aside from its innovative selection from across the globe, Bakers Maison also offers something new to the table with its very interesting mobile app, featuring an augmented reality feature that’s just mind-blowing. This interactive app gives an overview of Bakers Maison products, its latest promos, and even has a feedback section to ensure it’s giving its customers nothing but the best service. My favorite though is the augmented reality feature which, when used in-store, creates a digital overlay on top of the real world. I had fun using this app and will go back to Bakers Maison soon to play around with it again!

Gardenia Bakeries Philippines President and General Manager Simplicio P. Umali officially opened the store with a ribbon cutting ceremony joined by the very lovely Tessa Prieto-Valdes. Now it’s ready to serve our adventurous and hungry palates with their mouth-watering breads and pastries.

What's more good news is that Bakers Maison is also planning to open up more stores nationwide! Now, every Filipino will be able to experience a taste of the world.

Thank you Bakers Maison and Gardenia Bakeries Philippines for giving us a wonderful chance to taste the world!

Now this is what I call a world-class breakfast! I literally enjoyed stuffing my face with all these tasty pastries. Ha ha!


Good morning from these energetic young servers from Bakers Maison


Don't you just love the bakeshop's interior design? Wait till you're actually there to smell all those delicious bread and pastries!


Which one is your favorite? I honestly can't pick  'cause I love them all!



Makes me hungry just looking at all these delicious breads!


Say hello to the Bakers Maison PH team!





Gardenia Bakeries Philippines President & General Manager Simplicio P. Umali, Jr.


Guest Master Baker Nigel Sanders


Beautiful and witty host Cerah Hernandez


The bread couple: Husband and wife Carlo and Digzy Umali


Bread power family:  Mr. Simplicio Umali with son Carlo and his wife Digzy and daughter Kate


Me and lifestyle experts Anton Barretto and Roselle Miranda


Lifestyle and fitness enthusiast Janina Manipol and It Boy LA Aguinaldo


I bet these two bread lovers learned a few baking tips from this jolly master baker


The ever-gorgeous Tessa Prieto-Valdes taking a photo with bread power family, the Umali's!


My lovely ladies Angelette Calero and Donna Cuna-Pita really look like bakers with those cute Bakers Maison aprons, don't you think?


That moment when a new specialty bakeshop with the flavors of the world finally opens in Manila. And soon, all over the country!



Everyone was just all smiles that day. We're all sooo happy to finally be able to get a taste of the world here at Bakers Maison!

Bakers Maison hits Philippines

An Australian bread-and-pastry chain is introducing its artisanal products to The Philippines, with a bold plan for at least 100 outlets.

Bakers Maison, which makes French-style breads and pastries, is under the wing of Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, reports BusinessWorld Online.

“We envision for Bakers Maison to have a minimum of 100 strategically located stores in the next few years,” says Gardenia Philippines president/GM Simplicio Umali.

The first Bakers Maison has opened at SM North Edsa in Quezon City, offering freshly baked products “inspired by traditional and authentic French recipes and a fusion of flavours from all over the world”.

Bakers Maison is part of the QAF group from Singapore, the parent company of Gardenia Philippines, and was established in New South Wales in 1998.

All breads are partially baked in a clean and controlled environment and delivered frozen to the store for final oven baking, says Umali.

“This process, otherwise known as the ‘par-baked’ method, guarantees consistent quality and freshness.”

A central commissary production unit in Binan, Laguna, uses fast-freezing technology to lock in the freshness in the bread until final baking.

Gardenia Philippines last month opened a sixth plant capable of producing 150,000 loaves a day to serve bread demand in Luzon. The P1-billion ($21,000) plant is in line with the company’s effort to intensify distribution to retail partners from Cagayan Valley to Sorsogon.

Gardenia Expands Business; Now Ventures to Artisanal and Community Bakeries

Gardenia Bakeries, the leading brand in the bread packaged category, now enters the unpackaged segment, both artisanal specialty bakeries and community neighbourhood bakeries thru its Big Smile Bread Station and Bakers Maison stores, respectively.

