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bbi-2020-02-Organic as an article of belief

J. Friedrich Dieter, Managing Partner of the Stone Oven Bakery and the Doppelkorn organic bakery, is an experienced, well-networked industry expert. He attaches great value to artisan skill and high-quality organic raw materials.

According to its Managing Director J. Friedrich Dieter, the Stone Oven Bakery is one of Germany’s Top 5 organic bakeries. In recent years, the Ibbenbüren company has increased its sales revenues from EUR 5 million (2011) to EUR 7.5 million (2018). Around 90 employees working a two-shift system in a bakery measuring approx. 2,200 m2 produce around 50 different types of bread, 25 kinds of bread rolls, 20 different long-life baked goods and approx. 15 spicy foods every day. At the same time, the Stone Oven Bakery operates its one and only sales outlet directly alongside the production unit. However, the branch is more like an organic supermarket with its own café and a large area where baked products are sold. According to Dieter: “On the one hand, we serve the local demand here, and on the other I also regard the business as a reference project vis-à-vis the business-to-business customers we supply in the specialist organic retail trade.” The bakery was founded in 1984, and after J. Friedrich Dieter took it over in 2011, the businessman focused on B2B business and withdrew from direct end customer business. Its eleven existing sales outlets were handed over to the retail, and have since been supplied directly. Only one location at the company’s headquarters is still operated under its own management.

J. Friedrich Dieter gained a Business Studies degree and worked in the food industry with Kamps and Schöller for many years. Under his leadership, the organic bakery has steadily increased its sales revenues. Its main business nowadays is in supplying fresh baked products and snacks to the specialist organic retail trade. Dieter says “We see ourselves as a partner of the organic food retail, and market both directly and in cooperation with our partners SuperBioMarkt AG and the organic wholesaler Weiling.” SuperBioMarkt AG is an organic supermarket chain in North Rhine-Westphalia and operates 26 branches in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. Weiling is the Number 2 organic wholesaler, and supplies the Stone Oven Baker’s baked products to the specialist organic retail throughout the whole of Germany. The bakery itself has four transporters of its own for deliveries to direct customers in the region.


 The bakery’s only sales outlet is directly alongside the
production unit. Wholesalers and organic supermarkets are the main customers


As a business management graduate, J. Friedrich Dieter attaches great importance to artisan skill and good raw materials in the production operation. He knows that people who buy organic products are also willing to pay more for high quality. The best-selling bread roll, a Kamut Khorasan roll, is also the most expensive. Consumers pay EUR 1.29 for each bread roll. According to the Managing Director: “The flavor and trustworthiness of organic products are the decisive factors, not their price.” The quality of the raw materials and the way they are processed in turn determine the price. Dieter therefore also places great value on being a fair partner for everyone, and on promoting and preserving regional structures. In this respect, the bakery team also plays a large role. Thus J. Friedrich Dieter finds it self-evident that his employees act independently and on their own responsibility. According to the Managing Director: “I want everyone to be involved with their heart and soul, and for us to live on the basis of trust.”

Production sites

As well as its headquarters in Ibbenbüren, the company has also operated a bakery in Essingen near Aalen since 2011, where it produces mainly breads. The Doppelkorn bakery at Laatzen is an additional location supplying branches in Hanover. The main production site is in Ibbenbüren, where on the one hand the Stone Oven Bakery has invested in automating the production operation, e.g. in a new Rheon dough divider, and on the other it has also invested in new chiller and freezer areas. Thus a new cold-storage warehouse costing around EUR 500,000 is currently under construction directly alongside the production unit. J. Friedrich Dieter sees further opportunities for growth, especially in the frozen rolls area, and intends to expand the product range. The company continues to offer cakes and breads as fresh products

f2m-bbi-20-02-collage kuchen

Apple pies with cinnamon topping, wholegrain chia rolls, almond stars or Kamut Khorasan rolls – every baked product should be unique and rather special

Otherwise, the Stone Oven Baker’s production still looks exactly the same as before it focused on B2B business. Raw materials come into the bakery through silos and as bagged goods. Sourdough and sponge dough are prepared and stored in stainless steel tanks. As Dieter explains: “Each type of bread has its own flavor profile, and the baked products have a shelf life of up to seven days.” Most of the rolls have a rather compact structure compared to conventional bread rolls. Here again, the process basically takes place using sponge doughs. The company also attaches importance to the fact that confectionery products should offer the customer something rather special. According to J. Friedrich Dieter: “Cakes and cake slices provide the customer with an experience and enjoyment.”

In addition to appropriate raw materials, producing high-quality baked goods also involves allowing doughs plenty of time to develop. In-depth specialist knowledge of the production process is also needed. According to Dieter: “That’s why our dough preparation teams must have a great understanding of their artisan skill.” However, this also makes recruiting good specialist staff difficult. Therefore, the bakery also emphasizes the exchange of specialist knowledge between the individual Hanover, Ibbenbüren and Essingen locations. To stand out from competitors, J. Friedrich Dieter stresses that artisan production is possible even on the scale of size of a stone oven bakery. However, continuity of customer and supplier relations is also significant. For example, the bakery has obtained its flour from the Eiling organic mill in Warstein for many years. As Dieter explains: “Due to our long-standing business relationship, we have never had any supply shortages, e.g. when spelt became scarce.

The Managing Director wants to expand cooperation with his customers in the future. Major consumers such as hotels or suppliers to community caterers could become additional customers in the future. What is important, however, is that customers remain convinced by the product range and the “organic” attitude

Doppelkorn organic bakery

The Stone Oven Bakery’s Managing Director, J. Friedrich Dieter, heard of the financial difficulties of the Doppelkorn organic bakery in Hanover by chance. That was in 2017. When an insolvency administrator had been appointed, Dieter asked for a meeting. The entrepreneur saw prospects for the organic bakery, and took it over. Customer numbers and sales revenues have remained stable since then. Dieter sees growth opportunities for the bakery, and wants to open up new business areas and win new customers. He attributes the Doppelkorn company’s insolvency to management errors. After several months of chaos, seven of the Hanover organic baker’s branches were re-opened. According to Dieter, the intention is for Doppelkorn to remain a quality bakery using artisan methods to work transparently with high-quality organic raw materials. The new owner wants to give the bakery a more modern, fresher, more open design. Dieter also plans to simplify its structures. The kitchen in one branch has already been closed, and products such as quiches, soups and vegetarian rissoles now come from the Ibbenbüren stone oven baker. In future, the plan also includes producing part of the bread rolls by the stone oven baker at the Ibbenbüren site. Bread rolls will then be baked off in the sales outlets. The Doppelkorn production unit in Laatzen will be retained