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  • Chris McMillan

Feature: A relay of love in "silent bakery"


14th September 2022

Feature: A relay of love in "silent bakery"

Bach's Bakery in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, ushered in a moment of leisure in the afternoon.

The new manager Markus Hofmuller was in a heated discussion about the upcoming test of new bakers scheduled in a week. Yet the room is strangely quiet, as most employees here are deaf and mute, and the manager is communicating in sign language.

Bach's Bakery, situated on a small lane in the city, was founded by a German couple Uwe Brutzer and Dorothee Brutzer.

The couple came to Changsha in 2002 to work for a charitable project for deaf-mute children funded by a German non-governmental charitable organization.

"It's better to teach someone fishing than give them a fish," the couple said. So, they turned their attention to German pastry, and in 2011, the "silent bakery" was born, opening its doors to provide the deaf-mute community with a new means of financial independence.

"We named the shop after Johann Sebastian Bach, a well-known German composer. We hoped to make the best-baked goods, just like Bach composed the best music," said Uwe Brutzer in a previous interview with Women of China.

Over the past 11 years, Bach's Bakery trained 25 hearing-impaired bakers, many of whom have graduated and pursued careers as bakers.

Due to their old age, the couple chose to return to Germany late last year and published a shop transfer notice.

A relay of love began here. Markus Hofmuller, 45, who is also a German, officially took over the bakery in May this year.

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