TREIF helps bakery restart after a flood

Baeckerei Schragen Copy (1)

We were able to refurbish and install a PEGASUS in the Ahr Valley

In July 2021 devastating floods hit parts of Germany, damaging buildings and infrastructure and taking many lives. The Ahr Valley was among the worst-hit regions as over a hundred people died. The flooding caused extensive damage and forced many businesses across the region to close for an extended period.

Schragen bakery, based in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, was among the Ahr Valley businesses impacted. The bakery tried to rescue what they could as the flood hit but all that was left in the end were the tiles on the floor. The business had to close because it didn’t have the equipment or the environment to continue trading.

Founded by Wilhelm Josef Schragen in 1903, there is now a team of four people managing the bakery, with Wilhelm's great-great-granddaughter Jacqeline Büch now running it alongside her husband, who works as the master baker and confectioner. Since the floods, the bakery has learned from the Handwerkskammer (Chamber of Crafts) that they are the oldest registered bakery in the Ahr Valley.

In September 2021 they decided to rebuild the bakery and get back into business. To do so, they needed support. People impacted by the floods benefited from donations as people and organizations across the country offered help. Among those offering to help was Thilo Buck, a baker from Cadenberge. He contacted TREIF, part of Marel, to ask about donating two TREIF PEGASUS bread cutting machines to help bakers that would need them.

Baeckerei Schragen 2

"When we heard about the flood disaster, it was immediately clear to us that we wanted to help our colleagues and the people on-site,” says Thilo Buck. “It was important to us that we provided fast, effective help. So we sent two TREIF Pegasus machines to TREIF with the request to refurbish the machines and hand them over to affected bakeries."

The bread cutting machines arrived at TREIF in December 2021 where they were then fully refurbished. Some of TREIF’s staff knew that the Schragen bakery needed support as they helped volunteer in the region in the aftermath of the flood. Once the bread cutting machines were fully refurbished and ready for use, the company sent an engineer to install one of them at Schragen in May 2022.

Schragen also needed additional equipment to reopen, especially a new oven to bake the bread. Volker Schragen, who was planning to retire from running the bakery, designed a bread oven to build at his home. Following the floods, his daughter Kimberly Büch asked him to focus on building one for the bakery instead. He helped build a new oven and it was in operation at the end of June 2022, when it was gradually working up to maintain the consistent 280°C temperature required to bake bread in the oven.

Schragen is hoping to open in the coming weeks and is planning an event to host volunteers who helped with the recovery. It then plans to open to the public and resume business. “Our regular customers are already very impatient and hope every day for the good news that we’re open again,” says Jacqeline Schragen.

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