Sharing knowledge, strengthening networking and supporting bakeries in their individuality – that is what the new Baking Academy at the IREKS headquarters in Kulmbach stands for. Markus Hombach, Director of the IREKS Baking Academy, reveals the advantages and possibilities it offers and what our customers as well as our subsidiaries will benefit from.
Mr Hombach, there are already various bakeries and confectionery bakeries at the IREKS headquarters in Kulmbach. Why then invest in the construction of the new Baking Academy?
Markus Hombach: First and foremost, the expansion of our bakeries and confectionery bakeries was necessary to create more capacity for the many events such as customer seminars and Field Service training that take place in Kulmbach. Therefore, a new building with a total area of over 300 m² was added to the Baking Academy.
You are talking about an extension. What exactly is part of the Baking Academy?
Markus Hombach: In addition to the three (training) bakeries, the Baking Academy includes two confectionery bakeries, a warm and a cold one. In the cold confectionery bakery, the focus is on processing whipped cream, creams and chocolate products, while in the warm confectionery bakery, they work with flour, and bake.
That sounds like quite the innovation! How else do our customers and subsidiaries benefit from the Baking Academy?
Markus Hombach: In our Baking Academy, we have got new machines and equipment that have not been available to us in this form before. A particularly new unit, for instance, is a vacuum oven, i.e. a “stress-free“ doughmaking facility, a modern dough divider and the annular tube oven – a less common system the testing of which is highly interesting for our customers and makes for a unique selling point for us. This gives us the opportunity to bake with ovens from different manufacturers so that we can compare baking results and train our employees on the different controls and special features. When the new equipment will be used in our seminars our customers as well as the IREKS Field Service will benefit. Because we can use the latest technology and state-of-the-art machines, refrigeration systems and ovens in our workshops and design the baking programmes to be even more flexible and practice-oriented. Additionally, our subsidiaries will benefit greatly from this.
You are the Director of the Baking Academy. What does this project mean to you personally?
Markus Hombach: For me, our Baking Academy not only stands for networking of Field Service, Research & Development, Marketing and our customers but finally the whole team, comprising more than 30 people, whether bakers or office staff, is united under one roof for the first time, an aspect that of course simplifies many processes and strengthens togetherness.
Coming to an end, we’d like to have a spontaneous answer from you: What was the best moment for you during the construction phase of the new Baking Academy?
Markus Hombach: A special moment for me was definitely when the new ovens were installed and put into operation. They say that the oven is the heart of every bakery. When it comes to filling it with life and you see the first dough pieces rising and smell the aroma of fresh bread, it is a great moment, for sure.
Markus Hombach is an Authorised Officer and Director of the IREKS Baking Academy. He is a passionate master baker and bakery technician. For many years, he was head of the department Baking Technology International. In 2021, he took on responsibility for the department Baking Technology Germany. Since then, the teams have been working together under the umbrella of the newly created IREKS Baking Academy.
The IREKS Campus is complete!
The IREKS Campus with its modern training premises in the Forum and Training Centre including our bistro and “BrotZeit” shop, the IREKS IQ Centre and the IREKS Baking Academy is a source of inspiration, knowledge platform and meeting place in equal measure. With the completion of the new Baking Academy, the campus is now complete! Experience IREKS up close at our headquarters in Kulmbach - from specialist lectures on various topics to hands-on events and bakery tastings in our Baking Academy to guided tours of our production facilities and the IREKS IQ Centre. We look forward to seeing you!