How are the bakeries in Sydney

"Lüneburg" bread - a hit in Sydney

Sydney. Those who buy from him have had enough of sloppy white bread. The Turkish-born German Ahmet Yaltirakli sells real delicacies: pumpkin seed bread, crust rolls and quark pockets. What is naturally in the assortment of every bakery in Germany is a real market niche in Australia. Because although many Germans live or go on vacation Down Under, many miss something very crucial: good bread.

Less than four years ago, Yaltirakli founded a German bakery in Sydney: the "Lüneburger German Bakery". And it is so well received that the 45-year-old wants to open his eighth store this year.

Ahmet Yaltirakli has never sat on the smelt, never stood on the Lüneburg water tower. He was born in Istanbul and worked as a goldsmith in Cologne for 30 years. On a Sunday in 1996 he saw a documentary by Joachim Fuchsberger about Australia on television - and was immediately fascinated. He books the tickets on Monday, and on Wednesday he is on the plane with his wife and son.

"I absolutely had to go to the places where Joachim Fuchsberger was. I wanted to know whether what was on television was true," laughs Yaltirakli. He travels to Australia with his wife four times, and each time they like it better. In 2002 they finally took the big step and emigrated.

After a few years and two failed business ideas, Ahmet Yaltirakli senses his great opportunity: "All Germans raved about Australia. But everyone complained that you couldn't get decent bread here."

In 2005 the time has come. The first "Lüneburg German Bakery" opens - in the "Queen Victoria Building", the heart of Sydney. It is the largest shopping center in the metropolis, at the subway station with the most passengers in the country. The retail space is among the best in Australia. "I was very lucky there," says Yaltirakli, looking back. Today he is certain: "Otherwise I would have been broke after six months."

But why "Lüneburgers"? "Yaltirakli doesn't do well for a German bakery," laughs the emigrant. At first he thought about calling it a Cologne or Berlin bakery. "But then I saw the Lüneburg country bread in a dealer catalog. The name looks very nice in cursive and sounds typically German with the 'ü'." Then he looks at Lüneburg on the Internet and thinks: Such a beautiful, historical city goes wonderfully with German bread.

Since then, German tourists and emigrants have felt at home as soon as they see the yellow, curved pretzel and the red Lüneburg lettering. In the meantime, however, Yaltirakli's clientele has been mixed. Everyone wants the "Champions Rolls" (world champion rolls) or "Sultana Snails" (raisin snails). In its main branch alone, the Lüneburg team serves 2000 customers every day. There are now six shops in which around 30 employees bake and sell. Breads and rolls are frozen by ship from Germany. "It wouldn't be possible any other way," says the boss. In the event of a bottleneck, however, he sometimes has goods flown in: "I want to keep my customers."

The "Lüneburger" in Sydney is a bit more expensive than in the salt city: a kilo of bread costs the equivalent of 4 euros, a butter croissant 1.40 euros - only bread rolls are almost as expensive as here at 33 cents.

And how is it going to be in the future? "In theory, I could have opened 20 branches," says Yaltirakli. The demand is there, but it takes time to find a good location. "Maybe I'll do it for another five years," the 45-year-old muses. "Then I definitely want to do something different again." He currently works 80 to 90 hours a week and has no days off. He is currently developing a franchise system with which he plans to expand his business to Melbourne in the near future. "It's a lot of work. But the enthusiasm I get from my customers gives me energy."

In general, Yaltirakli thinks the people are very friendly and helpful, the country is beautiful - if the distance to his relatives in Germany weren't so great: "The time difference in particular is troublesome for me." And: "The heart of the world beats in Europe after all."