Sicamous baker Fritz Priwall says his passion is making people happy.
He’s been successful at doing this with his sweet and savoury baked goods, which he sells and delivers throughout the Okanagan-Shuswap.
Priwall studied baking in Germany from
After running his own bakery in Germany, Priwall eventually moved to Canada, baking in Kitchener, Waterloo and Toronto in Ontario before landing in Winfield.
Priwall is one of the previous owners of Okanagan favourite Winfield Bakery, which burned down in March 2022. He had sold the bakery to current owner Tammy Kenney before the fire, but was working there as the full-time baker and working volunteer firefighting shifts to give back to the community, he said.
Priwall started a GoFundMe for the bakery to help with repairs, stating at the time “a couple good people lost their jobs… I like to help out.”
No stranger to helping out in times of need, Priwall also rallied his employees and customers in 2016 to raise nearly $10,000 for Fort McMurray fire victims.
He said he has always been eager to help others and has felt the same sentiment reciprocated recently.
“2022 was a very hard year for me,” said Priwall. “I had lost that job, I split up with my girlfriend of many years, sold that house, and my son passed away, so it was not good.
“But, I’ve got this new perspective on life and I want to do this and make a lot of people happy with what I do.”
Priwall moved to Sicamous and got right to work setting up his home-based bakery and securing a van for delivery services and markets. He went through about a year of health inspections, installing a $15,000 UV water treatment system and getting certified and set up.
Sunday, April 16, was his first day parked in front of After Dark Distillery downtown, selling his baking to passersby. He said it was incredibly successful.
Priwall has been making the drive to Vernon, Oyama and Lake Country to sell his wares, but said he’s excited to do less driving this summer as the tourist population skyrockets in Sicamous and he can survive on local sales.
“I start baking around 11 p.m. or midnight, leaving here at six a.m. because I need to be at farmers’ markets and set up at seven… the action goes on from eight until one, and then I drive home and clean everything up,” Priwall said, noting he can make that trip up to five times a week and will be adding in a weekly Revelstoke market and baking to supply a permanent shelf in D Dutchman Dairy.
“I can see myself not driving so much anymore,” he laughed. “I’m almost 60 years old, I still want to work and I love the social contact with people but I can feel my age.”
Priwall said he is in a trial year, figuring out how much he wants to work and what makes sense for him. He wants to keep traveling to Oyama, where he lived for 17 years, and Winfield as often as he can to thank people who helped him there when he needed it most and visit old friends.
“I don’t care if you buy one pretzel or you’re buying 10 because, in the end, it’s not the amount that makes the difference. It’s not always about money, I think people forget this.”
Fritz the Baker will likely be parked outside the distillery on Sundays and other places in the community as the busy season continues. Updates can be found at the Fritz the Baker Facebook page.