EVERY BAKERY HAS ITSOWN SMELL
After a long time again I found a bakery where I felt the good old smell of bread from my childhood. That smell was lost with expanding of modern bakery with a wide variety of products which attract with look, but do not have connection with our country and our tradition.
It’s intrigued me who is behind this interesting bakery on the corner, in the center of Backa Palanka in a series of several bakeries and I decided to just make conversation with them. Besides, I like to buy bread in the bakery and enjoy in very friendly conversation with saleswoman.
I had interview with the owner, Mr Dragan Marceta. He invite me to come in the bakery at 4.00 p.m. This is period when he prepares buns. He made it by himself, because nobody cannot make it as he wants to be.
- Almost no one is willing to learn this craft, it is hard work, you need to work at night, but despite that I love it. Another job I do not know. This is what I do the best. I finished bakery school, but I learned most from my father. During the summer while others go for a swim on Danube, I am in this heat make a bread and buns. This business you need to love, and I love it, because I was born in it, says Dragoslav.
Bakery “Obrad” in Backa Palanka exited for more than 20 years. However, the tradition of bakeries in the family is much longer. It dates back to the 30’s of the last century, started with grandfather of today’s owner. His name was Nikola Strbac. He had the first bakery in Tenja, in today’s Croatia, Yugoslavia. The first baker in the family, Nikola learned the craft from one German baker from Tenja. After the skilled crafts he married the boss’s daughter and inherited the craft. Bread shop was located on the corner in the Tenja city. They prepared bread and buns manually. Bread was baked in a brick Turkish wood burning stove, furnace.
- It’s not easy. When you fired, it must be constantly distributed grill, constantly supervise and monitor.
None of the direct descendants of Nicholas Strbac was not interested in engaging in baking, so work was continued by his nephew and the father of today’s owner, Obrad Marceta. Obrad was 12, in 1957, and he came on the apprenticeship with his uncle in Tenja from Drvar, in Bosnia. After 1972 Obrad Marceta, decided to become independent and near the Tenja he opened his bakery. In the nineties, due to the civil war, Marceta moved with his family in Vojvodina, where he continued in a very difficult years to deal with this trade.
- We started from the beginning in 1993 and 1994. We built a new bakery in Backa Palanka. In that period we had industrial production. We made 6,000 loaves per day, but this is ridiculous. We had 15 stores and 54 workers. Operating profit in this business, was small.
Today, in „Obrad“ bakery they have 12 employees (7 bakers) and 3 bakery shops. They are one of the few bakeries that still bakes bread on the wood.
- As a kid I was sleeping in a bakery, on big bag with flour. I still have those pictures from childhood and bakery. Each bakery has its own smell. I still remember the smell of the bakery in Tenja. Sometimes, I found that smell here, but very rarely. It was a specific smell, somewhat sweetish and it awakens fond memories of that time.
He is married and has a young daughter. She likes to be in the bakery:
- She likes kneaded bread and enjoy in the game with dough.
Going back in history, we are reminded that the bakery in our region was under the influence of Turkey in Vojvodina under the influence of the Germans.
- We learned the baking craft and recipes from them. A lot of things in the bakery we use are German. “Viš“, this means washing of baking ovens, notching – cutting dough.
Instantly the bread story never ends and Marceta says:
- Bread is everywhere the same, only the name is different. We eat bread a lot, more than some nations. It used to be because of poverty and deprivation, and now it has been more a matter of habit. Lot of people throws away the old bread because it is cheap and they want to buy new one, fresh one. I have the impression that in other places people has more respect to bread.
Interview with Dragan Marceta has completed with his statement that he enjoy when he see a handwork that he create.
- I’d recommend any to deal with baking. It’s a very nice feeling. Every day you see what you’ve produced. It’s nice when someone boasts you, but when you see that someone bought your bread and holds it, it’s a special feeling.