Beckmann’s Old World Bakery was founded by Peter Beckmann in November 1985. Son of a craftsman family, he apprenticed in bread-making at Mantei Bakery in Heidelberg, Germany. After moving to the United States in 1982, Peter had a longing for the traditional breads of his home country, Germany. He baked the first commercial loaves in his kitchen oven and hand-delivered those first samples on his bicycle to four local Santa Cruz grocery stores. This was the start of a bakery that to this day has been honoring the German commitment to traditional artisan bread making.
In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake forced a relocation to the Seabright Station Cannery. The move allowed for increased production space and a new capacity for growth. In 1991 Beth Holland joined the company and became General Manager in 1997, and is now the company's CEO. Together they developed a management team which allowed for continued growth in distribution, service and production. In 2002 Beckmann's became a certified organic facility (CCOF) and food safety certified facility (NSF) in 2005.
In the first year, Sharon May joined the business as a partner, increasing sales locally and expanding the distribution of the products to large neighboring cities in the San Francisco Bay area. Sharon and Peter expanded the business by opening a local retail bakery and cafe, selling bread at farmers markets and branding Beckmann’s products in the wholesale grocery marketplace.
At the time of our 35th anniversary in 2020, we are happy to occupy a new Santa Cruz facility to better accommodate our continued growth. We employ 120 local residents and deliver over 15,000 fresh, high-quality, natural artisan breads daily to Northern California grocery stores. We have a farmers market division serving 40 markets per week selling our breads as well as fabulous cookies, pies and pastries.