Southern Utah News Articles
Backerei Forscher's old world baking on the rise
Orderville, Utah, might seem like an odd location for an authentic German bakery, but it won’t take you long to realize by its local and tourist traffic, the recipe is working!
The German bakery and restaurant is the brainchild of owner and manager Chris Oderkerken. The large bakery at 110 North State Street in Orderville, which opened in 2014, has inside and outside dining, and is an attractive and accessible spot for all who want to come in and partake, or snag some delicious food for a drive to the parks and beyond!
But this story begins with ingredients from years ago, and many thousands of miles away from southern Utah!
“My grandfather started baking and was killed in a tragic accident, when he died under a horse and cart in 1928,” said Oderkerken. Chris was born in 1950, and his parents later started their own bakery in Roermond, Germany, in 1953. Like most large families, he and his five siblings worked the family business. “We all had to work!”
But how do you get from Germany to Orderville, Utah?
“The beauty of Utah,” explained Oderkerken, of the location. “I came out here when I was 23, and fell in love with the area. I sold the business back in Germany when I was 52, and bought some land on the Glendale Bench. When I was 63, I started this business!”
Oderkerken researched his idea. He had young people watch and count what cars were going by his chosen location. He knew he had a good chance with the foreign tourists who really appreciate German baking for pastries, sandwiches and the like. Would there be enough locals interested and people traveling through Orderville desiring the authentic baking?
“I thought that I would know within two months, whether it would work or not!” said Oderkerken.
And that’s the success story! Oderkerken is doing well at his chosen location. In fact, so well, he has provided bakery and sandwich items in a mobile food truck to Kanab, Page, Springdale and beyond! He compliments Kane County for their support of him. While the truck met with a recent accident, Oderkerken hopes to get the mobile kitchen back up and running soon.
The Backerei Forscher offers an extensive array of high quality baked goods, and cold and hot sandwiches. All ingredients, every ounce, is bought and shipped from Germany!
What about a Black Forest Ham cold sandwich? It is a large size Forscher roll with truffle cheddar cheese, mayo, tomato and spring mix. Do you want a hot sandwich? You can get a German Bratwurst sandwich, served on a large Forscher roll with tomato, arugula, sauerkraut, and your choice of dijon or honey dijon mustard.
You can also select European home style sandwiches, vegetarian salads and wraps, flat bread pizzas, and did I mention breakfast? You can get several items from 8-11 a.m., which include several offerings. One that looked most tasty was a large German breakfast. It has gouda, truffle cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, prosciutto, black forest ham, salami, arugula, tomato, and your choice of any two of the restaurant’s fresh rolls.
Wendy Hatchel is Oderkerken’s assistant manager in Orderville, and for the mobile operation. “My life is amazing,” said Hatchel, of working with Oderkerken.”We have a great business here, and we get a lot of locals, as well as tour groups and buses. Our best sellers are sandwiches with rye crust bread, and the pastries with red currant.”
Chris Oderkerken has a wife, Marie Jose, and four adult sons. His wife has been successful in her career of running a conference center in the Netherlands, and has now retired. “She doesn’t want to hear about my business activities here! I think it makes her nervous!”
The Backerei Forscher’s offerings have met with great success. While the Backerei Forscher in Orderville is enormously successful during the tourism season, off-seasons are dead. Oderkerken’s future plans include closing the bakery during the down time, and opening a California location in the winter.
He’s also in the process of getting a beer license for his southern Utah restaurant/bakery. “When it’s hot outside, many people, especially foreigners, appreciate a cold beer with their sandwich.”
“I like taking risks,” said Oderkerken, of his southern Utah venture. “I love this, it’s all an adventure!”
To fund his expanding ventures, Oderkerken is selling some of his southern Utah property. Check out the beautiful offering at ElkheartCliffsRanch.com
Backerei Forscher is open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. They offer a 15 percent discount for locals. Their phone number is 435-648-3040, and their website is www.forscherbakery.com.