History

Home

Contact Us

Storefront Items

     Karl Peter Boesen, born May 3, 1939 in Langenfeld, Germany became a baker at a very young age.  His grandfather, Peter Boesen (Backerei Peter Boesen) ran a medium sized  commercial/retail bakery where all generations of the family worked. It was truly a family-run operation. From his earliest memories at about age five, young Karl became aware of all the different kinds of machines needed to make the bread, etc. made by his family's business. Being an only child and there being a shortage of toys made during World War II, Karl, by necessity, made friends with the men who handled the machinery of the bakery. He had the run of the bakery and with his natural inquisitiveness soon learned about the various types of flour used for the baking and where they were stored.   By about the age of six, Karl had duties such as bringing the bread to the slicing room
after cooling. He actually didn't start school until the age of eight in 1947 because one of the local schools in Langenfeld had been bombed out during the war and the other was taken over as a military headquarters. Karl also learned pan greasing and was a shipping room gopher. Throughout his school years he continued to work in the afternoons in his family's bakery.

     At 15 his father and grandfather decided he would be the baker, so off to a bakery
technical school (Backerei Fach Schule) he went. He underwent an apprenticeship finishing at age 18. Karl was now a certified German baker. In the true renaissance tradition, Karl learned the mechanical side to the business as well. His family's business built and maintained all their own delivery vehicles and machinery for the baking process. He learned metal working and welding and woodworking. Always having had an aptitude for these trades, they soon joined his multi-skill set. Karl also developed an interest in flying as many teenage boys did after the war. He joined the local glider club, where as a group member he learned to build a sail plane and got his glider's license in 1958. By 1960 he had moved on to airplanes and received his German private pilot's license.  By this time he was driving a bread route down to Frankfurt. A little later he worked as a baker in Berlin, "the Wall" having just been built, for six months to pick up a different skill set for learning his family's trade. With his learning from old techniques and new, everything was used and reused. He was being groomed to run his family's bakery business. But by 1961, change hit in a very big way. Karl decided to come to the United States to experience more of life and a new culture. In order to stay longer he had to come as an immigrant, which made him eligible for the draft. He arrived at Boston's Logan Airport from Dusseldorf. On the flight he spent time in the cockpit chatting with the pilots to further his thirst for knowledge about planes and aviation in general. He first worked for the Ford Tractor Company as a mechanic in
Massachusetts, but later for the United States Government. He got drafted into the Army as a German national, but he stayed in the United States working with transport planes. Karl was enlisted for four years, stationed in Fort Rucker, Al. Through the military, he got exposed to more flying and aviation in general. He received his commercial pilot's license here in the states upon discharge from the Army. Karl turned to crop dusting in the south Alabama area Slocomb. He did this for two to three years then became a flight instructor in 1966 for Doss Aviation. He taught flight for almost five years. When he was laid off in 1971, Karl went back to crop dusting. During this period he received a direct appointment as a warrant officer in the Alabama National Guard. His eventual 30
years in the guard saw an array of experiences from working with medi-vac units, special
forces, heavy lift helicopter company and the aviation assault company. His full time
career returned to flight instructing and college gaining Karl a degree in Aviation
electronics. He continued to work as a maintenance test pilot or flight instructor
throughout the seventies and eighties.  By the late eighties, Karl wondered about his old skills from his first career as a baker. On a vacation trip to Fort Walton Beach, Florida with his wife Christa, he happened to see an oven thermometer calibrated in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. That started him
thinking that he should try making bread, the kind of bread he grew up with. Karl had
never seen a need for the kind of wholesome breads he grew up with. His experience with all kinds of people here in America taught him that people just didn't eat his type of bread. By the time his vacation was over, Karl had bought a metric scale, a stainless steel bowl and a dough scraper. He went shopping for flour: different ryes and wheat flours. On the weekend he started trying to recreate all the recipes held in his head for
30 years. He worked on the sour culture; the ratios were still right there in his
memory. He mixed up several sours which was a three stage process, then he tried the
short stage Berlin sour. He bricked up his home oven, made special sheet trays and bought baskets for proofing. They got a second household oven set up in the garage. After much experimentation, the Boesens were making up to 100 loaves of bread each weekend all done by hand, mixed and rolled. All their German friends were in heaven.  They loved the fresh breads. Karl, with his wife Christa, decided to start a small bakery on existing property they owned in Daleville based on the orders they were receiving. So the beginnings of Karl's German Bakery were launched. They bought out several small bakeries to get the basic machinery needed to start; a Reel oven, a rounder, a slicer, a duchess dough divider etc. All this equipment Karl rebuilt for his own purposes.  While the start of a bakery is always in the machinery, the true baking could not begin
until the special flours and supplies were found that could mirror those found in Germany.
Karl looked at spec sheets galore until he found Bay State Flour Company; they had
nearly like German quality in many flours. He was ready to roll and start producing the
high quality, wholesome breads his company has been known for these past 20 years.

     Over the years, the company has expanded to a full sized commercial endeavor, still in Daleville, Alabama now located on Hwy 84 East, with many varied products to offer satisfaction to all kinds of tastes.  Karl's German Bakery makes Karista brand pound cakes, 30 flavors, whole wheat dinner rolls, specialty pastries, gourmet cookies, decorated cakes, tortes, and European import items,  besides all their great tasting, wholesome German breads. Our bread and cake products are available at most Military Commissaries in the Southeast.  Just ask the Deli/Bakery manager for our products.  There are also many restaurants and some grocery stores in the surrounding area where you can purchase these great products. We'll also ship it to you via FedEx.

Back to home page