Outrage over $6 croissant becomes a lesson in the dangers of ‘cheap food’.
When a customer went to social media to leave a less than impressed review of a croissant with the popular Flour and Stone bakery in Sydney, we could not have anticipated the anger that would follow.
Shared by owner of the bakery, Nadine Ingram, on social media on Sunday 10 February, the assessment went as follows;
“Not the best croissant I have eaten, they are too buttery, $ 6 the croissant is a joke.”
There are a few things that we talk about when an assessment is so personal subjective.
Service with an apathetic attitude? Well, say that. Cold food? Yes, we can see that. But a ‘too buttery’ croissant? Is that just a bit too subjective?
But the real problem here was the price, and more importantly, the price of good food, made with high quality ingredients, by an institution that cares about the working conditions of people in hospitality and food.
And this time, baker Queen Nadine not only wanted to share why the cost of her exceptional croissants is what it is, but why that is important. And this is what she had to say;
“Thank you for your feedback, it is true that $ 6 is a lot for a croissant and you’re not the only one who raises an eyebrow or two against the price increase, so I’ll treat all the concerns here and now.” The $ 6 croissant pays for;
We recently implemented a price increase to make a wage increase across the board for my entire team. Maybe you have not heard it? My ‘why’ is to train the bakers of the future, so that I can get an overly buttery croissant during my retirement. Call it selfish, but my goal goes beyond that. “
Nadine notes that she is making time to train her staff with specialized teachers, she learns other related arts that improve the understanding and skill in the industry they are in, they use the very best butter, milk and other ingredients – also made by craftsmen – and they refuse to use machines where hands (and people to be paid) can do better.
“Finally, you knew that there are manufacturers who are creatively involved in avoiding wage tax (a privilege that I have this year for the first time) by investing in machines and reducing their workforce.” I will not do this! this is a sustainable way to help Australia move forward. “
Reading the whole reaction is advisable because the reasons why the cost of good quality food has never been so clear and transparent are recommended.
And social media simply did not have the attack on these beautiful and very popular baked goods.
Comments varied from;
“100%! Flour and stone have the best pastries, cakes and pies!” to “Momo with a bad day?” and “$ 6 for a flaky, buttery croissant ?! That’s damn!”
Food presenter and writer Melissa Leong (Fooderati) weighed in on the debate with a poll on the cost of the $ 6 croissant, and the results were very much in favor of the flour and stone baked goods.
But Nadine was not looking to cause a huge outrage.
“I had no idea that it would soothe people,” she tells 9Honey Kitchen. “I went to a hospitality symposium for Christmas and listened to many people in the industry who are in daily distress, people who try to keep prices low but maintain their integrity, and I made this superficial statement that a revolution should be way people produce food, to change. “
For Nadine it is all about educating consumers that when food is cheap, there is still a price that is paid somewhere; by workers, farmers or the country. Because cheap food is never really ‘cheap’.
At 9Honey Kitchen we know that the concept of cheap food is problematic. Everyone deserves to eat, not everyone can afford the most expensive product, but every producer has the right to work on changing the idea that food is a cheap and disposable item.
Not all croissants are the same and Nadine works very hard to find the balance between quality of the products, working conditions for staff, training, technology and a realistic price for her famous products. It is indeed a difficult balancing act, and one that Nadine has seen a lot as hospitality professionals struggle with, many lose the fight in huge and devastating ways. It is a known problem for the industry.
“As for the croissant that contains too much butter, my apologies, x Nadine”
We for our part say that a buttery croissant is a better one (subjective, we know it) and is certainly worthy of a price that reflects the work and products that go with it.
So apologies are not accepted.