Beckmann’s Old World Bakery
European Style Baking At Its Best
By Kirsten Fairchilds
Scot Adam isn’t bashful when it come to confessing how much he loves pie. “I probably average a slice a day,” Adam said. “I don’t eat a slice a day, but it probably averages out to a slice a day when I consider all I do eat.”
As the farmers markets sales manager for Beckmann’s Old World Bakery, Ltd., Adam has plenty of opportunity to get his hands on as much pie as he desires, which, more often than not, is ollalieberry.
Given that he’s also in charge of quality control for non-bread items at the bakery, Adam has plenty of opportunity for testing, sampling and enjoying a seemingly endless supply of other baked goods at the bakery’s Santa Cruz facility.
Since January, customers of the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets (MBCFM) have been treated to complementary samples of any of the Beckmann’s Old World Bakery products that have caught their eye.
Like other newcomers to the MBCFM, the bakery is on a one-year trial basis. Adam said the business was thrilled to receive the call that invited the bakery to the market after a lengthy stay on the waiting list.
“We want to sample as much as we possibly can at the markets,” said Adam, a Santa Cruz resident. “We want everyone to try everything that they’re interested in. We will have bags open, and samples will be given out. We want any kind of feedback, positive or negative.”
Established in 1985, the bakery was started by Peter Beckmann, who rode his bicycle around Santa Cruz and sold his bread out of the basket to local grocery stores. A native of Germany, Beckmann apprenticed as a bread-maker in Heidelberg. After moving to the U.S. in 1982, Beckman began baking German farm bread in his kitchen’s oven.
These days, the bakery’s kitchen is part of a more than 25,000-square-foot facility. One of 110 employees, Mauricio Puga is in charge of quality control for the breads. An employee of the bakery since September 1990, Puga has been the head baker since 2001.
“The Swiss Three-Seed Sourdough is my favorite,” Puga said. “It’s made out of sesame, sunflower and poppy seeds and oats and is a mixture of whole wheat and white organic. I like the taste of it in a sandwich. It’s kind of sweet. My kids love it.”
Tom Roth, the farmers markets assistant manager, said he’s partial to one of the pastries, which are sold exclusively at the farmers markets.
“My favorite product is the schnecken,” said Roth, an employee since 2009. “It has an amazing tangy sweetness, thanks to the raspberry-pecan combination. It has a really nice texture and taste and covers all the bases of an amazing pastry.”
Like Roth, Adam will substitute for one of the 25 “marketeers” that travel to between 30 to 45 different farmers markets in any given week. Most of Adam’s time, however, is spent at the bakery, where the scent of baking bread constantly reminds him how much he enjoys his job.
“I’m grateful that I’ve been at Beckmann’s this long,” said Adam, who starte d as a marketeer in August 1994. “I work with a really fun crew and have a product line that I’m proud of. I love my job.”
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