Food Heroes: Fechner Family
Apex Bakery, with its wood fired Scotch Oven, was founded in 1924 by Mr Albert Hoffmann. Two years later, 12 year old Keith Fechner (Chiney to his friends and family) began work as a baker at Apex Bakery, waiting until 1948 to purchase the business.
Chiney’s three sons, Brian, David and Jonny, joined him at Apex in 1960 and now grandsons Corey and Josh have joined the Tanunda family baking business.
The original Scotch Oven is still churning out breads, cakes and their famous pasties, unchanged and unrestored since the day it was first fired in 1924.
This family lives to the bakers’ rhythm, rising in the middle of the night, when the rest of the Barossa is asleep. Their innate sense of fun sustains them along with pride in their heritage and in the bakery itself. Although they each have talents that could have taken them in other directions, the Apex Bakery tradition has proven a strong tie that has kept family values strong.
Their Friday lunches in the back of the bakery are legendary. The Product Breads and cakes, pies and pasties, all preservative free and still made to Albert Hoffmann’s original recipes.
Tracing the Hands: At 98 years of age, Chiney still stops into the bakery to ‘lend a hand’ but his sons say, “He is really still checking up on us.”
Why Barossa: The Barossa is Apex Bakery’s home and the Fechners have been part of the Barossa community for three generations.
Availability: Apex is open 5 1/2 days a week and the stream of customers is never ending.