Not a pie in the sky

WALVIS BAY A local resident has turned his passion for baking into a million dollar business.

11 February 2019 | People

Uwe Bachmann; Baker; “It all started in the double garage of our home in Langstrand.”

Otis Finck - Uwe and Henrietta “Hetta” Bachmann established Artisan Bread Bakery and Coffee shop in 2011.

Uwe hails from Swakopmund and formerly worked in the fishing industry. He later joined the retail industry with Spar for more than 17 years. Henrietta, a qualified bookkeeper, hails from Usakos.

Uwe discovered his passion for baking after relocating to South Africa in 1994.

He joined a bakery school in Blackheath, Cape Town, where he learned the basics of baking techniques under the watchful eye of the late Bill Fann who worked as a pastry chef for the Sultan of Brunei for 38 years.

Uwe became a fully taught baker and brought his acquired know how to Namibia in 2010.

Intentions to retire did not last long as the baking bug bit him and he undertook a study on traditionally practised bread baking techniques used in the Middle Ages over 500 years ago.

“It all started in the double garage of our home in Langstrand. I obtained permission from the municipal health department and had a unique two-deck stone floor oven built in South Africa. The bread had to be loaded into the oven with a peel. I also developed a sourdough starter consisting of water and flour which I use until this very day.”

The dough mixture was subsequently diversified to white whole wheat and rye sour doughs.

“This gives the bread a unique taste and many health benefits. No yeast is used. I only allow a fermentation period of 16 hours before baking and am still using the very same sourdough starter I produced seven years ago. I just feed the mixture every day and it is now strong, healthy and good smelling. I also researched many bread recipes to enhance the taste, longevity and health aspects of the bread we bake.”

Uwe initially baked five breads a day. This number increased to 500 in 9 months. Supermarkets showed a lot of interest and this led to the acquisition of a bakery in Walvis Bay.

His youngest son, Uwe Jnr (also a passionate baker), attended an artisan bread baking course in Cape Town, moved to Namibia and joined his parents in the business.

“The business grew rapidly and we had to expand within two years. We acquired a building in the light industrial area, shifted the bakery, and added a coffee shop with pastry, confectionery and sandwiches on offer.”

Uwe’s eldest son, Werner, also joined his parents and they investigated the possibility of opening a pie factory as well as the cost implications of such a move.

Namibian Pies was born after a visit to Vredenburg in South Africa.



“Excelsior Pies owner and founder of Biscuit King SA Frik Pelser, with 19 years’ experience in the industry, came on board and helped set up the pie factory in Walvis Bay.”

Acquiring the building, establishing the bakery and pie factory came at a cost of N$8 million.

A listeriosis outbreak in South Africa prompted the Bachmann’s to speed up the opening of Namibian Pie Company.

Twenty two jobs were created and after one month of intensive training the first 200 sausage roll pies were produced.

This showed that the country is capable of producing excellent quality rivalling any product from South Africa in terms of product taste, appearance and price.

Pies produced are of high quality with the cheese griller which constitutes 40% percent of total sales and pepper steak pies being the top sellers.

“We produce thousands and 11 different sorts of pies per day which are enjoyed throughout the Erongo region. Our target is to produce 20 000 pies a day and we could attain this by July this year.”

According to Uwe there is also great interest from a major supermarket group that wants to support wholly Namibian produced products. This pending deal could result in Namibian Pies producing 100 000 pies per month, and will again enhance job opportunities and create additional spin-offs.

Namibian Pie Company is fully Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) compliant and employs a fulltime inspector who test products manufactured by the company. All staff members were also HACCP trained and issued with certificates.

Meat fillings for all pies are obtained from a local butchery which also supplies the cheese grillers.

“They adhere to the same business principles as us and do not make use of any colourants or chemicals, only natural products. Namibian Pies rather stretches its fillings by adding potatoes instead of machine deboned meat (MDM) which is actually the norm in the industry.”

Plans are well advanced to expand the pie factory with 400 square metres by mid-2019. The product range will also be diversified to include samosas and nuggets, and create another 25 jobs.

Nine persons were also employed in the bakery and trained which produces and assortment of top quality breads, baguettes, ciabattas, brötchens, cookies and rusks.

A Spanish chef and four personnel operate the coffee shop. Six meranti wooden doors which came with the original building were converted into tables and a shop counter.

“We specialise in Danish pastries and produce seven different variations which we supply to guest houses and coffee shops.”

Seapride Namibia distributes Artisan Bread Bakery products in frozen form to lodges all over Namibia.

“Tourists enjoy the unique taste and the feedback we are getting is very positive. We had visitors from afar as Botswana and South Africa over Christmas who came to personally experience our unique Namibian taste.”

