With the help and support of hundreds of our friends, family and customers, we won the Get Back To Scratch Signature Item Contest!
A.k.a. "The Mixer Contest," "The Voting Marathon," or simply "The Contest."
The prize? A brand new 80- or 60-quart Hobart Legacy Mixer. For the entire 93 days of The Contest I thought we wanted the bigger mixer. But when it came time to actually choose, I picked the smaller one, which is a better fit for us.
Of course size is relative. Our current "big" mixer is a 20-quart, decades-old Berkel. So we're still talking three times larger.
Why the 60-quart mixer and not the 80-quart?
Both have four speeds, plus a stir speed. That means we can add our dry ingredients faster without worrying about flour and powdered sugar and stuff flying all over the place (officially known as "product splash out"), saving us loads of time while making less mess.
Both have a shift-on-the-fly feature that allows you to change speeds while the mixer is running. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter, we can raise the speed without having to stop the mixer. We can also lower the speed if needed, while the mixer is running, another time-saving atribute.
Both have swing-out bowls and power lifts. Good for us mature folks looking to save our back for a few more years of baking. The bowl will lower onto a dolly or bowl truck we can roll around the shop. It will take two sets of arms to lift the full bowl onto a table.
Both are about 60-inches high, take up similar amounts of space on the floor, and require a 220 volt circuit. We happen to have an idle 220 volt circuit breaker.
Both would SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the time we spend mixing cake batter, cookie dough and buttercream.
The empty bowl on the 60-quart mixer weighs 39 pounds. The 80-quart bowl weighs 55 pounds. That's EMPTY!
Neither one fits entirely in our sink, but the smaller bowl will be easier to clean.
The 60-quart mixer (without the bowl) weighs about 800 pounds, the 80-quart mixer weighs over 1300 pounds. Our floor would support either, but that's a HUGE difference for the extra 20-quarts of capacity.
The 60-quart mixer lists for about $10K less than the 80-quart and I was reluctant to leave money on the table. But Hobart was kind enough to throw in some accessories for the smaller mixer that helped with the decision.
We'll be able to downsize the bowl and accessories to the 30-quart size when we only need to make a small batch, so we really won't miss our current mixer al all. That's OK, we'll find it a new home where it will be greatly loved and appreciated.
What am I looking forward to most? Two things... Freeing up my staff to spend more time decorating, and less time mixing. And not having to clean up the sugar and flour dust that spew from our current over-stuffed mixer every time we use it.
Plus it will be clean and shiny and I can get rid of the can of appliance paint I had to buy to cover up peeling paint on the old mixer (a "suggestion" from the health inspector).
For a good long while (and under threat of great bodily harm) it will stay clean and shiny. Kind of like the new car you park by itself at the far end of the lot to avoid dings and scratches. (Note to staff: just kidding about the bodily harm...)
We'll need to resize our recipes and get a new scale (we weigh all of our ingredients, some in the bowl). Our current scale maxes out at 50-pounds. This is a purchase I'll gladly make. Our recipes are mostly on a spreadsheet; resizing won't be an issue.
So thanks Hobart and all the folks behind the GET BACK TO SCRATCH movement. And thanks to everyone who voted for us. We can hardly wait to get our new mixer!
p.s. It goes without saying that soon after it arrives, there WILL be a major celebration involving cake.