A German bakery is selling cakes just like grandma used to make, because it’s employing real grandparents to make them. In order to provide the kind of homemade, old-fashioned pastries many customers remember from their youths, while also helping some retired people earn extra money and feel useful and less lonely, the Kuchentratsch bakery in Munich offers part-time employment to bakers over the age of 65.
According to The Local’s Christine Madden, the bakery employs 35 bakers over the age of 65, and they seem to love it. A man who goes by Grandpa Gunter said he only knew how to make eggs and coffee before he retired, but now he comes in to bake cakes once a week and has taken to baking for his grandchildren.
Another employee, Grandma Rosemarie, said she loved to bake but didn’t think it was worth the effort to just bake for herself. She says she lives an hour and a half from the bakery, but she comes in once a week and looks forward to the baking.
Owner Katharina Mayer says the business model was designed to create flexible employment for older people, to help them earn extra money and give them a chance to get out of the house, talk to people, and engage with coworkers as a team. The jobs are the type of part-time employment called a “mini job” in Germany, and they pay up to 450 euros a month, which is the maximum amount a person can earn in Germany before income tax would be applied.
Mayer said she started out by thinking about cake, and how she thought the best cake was her grandmother’s. After that, she realized a bakery staffed by real grandparents might be able to create that “baked with love” homemade cake experience while providing mini jobs for pensioners.
Kuchentratsch supplies pastries for several Munich cafes, and also sells cakes through its website.