Last Friday evening, we (Ross and Olesya) ventured from the office to discover more of Bielefeld’s heritage. The two-and-a-half-hour tour of Dr. Oetker Welt provided many interesting and sometimes surprising encounters with the world famous baking powder and frozen pizza manufacturer.
Our tour started with a brief history of the company, and we finally found out the name of the elusive woman whose silhouette features on the Dr. Oetker logo. Johanna Kind was the daughter of the man charged with designing the logo for his friend, Doctor August Oetker. When he struggled to come up with a design, he simply chose his daughter’s head. And now over 100 years later, this woman’s head is stamped on food items around the world.
After delving into the history of the Bielefeld-based company, our tour group had its first chance to enjoy some of Dr. Oetker’s food, namely vanilla pudding. A large yellow pudding machine is unmissable on the ground floor and all guests are invited to take their own mug and fill it with a warm and homely pudding before continuing to discover more of the museum. Correction – this ‘museum’ is actually still a working environment where experts test new recipes, the so-called Dr. Oetker Versuchsküche. And this surely adds to the excitement of the tour.
Perhaps the most surprising finding of our trip to Dr. Oetker Welt was the sheer size of the company. Interactive boards allowed us to discover more about operations in each of the 40 countries in which the company is active. Our tour guide was incredibly friendly and took the time to get to know each visitor individually and he even mentioned that there are Dr. Oetker offices near my hometown of Harrogate in England!
To finish off the tour, our guide invited every guest to sit in the bistro and sample some of Dr. Oetker’s most delicious products including mainly pizzas, cakes and the adorable Paula Puddings. We were expressly asked to eat as much or as little as we wanted – and naturally we opted for the former! After a hard week of work at Sprachenfabrik, we welcomed the opportunity to sit back and eat some freshly baked pizzas. The Ristorante Pizza Funghi was my personal favourite.
As a leaving present, all visitors to the Dr. Oetker Welt receive a goodie bag to remember their brilliant tour. In the bag we found a cake mixture for Gugelhupf, a cute little Dr. Oetker branded tin and countless recipes. I am looking forward to baking the Gugelhupf (just add water and eggs – it couldn’t be easier!) and Olesya can’t wait to try out some of the recipes and bring them to work to share with our colleagues.
All in all it was a fantastic trip – that in Bielefeld! Thank you Dr. Oetker!