Rolls in a bag

The first bakery my wife and I worked at in Germany back in the 1970's was in a small town of about 3000 people called Bärstadt. Located in the Taunus Mountains outside of Weisbaden, it was the kind of place that didn't see too many foreigners, let alone foreigners who actually chose to live and work among them. While I woke up at 4:00AM Monday thru Saturday to work in the bakery kitchen, Patty started her day at 7:ooAM helping the baker's son, Christoph, deliver baked goods to the outlying, more remote villages further in the mountains, villages which were too small to have their own bakeries. Patty recalls still the adventure that every day's trip meant, as Christoph, with cigarette hanging from one side of his mouth, would wildly drive at determined speed up and over the narrow, twisting roads deep into the isolated valleys, the Autumn fog and mist laced through the towering pines and beech trees and often obscuring a firm sense of where the road ended and the sky began.

Baking for a long time...

People often ask me how I got into baking, but the real interesting question is 'Why are you still baking?' Since 1980 I have baked at my own business, but since 1976 I have baked for others, either while apprenticing in Germany or working in Northampton, MA. The photos attached to this post are of our first location at 44 Main Street in Northampton. For those of you with long enough memories, these pictures might be familiar. For younger fans, the images, especially the vintage cars parked in front of the store, might feel archaic.

Craftsmanship - the desire to do something well, for its own sake.

The morning begins very early for us at the bakery. But when wholesome and beautiful products start rolling out of the oven, one's view of work and the world becomes totally fresh and satisfying.

'The man who works recognizes his own product in the World that has actually been transformed by his work: he recognizes himself in it, he sees in it his own human reality, in it he discovers and reveals to others the objective reality of his humanity, of the originally abstract and purely subjective idea he has of himself.'

from Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit by Alexandre Kojeve

Store Information

Bakery Normand
192 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Tuesday to Saturday, 7:30am-5:30pm

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