Let’s face it: accountability should be a given when it comes to businesses, but this quality appears to be so few and far between that it becomes a big deal when a brand actually exhibits it.
Bread and pastry lovers online praised Wildbreads, a home bakery based in Los Baños, Laguna, after it owned up to a “bad” batch of croissants they served customers over the past week — in this case, they were completely safe and edible, but were not up to par with their usual quality.
“We occasionally get ‘bad’ dough batches in production work. Bad as in the rise isn’t very good, the color isn’t what we wanted – but definitely still excellent to eat. As a small bakery we have come to terms with the fact that we won’t always get it perfectly,” Wildbreads wrote online.
Yet last week, the bakery noticed that “100 percent of our croissants were not great” — the first time it has happened since the business started operating in 2018.
“The whole weekend we were trying to figure out what went wrong. The process that we’ve had for months didn’t change but we’ve notice that the dough was proofing so much faster than usual,” the brand said.
While Wildbreads has a non-air-conditioned bakery, the weather has been cool enough that the dough should not be proofing at a faster pace, the brand said.
It wasn’t until the owners realized that the batch of croissants they prepared for the week lacked salt — an important ingredient in slowing down its proofing process.
“We didn’t find out until the end of Sunday when Nicole ate one of the croissants and immediately told me that, ‘Hey, this doesn’t have any salt.’ And suddenly everything made sense. We were not able to put salt in – right at the very beginning when we were mixing the bread dough. Because of this, everything else that we did right was not enough to make the end product up to standard. The thing about salt is that it puts a cap on fermentation speed and on top of that, make croissants – and any other food for that matter – taste good,” Wildbreads explained.
“We had to take a couple of days to process what went wrong, discuss with the team how we can avoid things like this from ever happening again, and try and be better at quality assurance. We are responsible to the community that buys from us and supports us and so we felt compelled to be transparent and share exactly what happened.”
The brand offered customers who bought croissants from them the week before to drop by the store again to receive a free croissant in exchange for feedback about their experience.
“We are grateful to be able to go back into the bakery this week and try again, but in the spirit of accountability, we do want to try and make it up to you. If you purchased a croissant from us this past weekend Jan 20-22 and you were not happy with your purchase, please drop by the store this Jan 27-29. Please tell our staff about your experience and get a FREE plain butter or chocolate croissant from us,” the brand wrote.
Wildbreads’ transparency did not go unnoticed online, especially in contrast to another restaurant in Makati that went viral after people reported multiple incidents of potential food poisoning from their oysters.
“Things like this happen even to seasoned bakers. But some do not handle the situation like you did Wildbreads! Kudos to you and your team. Your strict compliance [with] your standards is beyond par,” one customer wrote.
“That is accountability! Good for you, you have gained more customers by being transparent! Great business practice,” another praised.
“The right way to apologize, unlike that oyster bar in [Makati],” a customer pointed out.
Let’s hope other businesses follow their example.
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