Ken Downey, past president of the Retail Bakers of America, has opened his own bakery consulting business, KGDSR, LLC. After spending 30-plus years in the baking industry and doing everything from sales, to owning a retail bakery, to working as the bakery director for a high-end supermarket in the Northeast, Downey has decided to go on his own.

“The purpose of my business is two-fold,” he announced. “First is to work with supermarket instore bakeries to help them reduce shrink, increase market share and maximize their gross profit potential. And the second is to work with retail bakeries and teach them how to navigate the process to be able to sell to supermarket instore bakeries.”

Instore bakeries:

Increasing sales by developing tactical and strategic plans.

Using technology to help develop business objectives.

Championing the consumer and putting your company in the forefront of consumer trends.   

Determining & implementing new methods of lower costs of goods across total supply chain.

Determining optimal SKU mix and optimizing shelf and case space.

Increasing your percent of store business (cut out) by merchandising techniques, creative displays and identifying signature items.

Determining and generating incremental profits from new trade and consumer events.

Developing and executing "Private label" and "Local" programs.

Setting standards for suppliers.  Reviewing and recommending product source.  Achieving utmost financial benefit by overseeing negotiations and reviewing of product and non-product agreements.

Analyzing and evaluating quantitative and qualitative data to assess competitive trends and recommending proactive initiatives.

Lowering total bakery shrink by setting standards and implementing a "Stales Management Program.”

Developing and executing department-wide system disciplines and computer driven information as a foundation for merchandising analysis.

Creating a work environment in which individuals are motivated, are provided proper direction, are given the opportunity to succeed and are regularly provided constructive assessment on performance.

Retail bakeries:
“Over the past 15-plus years as a bakery director I have done business with many retail bakeries, and they have been a major focus of my business plan for the past 10 years. I would say that between 30-40% of my total bakery sales came from products that I purchased from retail bakeries!


“However, the problem remains that many retail bakeries want to do business with supermarket instore bakeries but they just don't know how to do it.  Every month I would get phone calls from retail bakeries that wanted to show me samples of their products. I can't tell you how many times I gave appointments to people who showed me the best cheesecakes, Italian cookies, coffee cake, and when I got excited about it, they had no idea how to make the process work. I can tell you from experience that with the workload of any bakery director, they are not going to stop what they are doing and hand-hold a retail bakery through the process of packaging, labeling, inspections, ingredients & nutritional statements, distribution, promotions, etc.”

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