Oven brands for small business in France

Joined Jul 29, 2014
We are the process of starting a small baking business in France and are at the point of buying an oven. We won't be making a lot of French style products, but more 'Anglo' style products and things from other countries. Things like:

-biscuits (cookies), plain and filled

-cake as in loaf cakes, banana cake, carrot cake, fruit etc

-sponge style cakes, like Australian sponge cakes

-Pavlovas (original Aussie/NZ style, not layered meringues)

-some tarts

We want to buy a small, second hand patisserie oven and are looking for any advice on brands in Europe. A small convection/vent oven -- 4 levels. I have used large Salva and Eurofour ovens at work and they seemed ok, but it's a whole different thing to buy one!

I've had recommendations for Polin and Blogett and have been told there can be issues with Salva fans -- any one know anything about this?

Also there are some 'cheaper' brands that I have no idea what they're like. It's possible to buy one new for around €1000 which rings alarm bells, but maybe I'm wrong. For example, the brands on this site -- I've never heard of them before: http://bit.ly/2bPyrF7   Does anyone have experience with EKA, Bongard and UNOX ?

Basically advice on what's a decent brand and what to keep clear of would be good!

Also, every time we settle on a convection/vent oven I read things that say it would be better to get a deck oven. Any advice on if a deck oven would be suitable for pavlovas would be interesting. I've used decks before, but not for that type of thing -- how would they be with cake products? The problem is that they're significantly more expensive here than a vent oven, so I want to make sure that they're ok for all round baking before I invest in one. I worked in a patisserie where 90% of their products were cooked in a vent oven and everything was fine. They only sent off a particular tart and choux to be cooked in the deck ovens.

Any relevant advice or experience would be helpful. Thank you!
Joined Oct 11, 2014
Hello my friend!! It has been a while. Glad to hear you are starting to branch out on your own!

The one that I would recommend for what you are wanting to bake off is the Bongard. Great company, solid reputation and equipment. Second to that would be UNOX. Customer service issues and potential equipment malfunctions plague this company but they are still a fairly reputable business with good machines. 

Blodgett is awesome however for the pretty penny you would have to pay for it up front is the reason I did not recommend it straight away. Once your business is flourishing and doing well you can then think about what machines you wish to upgrade to if needed. 

For the types of product you are wanting to bake off, I think that a deck oven would be far too expensive and would not be the way to go. If you were wanting to add more bread items to your menu then by all means, get a deck oven. For now however, I don't believe you should go to that expense and trouble. Stick with what you know and with what fits within your pocketbook allowance. Start small, go big.

Hope that helps /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
Joined Jul 29, 2014
@Fablesable ! You're the best! Thank you for your wonderful reply -- once again /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif Exactly what I needed to hear! I totally agree with you about the prices for the top brands--it's not worth it at the moment. I was hoping to get a small, good brand for around €1000, but minimum I've seen them at is €1500 and yesterday we visited two second hand dealers to price items, and they cheapest they had was €2500! They had other ones: a brand called Electro Broche which I think is actually 'snack' equipment and Smeg...even though it's a 60x40, it also seems like a 'snack' oven to me -- you know where they just use it to heat up frozen croissants etc ? Plus they only give three to six months guarantee...

I'm glad to hear what you said about the Bongard and UNOX -- I'll look into them some more now. I've been looking at a new UNOX 'Linemiss' which I think I could get for around €1000 -- it seems good on paper, but wasn't sure about quality. I really don't want to worry about things not baking properly!

Thanks for the advice on the deck oven, too. I agree, but I read so many things about chefs being against vent ovens for biscuits etc and I start to worry, but honestly, I've never had a problem. And with a small vent oven, I won't waste too much energy opening the door to turn things around cos it'll only be four trays, so I don't think it's a problem, either.

So slowly we're getting there! This is France and I'm getting used to doing everything  s l o w l y !   We're renovating a house and a patisserie kitchen at the same time, but we'll get there in the end :D Thanks again for your advice and you're right -- start small, go big :D
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