Early Biscuits Manufacturers

Baumanns Biscuits

The registered name of the company was Selected Products Limited, but it traded as Baumanns Biscuits.  It operated in Cape Town.

In the past there was some confusion in the minds of the public about the relationship between Baumanns and Bakers Ltd and the details are as follows:

When Mr William Baumann  married in 1918, he and his new wife discussed a project of opening their own biscuit factory in Cape Town where Bakers Ltd did not trade.   He resigned as Managing Director of Bakers Ltd in Durban and registered his company in October 1918 at No 1 Orange Street in Cape Town as Selected Products Ltd, trading as Baumanns Biscuits.

However, things did not go too well for him financially.  Maybe he had too much trading opposition from Pyotts who already had a well established factory in Cape Town and with no opposition, dominated the area.  After three years he approached his father suggesting that his Cape Town company should be sold to Bakers Ltd in Durban as a subsidiary.  This was done, with  Mr William Baumann continuing as its Managing Director.  

William Baumann died in 1946 at the age of 62 and his son, Desmond Baumann, at 35 years of age was appointed Managing Director in his place.   Desmond Baumann had spent his earlier years training as a baker and as a flour miller in Britain and so was thoroughly familiar with baking operations.

In 1958 I was appointed Managing Director of Bakers Ltd in Durban and the two of us worked very well together.  We established a very close and understanding relationship.  Although Bakers Ltd owned Baumanns Biscuits it was always understood that Bakers Ltd would in no way endeavour to control Baumanns operations.

Baumanns traded mainly in the Cape, the Western Cape and up the east coast as far as Port Elizabeth.   Bakers Ltd traded down from Natal as far as East London.

The Transvaal was mainly Bakers Ltd territory but it was arranged somewhere around 1955 that Baumanns should also open up a trading operation in the Transvaal.  They found it very difficult to compete against the well established Bakers Ltd.