Community saddened by passing of industry stalwart

Community saddened by passing of industry stalwart

The Elsternwick community and the baking industry as a whole is saddened to learn of the passing of industry stalwart Frank Rieck, aged 83.

The beloved baker was the owner of Elsternwick institution Frank’s Bakery, and featured as the cover story of Baking Business in August 2018.

In 1959, Frank packed up his belongings and left his hometown of Lengmoos—a small village between Munich and Salzburg in Bavaria, Germany—to travel to Australia to make a new life.

Included in those belongings was his prized “sour”, a sourdough starter he inherited from his mother. Passed down in his family from generation to generation, Frank estimated the starter, which he used daily to create the sourdoughs and rye breads that lined the shelves of Frank’s Bakery until it closed in 2019, to be up to 500 years old.

After relocating to Australia, Frank landed a job at the Tip Top factory as one of 32 bakers. He spoke next to no English but was more than qualified for the job, which each day saw them producing 50,000 loaves of white bread.

Rieck’s bread has been described as “the best sourdough in Australia”, with loyal customers coming from as far away as Bendigo and Moe to get their hands on a loaf.

Our thoughts are with Frank’s wife Elana and the rest of his family at this sad time.

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