Abby’s Millstone Baking Company
Highlights of Joachim (ABBY) Franke’s 35 year career as a culinary leader include: Ten years of old -world-style baking in Germany – from apprenticeship at the Klaus Kabs Bakery to earning the coveted designation Master Baker; Corporate Master Baker for Princess Cruises including integral in the designing and opening of on board bakery production areas, pastry and pizza shops and all aspects of hiring and training; $55,000,000 annual production as Manager for La Brea Bakery including contributions to the design of their wholesale production facilities in three states; and Corporate Manager of Retail for Einstein Noah’s. Most impressive is his proven success as co-owner of the original Stone Ground Baking Co. and his new destination bakery: Abby’s Millstone Baking Company.
In 2004 Abby Franke and Paul Sherman, an Israeli very well known from his Sherman bakeries in the San Fernando Valley, co-founded Stone Ground Bakery in Agoura Hills, California. From a hidden back of the lot location the German and the Jewish duo grew their business from about $200,000 annual sales to over $2,000,000 four years later and following. Shockingly and sadly Abby’s best friend “Paulito” quietly died in 2008 while sitting at his bakery desk preparing to go home to his family for the evening. Not until two years later did Abby invite in a new 40% partner, but soon after they went their separate ways.
Abby’s passion is still on fire for providing amazing old world style breads, bakery goods, and neighborhood friendly service to our community and the wholesale market. The community rallied to bring back their favorite bakers. With the help of many whose names are burnt into the wood plank on the bakery coffee counter wall and too many more to list, Abby with his one time protégé and long time Head Baker, Walter Cocka are back! Having returned to their original location, retail and wholesale customers are genuinely exuberant that Abby, Walter, Brenda, Rachel and many more of their bakery friends are back.
Also Jerry Rodriguez, who worked with Abby many years before, joined the team again. Together with Debbie Vardi (who joined the team not only as a “working team member, as also as a minority partner), Jerry and Debbie will be a big part of the future success of Abby’s Millstone Bakery.
Today we are a community-oriented, traditional European-style full-line welcoming bakery and coffee house producing all natural, preservative free, handcrafted, Kosher Pareve, healthy, comfort breads and baked goods from flours milled on-site, for consumers’ and wholesale customers’ happy consumption in our store, in their homes, restaurants, schools – wherever they eat!
A Big Thanks From Abby Franke
I like to thank Walter, Brenda, Jerry and especially Debbie for all of their efforts, loyalty and even more important for their friendship!
But, I am not really done yet, because I like to take this opportunity to thank a few more special people in my life. The following friends of mine, I like to thank from the bottom of my heart for what they did for me! Thank you Terry, thank you Juergen and Helma, thank you Bert and Marie Jane, thank you Mark and Steven and last at least a big thank you Gidon.
Abby Franke 02/21/2013