Hans Nadler has been selected to receive the “International Baker of the Year 2011 Award,” created by the Union International de la Boulangerie (UIB) to honor an outstanding baker at a world level. It is regarded as the most prestigious honor that the baking industry worldwide can bestow on a baker. 

Nadler was nominated by Brazil, taken to Poland for approval and was unanimously approved by UIB in September 2010. The Nadler family and friends will travel to Venice, Italy, to receive this accolade in October 2011.  

Hans and Minerva Nadler are owners of San Antonio’s Nadler’s Bakery & Deli, which has been in business for 47 years. Hans, a native of Zug Switzerland, came to the United States in 1953, settled in Long Island, New York, and was called to serve in the U.S. Army within six months after arrival.

After a two-year military tour in San Antonio, Hans returned to Long Island with his wife. But after four years and longing for family and the friendliness of their favorite Texas city, the Nadler’s returned to San Antonio where Hans was hired to work for Handy Andy Super Markets when they opened their European style Bakery & Café at the newly built Wonderland Mall.

Hans is the sole surviving member of five Texas bakers who founded the Greater Southwest Retails Bakers of America (GSWRBA). He served as its first president and held the position for three years. He continues as director and past president.

During the 1990s, Cámara Nacional de la Industria Panificadora, the Mexican Retail Bakers Association, sought out Hans and requested assistance on how to hold their own exhibitions and conventions. A Covenant of Agreement was signed between the Retail Bakers of American (RBA) and Mexico and to date, a much cherished relationship exists.

In 1973, upon joining the Retail Bakers of America (RBA), an association for the independent baker, Hans recognized all the wonderful freedoms and opportunities afforded him by this country and very early on he knew he had to share his knowledge in the pastry arts with those that had the initiative and desire to learn it. With the support of RBA, Hans conducted workshops and seminars throughout the USA, Mexico, and Central America. He brought foreign talents for the benefit of the USA retail bakers. He brought South American and European countries for conventions and exhibitions to showcase San Antonio.

Hans served as RBA’s International Director to Europe and South America since 1984. Together, Hans and Minerva have represented RBA throughout Europe and South America and in the absence of an RBA President, Minerva served as delegate. Their combined knowledge of languages and cultures has afforded them the opportunity to know, acknowledge and respect these attributes in their peers of other nations and at the same time bring traditional American retail baking knowledge to them.

Needless to say, Minerva has been Hans’ constant companion in the many years of being in business and on the travel circuit. Having served two terms as president of the Union International de la Boulangerie (UIB), the European Bakers Association and several terms as vice president of the Confederation Interamericana de la Industria del Pan (CIPAN), the South American Bakers Association, Hans has been able to bring two great baker associations together.

Cultural barriers were broken and confidence and trust are the norm today. During all these many years, Hans and Minerva have been San Antonio’s best hidden ambassadors.

Hans and Minerva have been active members of their church and serve in various committees and ministries. They have been blessed with five grandchildren: Johann Thomas, 26; Elayna Celeste, 23; Andre 10; Alexa 5; and Ari 3. “They are the most wonderful and beautiful grandchildren,” the Nadlers say, “and they are our reason for being.”