German Bakery Opening in Downtown Winter Garden | West Orange Times and Observers

Colin Reichardt was new to America 11 years ago when he went to a grocery store to buy bread. All the German native saw was bread packed in plastic bags lining the shelves. He said that he asked the manager why all the bread was the same color and shape, but the manager did not have an answer.

Reichardt concluded that American bread has too much sugar, salt, and other ingredients, so he set out to offer an alternative to local residents.

“Growing up in Germany, we loved bread and wanted to eat it like in those days,” he said. “In 2015 we started making bread, pastries and cakes from home at that time as a hobby. We realized that truly healthy baking takes more than a recipe, and we educated ourselves on the science of things: how sugar levels react, which ingredients are beneficial, and which ingredients or techniques are harmful. We wanted to bake as healthy as possible.”

It took about a year of experimentation before Reichardt felt he had a product that people would like.

“With a year of practice behind us, we felt comfortable enough to take master baker courses,” he said. “One of these bakers we learned from over (the) next few years was a master baker from Switzerland, (who) even won the silver medal at the world bakery championship. (Combined) with our scientific studies, we create the best possible recipes.”

After studying with various master bakers for about two years, Reichardt was ready to let his neighbors, family, and friends try his baked goods.

German bread stands out for its healthy high rye content, which results in a darker color, denser interior, and crispier crust compared to lighter breads such as Italian or French.

Last year, Reichardt began participating in local farmers’ markets, in Winter Garden, Windermere, Clermont and Maitland and in Lake Eola, and routinely ran out of breads and sweets before the market closed.

“In 2021, we started baking from home through the cottage law, offering our baked goods in different markets, which turned out to be very successful from the beginning,” he said. “We would pretty much sell everything at any market we went to.”

He said his top sellers have been multigrain and sourdough breads, banana muffins, Black Forest cake and German cheesecake. His personal favorite breads are the multigrain sourdough, black emmer, and cranberry walnut.

German sourdough is smooth and creamy rather than spicy, and the fermentation process takes 36 hours, according to the bakery’s website.

“It all started with sourdough breads,” he said. “We have successfully added banana breads, muffins (and) cookies and will also start selling freshly baked croissants.”

Beneficial Breads is taking a break from farmers markets to focus on the new Winter Garden store. Reichardt said he will resume markets and possibly add Winter Park to the list once the store is up and running.

Reichardt said his bakery will have a variety of healthy German breads, including multigrain, rye, sourdough, Schwarzbrot; pastries such as croissants, chocolate croissants, muffins and scones; as well as German cheesecake, Black Forest cake, Frankfurter Kranz, sahnetorten, apple pies and more.

For those with special dietary requirements, Beneficial Breads also has baked goods for them.

“We bake some gluten-free items in a separate little oven, like our lemon almond cake, snickerdoodle, and our famous gluten-free sourdough bread,” Reichardt said. “(We have) sugar-free apple pie, kids’ birthday cakes, waffles; and our breads are sugar and dairy free.”

When it came time to name his business, Reichardt said it was easy.

“We wanted to bake breads that are healthy without harmful preservatives or harmful ingredients like dough conditioners, artificial flavors, preservatives,” he said. “Our breads also do not contain sugar or powdered milk. We never use enriched or bleached flour. Our flours are organic and stone-ground over low heat, so all the nutrients (and) vitamins stay in the flour and don’t need added artificial ingredients like most store-bought flours.

“We even use spring water to ensure high-quality baked goods,” he said. “In other words, we believe that the ingredients we use should be organic and natural, since organic, natural, and real ingredients are truly beneficial for our body, health, and soul.”

Reichardt is eager to meet the residents and make new friends with his customers, and invites the community to say hello.

“We love the community feeling at Winter Garden,” Reichardt said. “We love the city and the history of Winter Garden; people are so friendly and amazing. We feel there is a real sense of community. Living and working here has been incredible.”

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