M.God knows, an can earn his money more easily than baking bread. This is not a new finding. Making bread and rolls in the bakery is still associated with hard work and an uneven rhythm of life. At least if you practice the traditional bakery trade. Which brings us to the subject of the death of bakeries, because the lack of offspring is generally the root cause of the decline of the once honorable trade. From around 55,000 bakeries in 1955 to around ten thousand today. The business obviously no longer runs like “sliced bread”. And where does this development lead when Germany of all places, the country in which bread culture was elevated to an intangible world cultural heritage, runs out of bread donors?
Now the word of the “death of the bakery” initially and quite neutrally describes only one fact, which, however, quickly becomes a certain catastrophic mood. With the death of the bakeries, it is repeatedly warned, that what defines the German bread identity would also perish: the variety and the quality.
You can see it that way from a certain angle. There are the discounters and supermarket chains, where since the 2000s, in addition to the packaged 99-cent sliced bread, rolls, pretzels and even pizza pieces have suddenly fallen out at the push of a button and supposedly “freshly baked”. The baking machines have proven to be successful. Which means nothing else than that the customers are satisfied with it. So is there not only a death in bakeries, but also a death in taste? In the sense that for many customers it is no longer so important whether their rolls are machine-made mass-produced goods or individually created high-quality products. There is little doubt about that either.
Handmade instead of frozen
Frankfurt – Bornheim district. The Tel Aviv-born Israeli Moti Barac opened the small bakery-café “Morcolade” with its own bakery in 2016. Totally against the trend. Why did he dare to do this, especially in an environment in which around 10 competitors cavort on a square kilometer, from supermarkets and discounters to bakery branches and even a traditional bakery? “I knew there were enough people out there looking for handmade products like this, not frozen ones.”
With this he obviously hits the nerve of a certain public in the district society. His shop ran from the start. “There are young people and old people, newcomers and long-time residents. Right across the garden, ”says Barac. If you turn into a side street in the affluent Berger Straße in the morning, you will actually be enveloped by the warm, yeasty scent emanating from the sidewalk. As it must have been in the past. Barac kneads and rolls the dough by hand, from which a colorful range of sourdough rolls, scones and Tel Aviv rolls is created. “Tel-Aviv rolls”? Yes, an own creation. A dense, compact, slightly sweetened wheat roll.
Is Moti Barac just an exception in an industry that is shrinking all around? Bernd Kütscher strongly contradicts this. “In general, this talk about the death of the bakery is not entirely accurate.” Kütscher is director of the German Academy of the Bakery Trade in Weinheim. Of course he knows the numbers that document the steady decline in bakeries. But that’s just one side.