Located on the banks of the steady-flowing River Ivel stands the historic flour mill, Jordans Mill. Purchased by the Jordans Family back in 1893 at a time when Bedfordshire was home to over 400 flour mills and a major centre of flour production within the region. In 1894 a tragic fire tore through the entire mill which presented the family with the opportunity to carry out a full rebuild, replacing old milstones with the latest milling machinery, turning Jordans Mill into one of the leading most advanced of its time, that is still standing today.
Over the 20th century Jordans Mill continued innovating, becoming part of the worldwide granola movement which started in the 1970's and created the famous Jordans Original Crunchy that fast became one of the nation's favourite breakfast cereals.
Since 1992 when William 'Bill' Jordan (VI) and his brother David Jordan took over the family owned mill, the business has grown and diversified through the introduction of new products and has since opened its doors and gardens, becoming a vistors centre and facility for corporate and private events.
COMMERCIAL KITCHEN DESIGN PROCESS
Opening to the public in April 2013 by HRH Prince Charles, Jordans Mill decided to introduce a basic food offering to the vistors centre which included lite bites, breakfasts, teas, coffees and cakes, along with buffet style hot meals which proved to be a massive success. However due to the variety of visitor types Jordans Mill needed to cater for, the food offering rapidly grew and the set-up became in-efficient and unable to keep up with demand. In 2016 both Bill and David decided it was time to review the catering side of the business.
Wanting to focus the food offering and improve the operational efficiency within the commercial kitchen through investing in the latest innovative commercial catering equipment they began their search for a company that could take control of the entire project from the initial concept design, through complete commercial kitchen design, manufacture, supply and install.
The existing food hall offered a buffet/self service style of operation which was causing queues at service and payment points. These bottle-necks would encroach into the dining area, taking up usable cover space, whilst also causing a disruption to the operation of the kitchen, which in turn affected the quality and consistency of food being produced. Because of this, management at Jordans Mill decided they wanted to implement a table serviced restaurant style operation.
The poorly laid out kitchen was making use of an inefficient and slow 6 ring electric radiant plate range and outdated combi-oven, which impacted greatly on consistency and resulted in extremely high utility bills. This, combined with a lack of work space resulted in cross overs between prep and cook areas within the kitchen which became a main concern due to the potential for cross contamination.
Catering Manager Tom wanted to review the choice of current equipment in order to improve the quality and consistency of food as well as being able to cater for large corporate and private events with ease. Not only that, but being an open kitchen, it was improtant that the kitchen would be easy to keep clean and organised, allowing kitchen staff to run a smooth operation.
COMMERCIAL CATERING EQUIPMENT
With efficiency, speed, consistency and volume in mind Target Catering Equipment design consultants were instructed to prepare a complete new kitchen layout and servery design.
During the design process the in-efficient existing equipment began to fail and it became a necessity for the main cooking range to be replaced. With the knowledge that they wanted to switch to induction technology and with the power supply available, management decided to purchase an "Off The Shelf" Standard Target Restaurant Range with fast action rise and fall salamander grill over, which would be available immediately for use, and would keep operations going until the scheduled refurbishment.
The new cookline was then designed to incorporated this unit and was transformed with the addition of a Frima 112T VarioCooking Center, a Lincat/Rational SelfCookingCenter and a Target Bespoke commercial induction range with built in FriFri fryer and refrigerated drawer. All selected and approved following site visits to see the new innovative commercial kitchen equipment technology in use.
All new cookline equipment was to be situated in a new island configuration and completed with a new service manifold, designed to support the new 5.3m extraction canopy. This extraction canopy was only part of the new extraction system which also included new fans and ducting, which had to accommodate very low ceilings and duct outlets pre-formed in the green oak framed visitor centre and reuse existing outlets with no visable external alterations to the building.
Combined with the new cookline was a separated prep area complete with Gram refrigerated counters and Robot Coupe food preperation machines, and a new utensil/potwash area complete with Granuldisk Granule SMART machine.
The bespoke service counter was designed to use natural materials that would replicated the current style of the property whilst also being functional with hot cupboard and heated gantry over.
COMPLETE KITCHEN INSTALLATION
With designs being signed off in September 2016 and a refurbishment shutdown period scheduled for January 2017, this gave the Jordans Mill project management team 3 months to source and schedule local sub-contractors who would be involved with the project.
A complete set of installation drawings including M&E service drawings, bills of quantities and detailed specifications were prepared specifically for the project to be put out to tender to local subcontractors who would work alongside the Target Catering Equipment kitchen installation team in order to keep project labour costs to a minimum.
As scheduled in January 2017 works began which involved rip out of old equipment, counters and services, the installation of new commercial catering equipment, new Altro vinyll floors and PVC wall cladding, a new electrical distribution system, a complete new ventilation system including 5.3m long extraction canopy and service manifold, along with building work necessary to improve the flow of the kitchen.
With the help of the careful planning provided by the project management team, the complete commercial kitchen installation carried out by Target Catering Equipment ran like clockwork and was completed on schedule by the end of January 2017 ready for the new season.
This refurbished facility now showcases the very latest kitchen technology as chosen by Owners David and Bill Jordan, who still remain very hands on when it comes to keeping the mill at the top of the league and a destination of choice for discerning visitors in Bedfordshire.