Hometown bakeries in the greater southern U.S. are being visited this month by the Heritage Bakery Road Tour – created by the Retail Bakers of America (RBA) – in an effort to raise awareness of the retail bakery to local consumers and to trace the advancement of bakeries.
Thomas Reinwald, son of RBA President, Richard Reinwald, CMB, was recently hired as RBA’s Internet Marketing Intern to support awareness of the industry and RBA through online social media, including Twitter and Facebook. Seeing the challenges faced by retail bakeries today, Thomas and his older brother, Gregory, were interested in investigating how the baking business has changed through the years, and “tweeting” their findings along the way.
“As part of the fourth generation in the baking industry, we understand where bakers are coming from, and want to inspire them to tell us their story,” says Thomas. “We want them to get involved in the Tour, and feel that they are a chapter in our research, not just a stop.”
In the last year, retail bakeries have been affected by the sour economy, explosive ingredient prices, the opening of new specialty shops, the convenience of supermarket bakeries, as well as generational bakeries seeing an end in sight to the “family owned and operated” business as younger generations seek new occupations.
“RBA is the fabric of the community,” says RBA President, Richard Reinwald, CMB. “Retail bakeries are part of their local history, something that corporate retailers can’t replace.”
Photos will be collected and stories shared over Twitter during the course of the two-week tour, which began Tuesday, June 16. All retail bakeries are encouraged to share their stories as well. Photo and story submission may be made to firstname.lastname@example.org. Details of the tour, photos and bakery tour stops, are listed at the Road Tour’s website, www.rbanet.com/2009RoadTour. Follow the Heritage Bakery Road Tour on Twitter @RetailBakers.
Retail Bakers of America (RBA)—a 501(c)6 not-for-profit trade association located in McLean, VA, caters to retail bakeries, allied suppliers, educators, students and other industry partners, and is committed to the success of the retail baking industry. Founded in 1918, RBA works as the bakers’ business partner and resource provider, and is the nation’s premier source of industry information. RBA hosts the American Retail Bakery Exposition (ARBE) October 18-20, 2009 in Charlotte, NC. More information is available at www.rbanet.com or www.rbanet.com/ARBE2009.