Gardenia officially launched its first-ever Big Smile Station and Bakers Maison stores last Sept 10, 2015 at InterContinental Hotel in Makati City .

Better quality, service at Big Smile Bread Station

Big Smile Bread Station is Gardenia’s first version of neighbourhood bakery chain. It offers classic Filipino bread favourites like pandesal, ensaymada, pan de coco, kababayan, spanish bread and the like.

All products are baked daily in a sanitized and pest-free central production facility utilizing Gardenia’s advanced technology and baking expertise. With this, consumers will be assured of better and consistent quality breads at affordable prices.

The innovation Gardenia crafted thru Big Smile Bread Station will also help uplift the image of community bakeries – from its delightful and clean store ambience, wide array of good quality and innovative bakery products sold at reasonable prices, to its happy and friendly service.

Big Smile has opened three bread stations located in Pasig, Muntinlupa and Cabuyao.

Fusion of flavours from all over the world at Bakers Maison

Gardenia will also enter the artisanal specialty segment with the entry of Bakers Maison.

Bakers Maison is a specialist manufacturer of authentic French-style breads and pastries based in Australia operated under QAF Ltd., the same owner of Gardenia Philippines.

Bakers Maison will open its first store in one of the largest malls in the world on November.

Gardenia’s delightful goodness is definitely reaching more markets now with Big Smile Bread Station and Bakers Maison stores. The bread giant holds true to its commitment of serving quality breads to valued Filipino consumers.


Gardenia sets up bakery chains

Gardenia Bakeries Philippines Inc. is venturing into the bakery chain business as it anticipates higher bread consumption due to rising incomes and the need for convenience.

Simplicio Umali Jr., president of Gardenia, said in a press conference the company eyes to set up initially 1,000 Big Smile Bread Station community bakeries in Luzon and another 500 in Visayas and Mindanao.

It will also put up 100 stores of Bakers Maison, a chain of bakeshops of artisanal breads and pastries, in Metro Manila and another 100 outside the region over the medium term.

Umali said in five years Gardenia eyes to deliver P2 billion in sales for Big Smile and another P2 billion to P3 billion for Bakers Maison.

This is the first time Gardenia is entering the unpackaged bread market which is now valued at P10.2 billion.

Gardenia currently holds 50 percent market share of the P8-billion packaged bread market or those sold in supermarket, groceries and convenience stores.

Umali said this market is expected to grow 5 to 7 percent annually.

Umali sees a faster growth rate of 14 to 18 percent in the artisanal or specialty bread market which is now valued at P3.5 billion as it is no longer limited to the high-end market but is also penetrating the middle-income market.

Umali said the community bakery segment is growing at a slow pace of single digit even as it has the widest base and is now P6.7 billion in value.

Gardenia has initially tapped two companies, Bread Republic and Bakers Boutique, as franchisees which would open 25 Big Smile Bread Station branches and two to five Bakers Maison stores, respectively.

Umali said Gardenia will open the two concepts to more franchisees by 2016 to rapidly expand footprint.

To support the operations, Gardenia is investing P300 million for commissary and logistics. Bread will be baked in a central commissary and delivered daily to the stores.

Each Big Smile will require at least P1.2 million in investments including the P224,000 franchise fee for the five-year contract.

For Bakers Maison, the investment ranges from P7 million to P9 million depending on the format and location.

Malaya Business Insight -

Gardenia goes into community bakeries

MANILA, Philippines - Gardenia Bakeries Philippines Inc. is venturing into the unpackaged segment of the bread industry as it makes its foray into artisanal and community bakeries.

Gardenia president Simplicio Umali Jr. said the company is investing P300 million to support the new venture which is seen to widen its market reach and also contribute to the growing Philippine bread industry.

Big Smile Bread Station will be Gardenia’s answer to the thousands of community bakeries across the country while Bakers Maison will serve as counterparts for burgeoning medium to high-end bakery chains.

“With the entry of Big Smile and Bakers Maison stores, consumers will now have more and better choices for their classic bread favorites and artisanal breads,” Umali said.

