we met julien when he picked up his SUM sneakersin our berlin warehouse, which he also likes to wear in the bakery. the master baker, who was born in belgium and grew up in the uckermark region, opened a bakery in lychen in june 22. so after evening school and an apprenticeship in berlin, now the bakery in the countryside. we talked to him - between bread doughs and cakes:
how did you get to having your own bakery?
i grew up in a bakery. i made my first loaf of bread when i was four or five years old and then i worked in the bakery all the time. i didn't know anything else.
- now the oven is ringing. that's the cake coming out. (to the journeyman) see if you like the color. it could be even better, right? then you can make two more sugar cakes, exactly. and do 17 minutes. -
after the end of my apprenticeship in january 2019, i worked in a gluten-free bakery, but that didn't work for long because of corona. for me, that was the stepping stone to begin my master training and into self-employment. like everywhere, a bakery was missing in lychen. very fitting because my wife and i wanted to raise our children in the countryside anyway. so we took the chance. without elsa - my wife – all this wouldn't be possible at all. she set up and decorated everything in the store and in the bakery. she just has my back.
we're authentic here in the bakery. if you look in here - it's made of glass so you can look through - you can just see what's happening. there's nothing embellished. you can see how i sweat, you can see that the floor sometimes hasn't been swept for two hours and you can also see the journey that the bread has taken.
that also describes part of your philosophy. where did it originate?
a lot from my dad – of course - but refined by me. the philosophy also developed for both of us through travelling. he travelled through europe and the world and picked up and tried recipes everywhere, and i did the same. for example, i spent a lot of my italy vacations at the bar - drinking coffee - always in a small café and then for 1€. this feeling, this lightness, this short chat with the bartender and a breath of fresh air, that's what i want to establish here. that's why i also serve an espresso for 1€. every entrepreneur will think you're crazy, but i want as many people as possible to be able to experience that.
and what is your favourite recipe at the moment?
the all-sourdough bread, that is my recipe based on a northern german feeling. a pure rye bread. only the three most important elements of baking come together in this one: salt, water and flour and nothing more. no additives - not even industrial yeast - there's really just dough, passion and rest in it. and then it lasts very long and is very filling as well. you eat one or two slices of it and you're done. the way it used to be and the way it should be again. away from the mass consumption.
how else does your bakery differ from "conventional" bakeries?
in the way it's done. i have the oven and kneader and that's it. even my bun press operates manually, so you really still have to press and squeeze the knives by hand. no button, just muscle power and skill and ability. of course i work via refrigeration, which allows me to let a lot of things rise for a long time.
my baked goods are simple and delicious, preferably without exotic ingredients that have to be shipped halfway around the world. this also includes baking only what is growing seasonally.
the origin and quality of my ingredients are very important to me. we - my dad and now me - have been working with the same mill, the oldest water mill in brandenburg, for 25 years now. the butter comes from mecklenburg-western pomerania, really only 20 km from here, the milk from bodowin (that's 30 km), etc. so everything comes from the surrounding areas. i want to be a role model with this, but also simply be able to sell my products with good conscience. you can taste the good ingredients. the concept is similar with your company that way. with local production and good ingredients. that's why i also really like to work in my SUM sneakers or wear my new GURLETTE slippers. a dream.
and when you're not in the bakery?
i love being out in nature. until we opened the bakery, i had a dog with whom i explored the woods, hills and valleys. i really enjoy that. being taken in by nature, sleeping outside if i want, enjoying the quiet and just being alone with myself and the dog in nature. i also loved kickboxing, i played soccer for a long time, i was playing tennis, just everything. it always lifted me up a lot, but since i've been baking, i don't need the sport anymore. i'm fitter than ever.
thank you julien and see you soon in your bakery in lychen.
here you can eat the delicious baked goods and drink an espresso with julien:
stargarder strasse 21, 17279 lychen