Giving new life to old bread | Global Ideas | DW | 31.07.2012

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Global Ideas

Giving new life to old bread

A shop in Berlin has an unusual business model - selling day-old bread. It’s a hit with customers though it doesn’t turn a big profit. But Vesta Heyn, the brains behind the company, says the concept makes a lot of sense.

Vesta Heyn

Vesta Heyn - a baker with a mission

Second hand is a hugely popular concept in Berlin. You can buy used clothes in the city’s numerous flea markets and junk shops, vintage furniture in boutiques, design stores and antique shops and even bags made of old tires or tarpaulin.

In keeping with the German capital’s penchant for all things used, Vesta Heyn sells old bread. Her shop called “Second Bäck” has day-old loaves and rolls on offer. It sounds like a good business plan.

But it’s much more than that. It’s been reality for the past 12 years way before sustainability and recycling turned into the hot-button climate issues that they are today. Vesta Heyn drives to a dozen bakeries in Berlin each morning to collect bread and other baked goods left over from the previous day. She pays a part of the original selling price for it.

Her small bread shop in northern Berlin offers high-quality baked products – the shelves are full of healthy full-grain bread, organic rolls and other goods baked according to special recipes. And the stuff literally sells like hot cakes.

Watch the audio slide show

Author: Ranty Islam
Photos: Axel Warnstedt