When Colin Reichardt opened his Beneficial Breads German bakery in downtown Winter Garden in November 2022, the space he moved into was sufficient for his new business. It didn’t take him long to outgrow the roughly 500 square feet of space, though, and he sought a larger storefront, finding the perfect location on South Boyd Street.
With quadruple the size, Reichardt’s bakery now has room for bigger and better equipment, more employees, seating inside and outside, customer restrooms and easier access for deliveries. He’s also just across the street from the Winter Garden Farmers Market, which has drawn curious customers into his shop.
The bakery also has started delivering bread and buns to local restaurants, including Pammie’s Sammies and Market to Table, as well as Isleworth Country Club and an exclusive executive club in Orlando. Reichardt hopes to set up a booth at the farmers market again.
“German baking and the style of baking is very particular, and it takes time to teach and takes time for people to learn, and sometimes people aren’t dedicated to learning it,” he said. “Now, we have a better team after a year.”
There are seven employees, and Reichardt has plans to hire 10 more in the future.
“Beneficial Breads has the potential to become very special for a long period of time,” Reichardt said. “People of Winter Garden have been so supportive from Day 1 since we went to the market. … I feel like I’m from here.”
He pays that forward by handing out the occasional bread loaf to homeless people.
“We also have this thing that we do at my shop,” Reichardt said. “Every now and then there are homeless people. Recently a man with a bike — I could sense he was homeless — asked if we could give him some money; I said I could give him something to eat.”
“Everyone is welcome,” he said. “I want people to feel this is a place they can call home.”
KAFFEEKLATSCH AND STAMKISCH
Reichardt wants to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in his bakery in hopes that people will come in for a pastry and stay a while. He also has plans to start several gathering groups.
“For women, we’re going to have something called Kaffeeklatsch,” he said. “The plan is to have … anyone who is interested to learn the German culture, to come in and have their breakfast, lunch or pastry with other Europeans or Germans to learn about the culture and language and play board games, have coffee, have cake.”
Another gathering that caters mostly to men is the Stamkisch, and this includes food, beer and the German board game called Skat.
Beneficial Breads has plenty of board games on hand for customers who want to hang out.
“We want people to come and enjoy and … mingle, not to be on the phone, actually talk and play with people,” Reichardt said.
The whole premise of meeting new people at the bakery has taken an interesting turn for Reichardt. He has met many Germans who are now living in Central Florida and have expressed their excitement at being able to buy the breads they remember from their childhood. Furthermore, he has come in contact with several people who are from his hometown of Idar-Oberstein, Germany.
One is a 97-year-old woman who came to the United States in the 1940s.
“There are more of these ladies,” he said. “I grew up with these grandmothers. They gave me warm, fuzzy, I’m home. They talk that certain way, they behave that certain way. … They’re like, ‘I can’t believe you’re here. … It’s just like at home, and it’s how I remember.’”
A week later, he received a message from Stefan Wild, another former Idar-Oberstein resident who actually knew Reichardt’s grandfather and mother. Reichardt said Wild is a trained baker and said Beneficial Breads is the best he’s ever tasted.
BEVY OF BREADS
German bread has a healthy, high-rye content, which makes for a darker and denser interior and crunchier crust.
The top sellers are the sourdough sandwich bread, sourdough multi-seed, German rye and the Schwarzbrot whole-grain bread.
Customers with a sweet tooth can choose from coffee rolls, cinnamon rolls, muffins, crumble cakes and cookies.
Coming soon is the Berliner, a doughnut-type pastry that can be filled with fruit-flavored jellies, chocolate or Bavarian cream; as well as a flatbread pizza called flammkuchen that’s baked in a German-made stone oven.
Reichardt said his ultimate goal is to buy his own building, obtain a few more ovens and create an even bigger operation.