John Baker: Out of love for artisan bakery

Man in bakery

John Baker: Out of love for artisan bakery

Prepared fresh daily and sold with great charm, John Baker's culinary treats provide moments of enjoyment far and wide. What once started small has become a Zurich success story.
There is hardly any smell more seductive than freshly baked bread: crisp, slightly caramel-scented crust and fluffy bread. The mixture of flour, water, salt and yeast really wins people over. So much so, that customers are happy to wait patiently for as long as twenty minutes on a Sunday morning to buy their bread. They can be seen on Helvetiaplatz in Zurich in front of John Baker's bakery.

On the road to success, with lots of love

What began in 2013 with four business partners and the first sales outlet at the Stadelhofen station has become a Zurich success story. Eight years later, about 120 employees knead, shape and sell the large and small treats in six sales outlets distributed across the city – with lots of love and even more artisan baking expertise. The range covers all kinds of bread as well as sandwiches, Birchermüesli, cake and salads.

Traditional artisan baking expertise

John Baker's doughs are living natural products - without stabilizers and naturally in organic quality. They stand for about 24 hours and ferment during this time. Shorter fermentation times mean ordinary bread often only rests two to three hours and thereby only absorbs about 60 % water. The traditional artisan-produced John Baker doughs by contrast bind up to 80 % water. They remain correspondingly moist and as a result keep much longer.

Big Baker family

"At John Baker, we constantly like to rethink things, and think differently," Jens Jung, founder and CEO of John Baker, revealed. But this only works if all the employees are able to contribute their knowledge and requests. Consequently, John Baker has flat hierarchies and allows employees to make many decisions. As a result, dynamic, familial teams arise that encourage each other and in this come up with new ideas. Success shows they are on the right track, as the long queues in front of the shops impressively demonstrate.

Only the best counts

Where work is performed innovatively, something can certainly go wrong occasionally. If third parties are harmed as a result, it can be really expensive. For example, if a customer slips on a freshly cleaned stairway in business premises and breaks their leg or suffers even more serious injuries. The business is liable from its assets. "As a young company, we don't have the financial cushion to absorb such claims independently," added Jung. Consequently, he relies on commercial liability insurance from Zurich. "After all, I always want the best – for my employees, our products and our customers."

Additional protection

Even if unjustified claims should be made against John Baker, Zurich will stand by the Zurich organic bakery and fend off such claims. This so-called passive legal protection is another benefit of commercial liability insurance. But as if that were not enough The insurance can be supplemented with additional benefits. "For example, in production businesses like John Baker, we recommend including the additional benefit of recall costs," revealed Nathalie Thiemann, claims inspector at Zurich. This additional module means Zurich assumes the additional costs, for example, if defective products that could be harmful to people have to be recalled. 

More time for your own passion

"Thanks to Zurich's insurance coverage, we can devote ourselves without worry and with an easy conscience, to what we love to do: baking and making people happy with good products," Jung said. And if customers are not in the mood to queue, they can ask for the free sourdough starter kit to bake their own bread. As a result, the tempting scent of freshly baked bread will soon be detectable in many local corners of the city.

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