Video: “We are not the Starbucks of cupcakes”

first_imgThe Hummingbird Bakery has revealed exclusively to British Baker that it will open up at least one new shop in London this year and plans to expand into selling its own non-food merchandising.British Baker spoke with Tarek Malouf, managing director of the bakery business based in the capital, at a special event yesterday (6 March) at its Spitalfields store. The event saw the official launch of The Hummingbird Bakery’s third recipe book, Home Sweet Home, which focuses on a mix of American-style recipes coming straight from the company’s five retail outlets.Malouf told British Baker: “Sales of the new book have done really well so far: last week it was number one in the non-fiction hardback list. Home baking is the overarching theme of the past couple of years, or maybe even longer, but the thirst for cupcakes is rising and they are still increasingly appealing to consumers.”He added that sales growth has been encouraging for the year, as the company saw its turnover increase from £2.45m in 2010/11, to £5.1m in 2011/12. In a bid to continue the growth in turnover, Malouf explained the company will look to open up one shop in London in the next 12 months.He said: “We will definitely open up one new shop this year, but probably no more than one. I’m not a fan of opening multiple shops at the same time – we are not the Starbucks of cupcakes, so we cannot do that. Not only that, the product quality would deteriorate if we expanded too rapidly, and that’s something I am really careful to protect.”He added that merchandising would be another route in which to help the future financial performance of the company: “We are exploring other income streams, such as some non-food merchandising to see if it will be viable and if there is a market for that.”Malouf revealed that the company caters for a number of different markets, including weddings and corporate customers: “We have been doing wedding cake consultations for about four or five years, but it is only in the past year that we have actively had a special department for it with consultants and a manager leading that, as well as a target for sales. It’s growing in popularity.“With our corporate business, we have a team who focus on it so that we don’t take our eye off the ball from our everyday retail sales. But there is definitely room for growth, it’s not a high percentage of our business, but it is something to still take note of.”The firm has recently invested around £200,000 in updating its first store, located in Notting Hill, which features the company’s new store design. This include the restructuring of its counters for improved flow of customer traffic and disabled access, as well as updates to the kitchen area with additional dry and chilled storage capacity to enable the branch to better cope with increasing demand.Going globalLast year, The Hummingbird Bakery ventured into the Middle East, which is the firm’s first international store and is based in The Dubai Mall.Malouf explained: “Moving into Dubai last year was an important move, because we love working with our franchisee and we have a good following in the Gulf where the first store opened in Dubai, so our name has been known there. More importantly, we had to prepare a huge amount of procedures and manuals, and everything had to be written in stone, and that was good for us and our UK operation, because for the first time we had to put everything down on paper.”He added that the company plans to open further branches in Dubai, as part of a franchise agreement with Daud Arabian, anticipating that Hummingbird Bakery outlets could open in such locations as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Lebanon over the next 10 years.Cake on wheelsLast year saw Hummingbird Bakery introduce its first mobile bakery unit, which made an appearance at a number of UK events in 2012. This included the Lovebox Festival in London’s Victoria Park, as well as the Isle of Wight Festival, Latitude Festival, V Festival and Bestival.The firm said it is currently in the process of filling up a schedule for its mobile unit for the year, and is expecting to debut the bakery on wheels at a number of music festivals, sports events and a variety of other large-scale outdoor gatherings in 2013.Malouf said the mobile unit must be a highlight for the year ahead: “I think we attended around six or seven events last summer, but we have to double or triple that throughout this whole year between May and December. It has to make its money.”last_img read more

Read More..

Stephen Hawking who shined a light on black holes dies at age

first_img By Adrian ChoMar. 14, 2018 , 11:55 AM Stephen Hawking, who shined a light on black holes, dies at age 76 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Stephen Hawking, the prodigious British theoretical cosmologist who became an international celebrity, died at his home in Cambridge, U.K., early today, at the age of 76. Hawking, who spent his entire career at the University of Cambridge, suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative nerve disease with which he was diagnosed in his 20s. The disease confined Hawking to a wheelchair for most of his adult life and eventually rendered him capable of speaking only through a computer-controlled voice synthesizer. Nevertheless, Hawking made seminal contributions to astrophysics, particularly in the study of black holes, veritable holes in the fabric of the universe.“Stephen was far from being the archetype unworldly or nerdish scientist—his personality remained amazingly unwarped by his frustrations and handicaps,” Martin Rees, a cosmologist at the University of Cambridge, and the United Kingdom’s astronomer royal, said in a statement. “He had robust common sense, and was ready to express forceful political opinions.”Scientifically, Hawking’s name will forever be tied to black holes, the ultraintense gravitational fields left behind when massive stars collapse under their own gravity into infinitesimal points. Within a certain distance of the point, which defines the black hole’s event horizon, gravity grows so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. That fact suggested that the bizarre objects would be completely black. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Stephen Hawking, perhaps the most famous scientist since Albert Einstein, was an inspiration to people around the world. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Tom Pilston /eyevine/Redux However, in 1974 Hawking argued that black holes would radiate energy after all. Physicists had come to understand that, thanks to quantum uncertainty, the vacuum of empty space constantly roils with particle-antiparticle pairs flitting in and out of existence too quickly to be directly detected. Hawking realized that if such a pair popped into existence on the event horizon of a black hole, one particle might fall in past the event horizon while the other escaped to distant space. Thus, quantum mechanics would allow the black hole to slowly radiate energy back into space, and even, eventually, to evaporate. The presumed flux of particles from a black hole is known as Hawking radiation.Starting from that point, Hawking argued that black holes must have a temperature. He and Jacob Bekenstein, an Israeli-American theoretical physicist who died in 2015, then concluded that the objects possess an entropy proportional to their surface areas. The advance laid the groundwork for the entire formalism of black hole thermodynamics. It has led to, among other things, the conjecture that our entire universe is in some respects like a hologram. Hawking radiation has never been observed, however, as it is expected to be far too weak to be spotted with any conceivable technology. Perhaps for that reason, Hawking was never honored with science’s most prestigious award, the Nobel Prize. He racked up numerous other awards however, including the Royal Society’s Copley Medal in 2006 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.Hawking was also known for making scientific wagers. Perhaps most famously he bet John Preskill, a theorist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, that information that falls into a black hole would be lost from the universe forever, an idea that is inimical to quantum mechanics, which assumes information is never truly destroyed. Hawking saw no way for the information in, say, a computer chucked into a black hole to emerge unscrambled in the randomness Hawking radiation. Preskill and others argued that some as-yet-unknown principle would preserve the information. Hawking conceded the bet in 2004, presenting Preskill with an encyclopedia of baseball facts and statistics—a permanent record of arcane information. The issue remains controversial, however.Hawking also became a celebrity, especially after the publication in 1988 of his first of seven popular books, A Brief History of Time. Inspiring people both through his deep insights into the most mysterious corners of the cosmos and his ability to succeed in spite of a disease that had been expected to take his life at an early age, Hawking became an inspiration to people the world over, appearing in several TV shows. Twice married and divorced, Hawking was father to three children—two sons and a daughter—by his first wife, Jane Hawking.At his 75th birthday party in Cambridge last year, Hawking urged people to “look up at the stars and not down at your feet” and to explore the wonders of the world around them. “Be curious,” he said, according to a University of Cambridge statement, “and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”last_img read more

Read More..