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Longtime baking industry supporter Herbert Naimer dies


January 20, 2022
By Bakers Journal

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Bakers Journal is sad to announce that longtime baking industry member and supporter Herbert Naimer passed away on Jan. 16 at the age of 88.

Trained in Vienna as a pastry chef, upon his arrival in Canada, Mr. Naimer worked primarily for Food City in Ontario as a bakery manager. After his retirement he dedicated his time to help and assist budding bakers, said fellow baker and president of the Baking Industry of Canada Flemming Mathiasen.

“Herbert was a Life Member of the old Bakery Production Club of Ontario and excelled as the program chairman, filling the monthly events to capacity,” Mr. Mathiasen shared through BAC executive director Martin Barnett. “His love for baking was undeniable, and he would go to great length to help make things successful. I personally going to miss the many fun times we have had baking and debating our culture differences – his Austrian, mine Danish – about different baking issues and other topics.”

Mr. Mathiasen highlighted a few memories of Herb Naimer and his accomplishments in the Canadian baking industry:

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“Herb Naimer was an interesting man, incredibly artistic and talented, who at one time started designing and manufacturing cake decoration and flowers while working daily in an in-store bakery.

“He had a keen interest in teaching and I used him to teach a night school class in baking for homemakers that became very successful for five years until the Peel board of education decided to change direction.

“The other highlight was his love to implement Bakery Production Club of Ontario (BPCO) monthly programs. As president I wanted to move the organization forward to entice big and small bakers to come to get new ideas, but also to provide something the Allied trades to the baking industry felt was of value. We went back to the old tabletop concept and Herb would bang on companies’ doors for support and ideas he could implement. In our last meeting at the Holiday Inn we had booked for 100 people but 125 showed up. Determined not to turn people away as it was a dinner meeting, 25 of us gave up our seats and we arranged for stools to be added to the room in the back while we ate in bar.

“In 1996 I introduced seminars to the Showcase again . . . As baking was big in Ontario, with 30 schools offering baking as part of their high school curriculum, we mandated that during the show students had to participate with their teachers in a seminar of their choice. Equipment was borrowed from schools in the area and Herb’s mandate was to make sure it flowed and demonstrators had required ingredients or audio-visual equipment. We would bring in 450 students or apprentices on a Tuesday.

“Since I started a skills competition for high school students in baking, the idea was to use non-teachers to run the competition and briefly explain what it was to be a baker. I used Herb and a few industry people for that role. . . . Herb was always willing to participate and later on volunteered in a school close to home helping a new teacher once a week.”

Bakers Journal extends its condolences to Mr. Naimer’s family, friends and colleagues. We invite readers to share their memories of Herbert Naimer through editor Colleen Cross at ccross@annexbusinessmedia.com.