WHEN BAKING FIGHTS LONELINESS
The sweetest 2 min read you will go through today.
I just got back from holiday. It has been a fabulous summer. On a professional level I had the opportunity to live important moments. And I also had time to enjoy a few weeks break traveling with friends and family! One of the things I like to do when I travel is to try the local food of the places I visit. And normally, the food I like the most, are sweets and desserts.
This is how I look like when trying new food. And that’s what I would like to talk about in this article: sweet food! More specifically, cakes!
In this Corkscrew Thinking in Action case study I would like to introduce you to Kuchentratsch. It is a German social enterprise that distributes cakes prepared by retirees. Aka retired people.
The founders of this company identified two problems that mainly affect older people in Germany: loneliness, and poverty. Inspired by this fact, they decided to find a solution to this problem, and they came up with Kuchentratsch.
This Munich-based company has two clear objectives: one, to generate a business through the sale of cakes. And two, generate an inclusive, playful space to fight against social isolation of elderly people.
I would like to explain why this is a clear example of Corkscrew Thinking. In fact, a sweet example of Corkscrew Thinking.
The first element that I would like to highlight is how they are challenging the status quo. Most of us have older people in our lives: grandparents, aunties, neighbours… Generally it is people who no longer work, and therefore do not generate recurring income. Often retirees end up spending a lot of their time alone. Although they have family and friends, as a general rule they do not usually share as much time with those people as they would like.
I think we should all be able to empathize with this situation, and the differential factor that makes Kuchentratsch so special is that they see potential in these people who, according to society, are already too old to be “productive”. Kuchentratsch believe in this demographic, and provides them a space to do what they enjoy: prepare cakes in the oven. But this project is not only about ovens and cakes, the ultimate goal is to provide recreational spaces to enhance elderly social relationships.
And also in case you’re wondering, Kuchentratsch bakers get paid for their work: they are pastry chefs.
And how do they do this?
I think the ‘why’ they are a clear example of Corkscrew Thinking is covered, but knowing how they do it confirms the case.
They take risks: And I am not talking about working with retirees. This is their value proposition. I am talking about having sustainability as one of the main values in the company. All the cakes provided by Kuchentratsch are made by local and seasonal products. And as we saw in the Boston Tea Party Case Study, normally it’s not easy to behave sustainable. The result of it, is Kuchentratsch provides good quality products and its customers are committed with the environment.
They are creative: For me, the creativity factor also comes into play. In Germany, making cakes is a common custom in families. Especially among older people. Actually we could say Munich is a reference place when talking about cakes. But up to now, no one thought this could be a great solution to fight loneliness.
In Germany there is the demand to eat good cakes, and also, there is need to support vulnerable people like retirees. What links both concepts, is the expertise grannies have with the oven.
Coming to this conclusion might sound obvious, but courage is needed to actually turn others passion into a business that provides sense of belonging in the sweetest possible way.
If you are in Germany and you feel you need a cake right now, go and check their pastries!
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