Friday, February 09, 2007

The death of the Patriarch of the Oetker Family

I read last week about the death of the founder of the Dr. Oetker Company, Rudolf August Oetker lived to the ripe old age of 90. My life seems entwined with the Dr. Oetker name, as my mother was born and raised in the same city where Rudolf Oetker was born, Bielefeld, Germany, and thus many of her recipes came from various Dr. Oetker recipe books, made with Dr. Oetker products. Even now, many products of Dr. Oetker can be found in supermarkets in North America, including baking powder, vanilla sugar, various essences (rum, lemon, burnt almond and others), baking mixes, puddings, pizzas and the recently acquired Shirriff line of products. But the Oetker company not only dabbles in baked goods, they own various large ships (my Dad recalls seeing some of his ships down in the Welland Canal in the St. Catherines area, bringing Volkswagen automobiles to Canada), breweries, luxury hotels, a chemical factory, and even a bank. The Oetker name and company, from its beginnings after the invention of 'baking powder', has to grown to have 23,000 employees and revenues of over 7 million Euros per year, and is know world wide. I can't imagine my life without them.

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