The Breadman Organic Bakery was created by Steffan Klink in Nelson in 1993 when he moved to New Zealand from Germany.
In the intervening 26 years the demand for delicious, healthy and locally baked breads has just kept increasing - even before 'organic' became the fashion it is now... Steffan was way ahead of the market!
Where it all began - a Hop Kiln became a bakery
Now the bakery is based in Christchurch and owned by John and Cassandra Booth who have continued to bake and develop the fantastic breads, crackers and muesli that Steffan created more than 20 years ago. The unique German style of the breads and the European influence continues using the same traditional baking recipes and processes.
Probably not very sexy, but it's simple and says what we are about. We don't have time (or inclination) for fancy corporate speak or gimmicky packaging - generally, we think that less is more.
So you will understand that we operate in the most ethical and sustainable way we can, not because we have to, or because it's trendy, but because we want to and we believe it's the right thing to do.
Our ethical beliefs put people before profit and we think of "sustainability" as dealing with like minded growers, suppliers and retailers. We buy locally wherever we can, partly to minimise our carbon footprint but mostly because we like to support local communities and small growers. We can't always buy Kiwi grown but we will always look for it as a preference and buy it unless there is a serious reason not to (and that's not necessarily just a price based decision).
Because we use high quality ingredients we will never be the cheapest bread. There is a significant increased cost to using organic ingredients, however we are confident that we do not charge any more than is necessary and fiscally responsible to manage a well run, safe and sustainable bakery.
Loyal customers and word-of-mouth recommendations help us to grow incrementally and our customers tell us that they are concerned about what they eat and value the high quality and health benefits that our products provide.
All buzz words for many businesses right now.
At The Breadman we have been practising all of that right from the beginning in 1993.
We don't have a big state of the art 'Green' building, we don't used hi-tech packaging that may be able to recycled, (depending on where you live) and we don't go on and on about how we are ORGANIC.
What we do is to run our business along rather old fashioned principles. That's the sort of people we are. The sort of things we do are:
Put our people first - yes, we know it's what everyone says - but we really mean it. It sounds simple, but we believe that bakers are artisans and they need to be happy in their work to make the best products. Bread is a living thing and the best bread is baked by people who care about their creations.
We bake to order to minimise waste and returns.
Packaging is simple and the minimum we can use for food safety reasons, and we pack everything by hand - no big fancy machines, so every loaf and cracker has been individually inspected by a human - how's that for quality control?! Of course, being human does mean the occasional mistake happens, but that is part of the deal ...
Our purchasing decisions are made based on locality, type of business (we try to deal with like-minded people), quality, and finally price. It's all very well being high-minded about these things but part of our philosophy is also that our products need to be realistically priced for many to afford - we aren't into price-gouging or cashing in for the sake of it. When you consider that organic ingredients are generally AT LEAST twice as costly as non organic, we believe our breads are fairly priced. Consider that next time you are looking at the pricing of some of the bigger commercial bakeries 'specialty' products.
We love local growers and we love knowing where our ingredients really come from. Organic is a tag put on so much these days and we don't have the time or resources to go and check out every product from overseas that makes the organic claim. Much as we would be more than happy to travel the world doing that! So we try to make sure we know the provenance of our ingredients where ever we can. One of our main ingredients we use is grown by Broadlands Farm in Tolaga Bay. They have chosen not to continue with organic certification which they held for many years, and you can read all about them here >> Broadlands and also here on our BLOG
We listen to our customers - and they aren't shy about letting us know what they think! We are constantly getting emails and calls to keep us on our toes and make sure we stay in tune with what people want. If you have something to say about us, good, bad or ugly, then please, get in touch.