German Bakery Helps Deaf Chinese Earn Their Daily Bread
Muhammad Irfan 1 month ago Sun 20th September 2020 | 12:30 PM
Changsha, China, Sept 20 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 20th Sep, 2020 ) :The oven's warm glow and aroma of fresh bread signal the morning rush at Bach's Bakery in the central Chinese city of Changsha, but although the baking staff chatter excitedly, you could hear a pin drop.
Bach's employs mainly hearing-impaired staff, whose banter over trays of pumpkin bread, Danish sausage rolls and Apple turnovers is done entirely in sign language.
The operation, owned and operated by German national Uwe Brutzer, provides work opportunities that are often hard to come by for his employees.
"It's hard (to find work) in other places. You need to know someone to be able to find good work. If not, you have few options," added Wan, hearing-impaired since birth and speaking via sign language translated by Brutzer.
With their communication challenges, the hearing-impaired are often steered into work requiring skilful use of the hands, said the 50-year-old Brutzer, making the bakery a nice fit.
He took over the bakery in 2011 and has since trained around 20 bakers.
Most go on to work in other bakeries, restaurants or hotels.
But other aspects of running a business -- hiring, working with suppliers, talking to customers -- pose major challenges to opening their own bake shops.
"Two of our very experienced bakers (have tried), but they both closed their shops later again. It was too much hassle for them," he said.
The bright and compact bakery has had a devoted local clientele for years in the city -- known more for its peppery Hunan cuisine -- despite being hidden in a non-descript residential side alley.
Bakery margins are thin, however, and Bach's has struggled, said Brutzer.
"But that will slow down, I hope, to a good level where we can pay better salaries and people will be happier," he said.