THE Oven Door Bakery has been an iconic Horsham business since it first opened more than 40 years ago.
The bakery remained a family owned and operated store from the very start – first with the Schwarz family and then by the Henwoods from 2006.
Roy and Thelma Henwood decided it was the right time to sell the business at the beginning of the year.
Now, the former The Oven Door Bakery location is the new home to Waack’s Bakery – a business well-known throughout the region with stores in Stawell, Ararat and Horsham.
Roy Henwood said the store was a family-orientated business since the doors first opened.
“The Schwarz family have been in Horsham baking bread since the 1940s and then they opened the oven door where it was in about 1970,” he said.
“It was a family owned business with James and his brother working in the bakery and his parents working in the shop front right up to when we bought it from them in 2006.
Family and customer service was what the business was all about from the very start.Roy Henwood
“For us it was a necessity to keep it as a family-run business. My son in Ballarat took over the financial side of the business and Jamie ran the production and the shop and we – the parents – filled in when needed and did what we were told.
“It was very much a family affair all the way through.”
Mr Henwood said the philosophy also remained unchanged since the start.
“The Schwarz family baked everything onsite and fresh everyday. That was the philosophy we continued,” he said.
“Family and customer service was what the business was all about from the very start. When we took over, we took on the same principles.
“We knew at least 60 per cent of the people that walked through by their first name. We had a really good rapport with customers.”
While The Oven Door Bakery name is no more, Mr Henwood said Waack’s Bakery was still a family owned and operated business.
Family and community are certainly a big part of our business.Rob Klein
“It’s a family-run business in the region that’s heading in a new direction,” he said.
Waack’s Bakery owner Rob Klein said family and community would be at the heart of the bakery.
“We are a family-run business and employed local people. It’s important that in each town we have stores we have local people working there,” he said.
“Family and community are certainly a big part of our business. We donate to not-for-profit organisations and want to support younger, as well as, local people with employment.”
Waack’s Bakery also has a Horsham store at 66 Firebrace Street. Mr Klein said they intended to consolidate the business at the former The Oven Door Bakery.
“Our businesses in other towns provide foods that we couldn’t provide in Horsham. Since relocating we have the ability to provide all those varieties,” he said.