Due to the prohibitive cost of energy Artisan Bread Bakery makes use of two diesel powered ovens. A Rodes Kook-E-King machine was purchased in November 2018. It can produce up to 1 250 kg of cookies per day.

Similar News

 

Graduate shares her story

3 weeks ago - 26 May 2019 | People

Walvis Bay - Leandrea Louw Chloé Paulse (25), a graduate of the University of Namibia (Unam) medical school, grew up in the salty and...

Ouma Magrita a mother of many

1 month - 06 May 2019 | People

Otis Finck - Swakopmund The secret to a long life is having respect for your elders.Ouma Magrita “Mamas” Haoses, who is turning 103 year old...

Getting to know Miss Walvis Bay

1 month - 29 April 2019 | People

Walvis Bay - Leandrea Louw Julia Kandjimbi (21), a final year fashion student at the College of the Arts, is the reigning Miss Walvis...

The gentleman netball coach

2 months ago - 15 April 2019 | People

WALVIS BAY - Adolf Kaure Adolf Kaure - Bobsey Kanku Musambani whose coaching has transformed netball at the coast since his introduction to the...

Taking rhythmic gymnastics to new heights

3 months ago - 25 February 2019 | People

Leandrea Louw - Former gymnast, now coach and rhythmic gymnastics club owner Britt Adonis (34) aspires to be Namibia’s first gymnastics judge at the Olympics.Adonis...

Topnaars mourn death of Chief Kootjie

4 months ago - 28 January 2019 | People

Topnaar chief and Nama traditional council chairperson Joel Seth Kooitjie (65) passed away in Walvis Bay on Thursday evening. According to a relative he died...

Local pianist aims higher

8 months ago - 15 October 2018 | People

Leandrea LouwKarl Philander (18), a learner at De Duine Secondary School, was invited to participate in the University of South Africa (Unisa) South African Music...

Woman walks 460 km along Swakop River

10 months ago - 20 July 2018 | People

After 28 days of walking along the Swakop River, covering 462 kilometres, the 49-year-old Nikola Fahrbach finally arrived at the river mouth at the end...

Local to become first female marine engineer

10 months ago - 20 July 2018 | People

Leandrea Louw Ashlynn Zoe Paulse (25), originally from Narraville, Walvis Bay, is in her final year studying marine engineering in Vigo, Spain. Upon her...

Local learner ready to tackle youth matters

1 year - 24 May 2018 | People

Leandrea Louw - Tuilika Andreas, a grade 12 learner at Duinesig Combined School inWalvis Bay, was among the lucky persons to be selected for the...

Latest News

TIDES

18 hours ago | Fishing

Sunday, 16 June High 02:39 Low 08:47 High 15:10 Low 20:58 Monday, 17 June High 03:18 Low ...

Lagoon area cleaned up

1 day - 16 June 2019 | Events

Walvis Bay • Otis Finck Eighty-three volunteers (64 adults and 19 children) pitched for the ­second edition of the Walvis Bay Lagoon clean-up operation...

Boerewors producers tantalise taste buds...

1 day - 16 June 2019 | Events

Swakopmund - Otis Finck Stefan Erasmus, Benjamim Isak, his daughter Ruusa Isak and Ursula Malan are the coastal representatives in the Shoprite/Checkers Boerewors Competition...

Unique partnership benefits hospital ...

1 day - 16 June 2019 | Health

Swakopmund - Otis Finck Steckels Toyota resolved to partner with and address a number of maintenance issues at the Swakopmund State Hospital. Rene...

Pro-Ed vier kaalvoetdag

1 day - 16 June 2019 | Education

Die ATKV Duine-tak van Pro-Ed Akademie op Swakopmund het onlangs hul jaarlikse kaalvoetdag gevier. Hier skenk leerlinge hul skoene aan die tak om dit aan...

Kuisebmond narrowly beats S.I. !Gobs...

1 day - 16 June 2019 | Sports

Walvis Bay - Adolf KaureKuisebmond Secondary School (KSS) defeated S.I. !Gobs Secondary School 3-2 in a thrilling FBN Classic Clashes soccer match at the Kuisebmond...

School gets classrooms and computers

1 day - 16 June 2019 | Education

Karibib Private School editorial team The Grade 1 parents of Karibib Private School (KPS) officially handed over a refurbished classroom to the school.The handing...

New Lions president elected

1 day - 16 June 2019 | Local News

Swakopmund - Adolf KaureHeiko Zicker was elected at the new president of the Lions Club Swakopmund during the club's 60th anniversary celebration in Swakopmund recently.Zicker,...

Protecting the ocean

1 day - 16 June 2019 | Local News

Walvis Bay - Otis Finck World Oceans Day is commemorated on 8 June to raise awareness of the ocean, its importance and how...

Load More