riding the wave

Our Story

In 1990 our Founder, Johan van Wyk, launched his first of many social enterprises. He unfortunately had his timing horribly wrong with a poor understanding of his target market and a product that was not well researched. He went bankrupt and was almost left worse off than the people he wanted to help in the first place. 

In January 2013 Erica and Johan, embarked on a range of interesting developments, pilot tests and community projects until Solar Bakers was established in 2019. Solar bakers took solar cooking to the next level and figured out how this innovation can actually help solve the poverty problem in Africa and elsewhere. 

Our Approach

We are all aware of the widespread poverty, the damage to the environment, health and poor living conditions around the world. 

To be able to make a difference with a solar bakery, the following two concepts are key:

  1. Both solar thermal energy and solar Photo Voltaic energy MUST be applied simultaneously.
  2. A community will always stay poor if they only bake for themselves. Money is just circulating within the same community. A unique high profit solar baked product should be exported to the wealthy and bring “NEW” money to the community. 

Solar Bakers have been testing this combination for the past three years and is now ready to take it to the next level. We bake sustainably from solar and sell our baked products countrywide in retail outlets, online and resellers. 

Our SolarBakers Micro Franchise, (to be launched soon) will provide the new bakery owner with training, necessary equipment, infrastructure, ingredients, mentoring and buy back of baked goods to be exported to an established international high end market.

 

Our historic commitment to the solar cooking technology

Our first solar oven in 1984

The original Sunstove. This oven was designed in the USA and sponsored for the Sunstove Organization in South Africa.

The Sunstove 2000 

It was the only solar oven in South Africa for many years and we used it for almost four years in research and development of new products.

The Sungenius built-in solar oven for zinc and RDP houses

This stunning prototype was tested to allow for indoor solar cooking in RDP houses.

We upgraded the Sunstove 2000 to our very first Patio Solar Oven 

The first ever commercially available solar oven on wheels anywhere in the world. 

Pole mounted solar oven for informal settlements

This project is still being tested in an informal settlement in Mamelodi since 2015. 

Evacuated tube solar oven

This oven was very impressive, but did not show signs of popularity. It is now being tested to bake specialized products for the export market.

Solageza

This flexible and mobile solar hot water system provided up to 25l of solar heated hot water to households in informal settlements.

Research

In 2017 we sponsored a family in an informal settlement with a complete home based solar bakery. Although this initiative was not sustainable, it provided us with valuable insights to succeed with our current SolarBakers initiative.

The Solar parabolic box cooker

Parabolic solar cookers are very powerful and we combined a parabolic and a box cooker trying to get the best of both technologies. 

In 2019 we launched our flagship, the Hybrid Patio Solar Oven

This oven is the backbone of our Solar Bakers bakery. The technology in the oven is the result of local research and a detailed knowledge of international trends.

In 2020 we launched Solar Bakers 

The bakery has become sustainable in less than a year and has become an effective example of what can be achieved by a well designed solar oven. 

In 2021 we set up an evacuated tube bakery devision 

 

In 2021 we launched the patented duel action solar rusk dryer

The cost of drying rusks has escalated and it is currently one of the main reasons why home baked rusks are so expensive. Drying rusks from the sun in our sun drenched country just makes sense.  

2021 – Manufacturing

We manufacture the Patio Solar Oven and the Mini Solar Dryer with all extras. We also have the knowledge and the experience to manufacture and supply complete solar bakeries for private application.

 

2021 – We also partnered with Dryers for Africa to enter the Commercial dehydrating market with our tested solar dehydrator design.