Bienvenido Topacio, Gardenia business development manager, said the company is eyeing to open at least 1,000 stores in Luzon and 500 more outlets in Visayas over the next few years.

At present, Topacio said Big Smile has opened three branches in Pasig, Muntinlupa, and Cabuyao.

As a neighborhood bakery chain, he said Big Smile would offer classic Filipino bread favorites such as pandesal, pan de coco, and kababayan.

Bakers Maison, meanwhile, will offer French-style breads and pastries targeting the more well-off segment of the market.

Gardenia business development manager James Cariaga said the company is initially eyeing to open 100 Bakers Maison stores in Metro Manila within the coming years.

After that, Carriaga said the firm would explore expansion opportunities in Visayas and Mindanao where it intends to add another 100 outlets.

Carriaga said Bakers Maison would open its first store in SM North by November while another branch is also being planned for opening in a separate location before the year ends.

“As we open 1,500 bread stations nationwide and 100 Baker Maison stores, we are also generating thousands of job opportunities for all,” Umali said.

Umali said Gardenia would serve only as the master franchisor for both brands and it will not be investing for the store expansion.

He said the P300 million investment for the venture would be used for logistics purposes and to build a commissary catering specifically to the new set of products it will offer.

According to Umali, the packaged bread segment of the local market in which Gardenia has been a strong market leader for years is valued at P8 billion at present. This category is composed of individually packed, branded breads sold at supermarkets and groceries.

Meanwhile, the unpackaged segment which includes artisanal breads and pastries sold in specialty bakeries has a market value reaching P10.2 billion.

“During the past years, we saw how the bread industry grew and how Filipinos’ baked goods consumption evolved. The improvement in the current value growth of unpackaged bread segment was fuelled by the proliferation and rapid expansion of artisanal bakery chains and community bakeries,” he said.

Gardenia enters unpackaged bread market with P300-million investment

GARDENIA Bakeries Philippines Inc. has entered the unpackaged bread market, via two fast-casual bread stores, with an initial investment of P300 million for back-end production and logistical support.

“For Gardenia, the biggest investment is in the commissary, which is about P200 million, and another P100 million that will include the logistics to support the stores,” GBPI President Simplicio Umali Jr. told reporters in a press conference.

Gardenia has launched the Big Smile Bread Station brand to cater to the community-baker segment and the Bakers Maison for the higher end, artisanal segment.

Already the market leader in the packaged bread market, Gardenia is aiming for a P2-billion sales target for Bread Station and at least P3 billion for Bakers Maison, both for the next five years.

”This artisanal bread market is expected to grow very rapidly, because of the efforts of new stores being opened by foreign brands, mostly entrants from franchisees abroad, and they will increase market penetration,” Umali noted.

Gardenia has franchised the Big Smile Bread Station and Bakers Maison brands to two initial franchisees—Bread Republic Inc. and Bakery Boutique, respectively—so that Gardenia will initially run the first few stores of both brands but will be owned and managed by their partner-companies.

“They’ve acquired the rights to the initial franchise for our stores. None of the stores will be owned by Gardenia,” Umali clarified.

Bread Republic and Bakers Boutique will invest on the construction of the actual stores, themselves.

For this year, 14 Big Smile Bread stations are expected to be put up, while two to five stores will be set up for Bakers Maison.

In five years, Big Smile is envisioned to have 1,000 stores in Luzon, and another 100 in Visayas-Mindanao.

For Bakers Maison, 100 stores are seen for Metro Manila, and another 100 for Visayas-Mindanao in five years.

To prop up this expansion, Gardenia will open Big Smile and Bakers Maison for subfranchising in 2016.

The Big Smile Bread Station will have an investment cost of P1.2 million, with the franchise fee pegged at P224,000 with a renewable franchise term of five years.

The high-end Bakers Maison has various formats—with an investment cost of P7 million to P9 million for the mall-based store and P13 million to P15 million for the legacy store.

Gardenia estimates the unpackaged bread market at P10.2 billion, with the high-end segment valued at P3.5 billion, while the community-baker segment is at P6.7 billion.

Business Mirror -

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