The baker boy

  • He grew up around the smell of fresh bread, and thus, began his life-long affair with the art of baking.
- Astha Chand, Kathmandu
The baker boy
If I were to be born again, I’d want to be born into a baker’s family.

Jul 24, 2015-

Nirmal KC was just 10 years old when he decided to help out in his father’s bakery, Hermann Helmer’s in 1978.  As he grew up, the bakery grew with him, and what started as a small business consisting of only his father and two others has now turned into a go-to place for quality bakery products. We spoke to him to find out a little about what it takes to be the man behind such a success story.  

 

Your father established the bakery in 1978, how was it growing up around a bakery?

I was always helping around the bakery in whatever way that I could. I was just six-years old when my father  first opened the bakery. He later went to Germany to perfect his baking craft and after a while, my mother, brother and myself went to live with him there. After we came back, we re-opened Hermann’s and we’ve never looked back. As well as that, I’ve always loved eating bakery products and working with my father was just an extension of that.  

 

When did you know that you wanted to help out and get involved in the business?

Running a bakery is not a one man business; there were definitely works I could help with so I happily joined. At first I would just visit the bakery a couple of hours every day. Later, I slowly started working inside the bakery as well because I realised my father was alone and needed help. After completing my SLC I joined my parents in the bakery full-time. I’m proud of where we are now, and it is all because I joined young. 

 

How difficult is it to manage and build upon the level, the reputation that your father set?

It’s very difficult but thankfully for us this is our family business and we’re all equally involved. We’ve all got our roles and we all help each other out. The best part is, we can rely on each other—when I need time off, I can go and I know that the business will still be doing fine.

 

What is that one principle that you have learnt from your father that you still practice till date?

My father has always told us to solely focus on upholding the quality. He reiterates that as long as you can provide quality products, people will come. That is what that has kept us going until today.

 

How important would you say it is for your kids to also join the business?

All parents want their kids to look after their business, but all we can do is hope that they will do so. We can’t force them but we can at least try and create that environment. It’s not about earning money; it’s about them continuing baking. It’s so easy to learn these skills and use it in your day-to-day life.

 

Hermann Bakery is definitely a trendsetter—in the years that you have worked, what have you learnt from it?

Every day is a new day, and in a bakery, you can experiment everyday too. It’s all about working with what the customers want. If they like an item, we continue it; if they don’t, then we discontinue it. I would say we’ve done quite well locally, too. We’ve gained a lot of well wishers. When my father wasn’t well, and we took him to the hospital all the doctors knew us—it was an incredibly proud moment. 

 

Do you think you’ve accomplished what you set out to achieve both as a person and as a establishment? 

Personally, I would say that we’ve got everything that we want. I’ve never wanted expensive cars or a big bungalows— I was never keen on the materialistic things. We’re happy because our business is doing well. We don’t need to indulge in those things.   

 

Tell us how do you manage to stay grounded?

Just the way our bakery has rules and regulations, we’ve got rules at home too which we all follow. It’s very easy to become rich and to be able to do whatever you want but that’s not the point. The rules need to be followed and that’s something I’ve always believed in. 

 

Your life philosophy?

I always say that if I had a chance to be born again, I’d again want to be born in a baker family–it doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor, as long as I’m born in a baker’s family, everything will be just fine.

 

 

Timeline

1972

Born...

December 12, the eldest son. He has one younger brother, Kamal, and he too helps out in the bakery.

 

1978

A legacy begins...

Hermann bakery opens its doors.

 

1977

School years...

KC joins Arniko Boarding School.

 

1980

Leaving home...

As his father was already in Germany, KC and his mother also moved to Germany—closing Hermann’s for two years. KC also studied there for a year and a half.

 

1982

Re-opening...

Hermann Bakery re-opens.

 

1988

Never looking back...

Joined Hermann Bakery full-time

 

Published: 23-07-2015 11:40

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