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from the world of MIWE

06.07.2023

In memory of Prof. Edgar Michael Wenz
In memory of Prof. Edgar Michael Wenz

We commemorate a remarkable man who left a lasting mark on our company and the world of bakers, and whose legacy can still be felt in every corner of our business.

In memory of Prof. Edgar Michael Wenz

Today, we commemorate a remarkable man who left a lasting mark on our company and the world of bakers, and whose legacy can still be felt in every corner of our business. Prof. Dr. Edgar Michael Wenz, the son of our company founder and former head of MIWE, would have turned 100 this year. On the occasion of this special anniversary, we would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to his extraordinary achievements and celebrate his vision that has contributed greatly to making MIWE what it is today.


The Life of Edgar Michael Wenz

Prof. Dr Edgar Michael Wenz, born in 1923 during a period of profound change, was destined to forge his own path from the very outset. As the son of MIWE's founder, Michael Wenz, he was immersed in the world of ovens and baked goods. But it was not only the family tradition that shaped him, but also his own curiosity and ambition to make things better.

His journey began in MIWE's early years, when the company was still in its infancy as compared to today. Early on, he showed a deep understanding of the industry and a vision of how to drive progress. He saw the opportunities that technology offered and recognised that they could be used to make bakery production more efficient, higher quality and more sustainable.

Under his leadership, MIWE made the leap onto the international stage. He was the one who led the company through the challenges of growth and expansion, and it was his vision that made MIWE a leading provider of bakery solutions. His groundbreaking innovations, such as the introduction of modern processes, technologies and engineering (most notably sight and scent baking, as well as the further development of the rack oven and its spread throughout Europe and the world) as well as his promotion of sustainability and efficiency in the industry, have revolutionised the way we bake.

But despite his many achievements, Prof. Wenz always remained modest and down-to-earth. He was a man who understood the importance of hard work and commitment, and who never stopped looking for new opportunities and solutions. As a strong advocate of innovation and initiative, he took the following position:

"Every idea that is presented, both in the areas of increased productivity and especially in product development, is welcomed and pursued by us. Most of the suggestions come from the practical experience of bakers and from our own company. We expect people to take initiative in particular. Anyone who thinks they have something new to add and who can explain it at least to some extent on a theoretical level is given the opportunity to implement their ideas. A model of the concept will certainly be built. That's the only way to move forward."

His closeness to bakers as well as his tireless commitment to innovation and quality, have inspired many at MIWE and forever changed the way baking is done.

Today, on the day Prof. Wenz would have celebrated his 100th birthday, we remember him not only as a visionary leader and innovator, but also as a man of great integrity and humanity. His legacy, which he built together with his father, the founder of MIWE, lives on in every MIWE product and service. His values and principles are deeply anchored in our corporate culture and have been continued by his successor, Sabine Michaela Wenz.

We are proud to continue the legacy of this remarkable family and to let their shared vision live on in our daily work.


Special achievements and innovations

Prof. Dr Edgar Michael Wenz was a man who always strove for improvement. He was convinced that there is always a way to do things better – simpler and more efficient. He was driven by a passion for the bakery trade and the desire to provide bakers with better working conditions. He saw the challenges bakers faced every day and wanted to find solutions that would not only make baking easier, but also improve the quality of their baked goods.

Further development of the rack oven

Prof. Wenz realised in the late 1960s that the traditional method of baking, where each loaf had to be put into the oven and taken out one by one, was exhausting and time-consuming. He embraced the concept of the rack oven from Northern Europe, where baked goods placed on trays could be slid into the oven and pulled out using a trolley called a 'stikken'. Through diligently advertising and developing high-performance ovens, Prof. Wenz helped make the system a success, increasing the efficiency of many bakeries while also making the work of bakers much easier.

Invention of sight and scent baking

By the 1970s, Prof. Wenz realised that experiencing baking – seeing the baking process and smelling the fresh baked goods – had a powerful impact on customers. He developed ovens with glass fronts that allowed customers in shops to observe the baking process and also had these ovens placed in the bakeries in such a way that the tempting smell of freshly baked bread and pastries attracted customers. What has now become commonplace was an absolute novelty in the 1970s and represented an innovation that revolutionised the bakery industry.

Automation in the bakery industry

He understood that many of the tasks performed in bakeries could be automated to increase efficiency and reduce the workload placed on bakers. He developed automated computer-aided systems for a variety of aspects within the baking process, from dough production to oven control. To this day, automatic oven loading in particular has made the work of bakers easier, relieving them both on a physical level as well as in terms of staffing requirements. These innovations have helped increase productivity in the bakery industry while also improving the quality of baked goods.

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