My working days in Indonesia

After some time of being the Regional bakery adviser to the Middle East the company asked me if I would take on the challenge of being the (Regional Bakery Executive to the Far East) which I was pleased to accept as not only was it another step up my bakery profession ladder but also the opportunity to be working with other cultures and for me to expand my own bakery knowledge, and so it was that in September 1998 I took up my new role first being based in Thailand for four years and from there would be travelling around the region conduction seminars, practical demonstrations, visiting customers and training the local country bakery advisers in:

 

Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, all of Mainland China, and Indonesia.

 

It was a job that demanded a great deal of self motivation and an understanding of the various cultural, customs and religious ways of each country but a job that was extremely rewarding professionally in its diversity.

 

Then in 1992 my base country was relocated to Indonesia but still with all the other countries responsibilities and with an additional role in Indonesia which included:

Operations manager for frozen bakery products and Franchise manager for the companies (Bon Vivant bakery cafés) and it is in Indonesia where I have lived ever since my early retirement in the middle of 1997

      

At the test bakery and seminar room in Indonesia ready to start a bakery seminar on bakery products,

Left to right, Herman, Myself, Asep, Siswanto these where the three local bakery advisers, each of the countries I visited had their own local advisers that I trained and assisted with Bakery demonstrations and seminars...

 

During my time living and working in Indonesia I travelled extensively around the country along with my local bakery adviser colleagues conducting Bakery seminars and demonstrations normally held in a hotel banquet room with many guests, anything ranging from 400-600 guests at a time and on one occasion we held a seminar in the province of Medan with just over 1000 guests...          

A much missed very good friend from my days working in Indonesia. Claude was French and the factory manager for our frozen bakery products department, we worked very closely together developing new frozen bakery products for the local bakery market, unfortunately Claude died in 1997 and of all things food poisoning...    

‘A Becak’ (Mobile peddle bike) that I designed.

There were 12 such bikes peddling around the streets selling doughnuts and pastries with each salesman having their own designated area, to make the salesmen go out and get sales they were paid on a percentage of how much they sold each day, which increased motivation and is still a common practice with such vendors in Indonesia.    

Here seen at the launch into the local Indonesian market...

A mobile unit that I also designed for selling croissants, doughnuts and pastries at any type of function, the unit could be collapsed down and moved anywhere in a small van, the unit was complete with an oven, fermentation cabinet, small chest freezer and cold tea machine, so that we could bake and sell anywhere on site... 

Sumi and Me

I worked in Indonesia until my early-retirement in May1997 which was due to changes in the company’s worldwide business strategy and then returned to the UK, but I was no sooner home when I had a phone call from another company asking me to be there consultant for six months in setting up frozen bakery products production and cafe outlets.

 

Many people have since asked me how I met Sumi well she was working in Jakarta at the same time as me and that’s how we meet and as they say the rest is history. For a short period Sumi and I did return to the UK to live but unfortunately it was the end of the year and from the moment we arrived at the airport it started to snow and Sumi just could not adapt to the cold English climate nor the fact that then you could not buy any of the type of Indonesian foods or ingredients that she was used to and also missed her family dreadfully as Indonesian family ties are much stronger than European family ties so we decided that living overseas was much easier for me so we moved back to Indonesia to live in her rural village and finally got married and where we have lived ever since...  

 

At first we did open our own Bakery and Café but after 7 years of excellent trading that was stopped when my Alzheimer’s and dementia arrived on the scene...