A day in the life of Singapore’s Baker & Cook founder, who owns a S$30 million business in 4 countries and lives apart from his family

New Zealander Dean Brettschneider lives in Singapore, where he oversees 10 Baker & Cook outlets. His wife, Vibeke, lives in Denmark, and his son lives in London.
Baker & Cook

Dean Brettschneider is a New Zealander who claims to have made sourdough bread popular in Singapore.

The 50-year-old Baker & Cook founder owns 10 outlets in the Republic, and others in Manila, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia (opening next year).

The cookbook author and father-of-one started his business in Singapore in 2012 with a single artisanal bakery in Hillcrest Road. Before that, he was an apprentice at New Zealand’s award-winning Rangiora Bakery and later owned his own bakery chain in Dunedin.

Here’s a look at Brettschneider’s typical day in Singapore, as described to Business Insider:


Dean Brettschneider is the founder and CEO of 10 stores in Singapore, including Baker & Cook, Plank Sourdough Pizza, Mo & Jo Sourdough Burgers, and Brettschneider’s Baking and Cooking School.

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Baker & Cook

He first started Baker & Cook after cycling with a friend in the Hillcrest neighbourhood in 2011 and noticing a lack of cafes. 

Today, the entrepreneur wakes up at 5.30am three times a week to cycle with his regular group, Baabaas Biking Group.

Two hours and 55 kilometres later, he returns home to shower and get ready for work.

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Baker & Cook

8am: Brettschneider heads to his central bakery in Greendale Avenue to check on the progress of Christmas bakes made by pastry chef Nicholas Ng.

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Baker & Cook

The boss spends four hours there daily, helping to glaze cakes…

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… bake cookies…

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… construct gingerbread houses…

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… and watch with an eagle eye as bakers pipe decorations on reindeer macarons.

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Baker & Cook stores offer a wide range of items, but the most popular ones are carrot cake and wholegrain loaves studded with nuts.

Demand is so high that the chain opened 8 stores in the last 18 months (an average of one new store every two months) – funded entirely by profits from the business, which Brettschneider estimates to be worth S$30 million.

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Baker & Cook

12pm: The founder usually visits various outlets in the afternoon to see how they’re doing. He heads over to his newest outlet, Plank, a pizza restaurant in Dempsey.

Baker & Cook typically opens heartland outlets, as Brettschneider isn’t keen on the central district.

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Baker & Cook

1.30pm: The baker heads into the outlet’s kitchen to help out, making pizza dough with his 32-year-old sourdough starter – which he claims is “probably one of the oldest in Singapore”.

The starter is used to make all the products the brand sells.

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Off the pizza goes into the oven to bake.

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In the meantime, he chats with customers, and even clears tables and washes dishes if the store is short-handed.

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Baker & Cook

3.30pm: The CEO holds business meetings in the afternoon in his outlets. Today, he’s meeting coffee supplier Allpress Espresso.

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4.30pm: Brettschneider goes to the gym next door to lift weights with his personal trainer. He’s trying to regain his strength after stopping his workouts for two years.

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Baker & Cook

7pm: After another shower and change of clothes, the CEO is back in his Dempsey outlet to launch the morning’s Christmas bakes to VIP customers.

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11pm: His day ends with surfing the net to relax before bedtime.

Brettschneider lives in Singapore, while his Danish wife, Vibeke, lives in Denmark and his son lives in London.

He’s making plans to go skiing in Italy’s Dolomites mountains with his wife this Christmas.

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Baker & Cook

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