Coffee, crumpets, and the chance to be cosseted by Karine Kafrell–chemical engineer, entrepreneur, and baker extraordinaire. This is what awaits customers at Bakery 88 in Dali, Yunnan.
A German bakery specializing in organic breads and jams made from locally sourced ingredients, Bakery 88 now resides at Foreigner Street Center 52 in Dali. Perhaps the bakery’s success and popularity were pre-destined when Karine scored big time with the original address at Yue’erxiaojie No. 88–the number 8 is a lucky number in China (much more so than the 7), and 88 is of course, twice as lucky. However, to believe this the sole reason for the bakery’s rave reviews is to do a disservice to Karine and her mission of empowerment.
Karine is German to the core–but also has the warm affection of an Italian mamma, enveloping her customers in hugs and smells of freshly baked bread. A chemical engineer by profession, she traded in her crucible for cookie sheets, and her formulas for recipes (but held on to her thermometer!) to start Bakery 88–simply because she loves to bake. At 14 years of age she declared herself a baker, but after years of baking solo she now employs a large staff and has customers clamoring at her door. Bakery 88 is a long-loved staple of the Dali food scene–a feel-good favorite of both locals and expats alike.
One of Karine’s aims in opening Bakery 88 was to employ local Yunnanese women who were, as far as the job market was concerned, skill-less. She teaches them to source, bake, and cook all kinds of recipes–including jam. In fact, one of Karine’s staff, after 3 years of working with Karine has succeeded in launching her own line of jam which Karine says is an ingenious combination of peaches, plums and pears–a gorgeous recipe she created on her own. Karine’s mission of female empowerment definitely has our applause at WildChina.
We love Bakery 88’s granola bars–a simple choice made with local Yunnan mulberries that just melt in your mouth. Here is to hoping my next journey leads me there sooner than later.
To truly treat your taste buds to Karine’s delicious baking, check out our trip Retracing the Ancient Tea & Horse Caravan Trail: Yunnan. Starting in Dali, this journey takes you along (you guessed it!) the 1,000 year-old Ancient Tea & Horse Caravan Trail.