Willi Carstens

Willi Carstens was born in Germany in 1935. He was raised in a home with 3 Brothers and 3 Sisters. When He turned 16 and he finished basic schooling, he was given 3 career options, a baker being one of them. He jumped at the chance and took up an apprenticeship. He learned his trade for 3 years working for nothing but food and board. He was 20 years old by the time he had earned his bakers license. One of his brothers had immigrated to America and sent the invitation to Willi. In 1955 Brother Julius had found a sheep farmer who was willing to sponsor for Willi. (Pay for his immigration in trade for work) So Willi packed a single suitcase and loaded on a ship, headed to  Norfolk, VA. Then hopped a Greyhound to Laramie, WY. This is where he worked a large sheep farm and drove over 1000 sheep to Brawley, CA. When his sponsorship was up Willi was eager to get back to the bakery. He found himself in Idaho Falls, ID. where he worked for a few local bakeries through the years. He met Shannon Bidwell during this time and shortly after they were married. In 1960 the newly wed couple moved to Salt Lake City, UT. Willi continued his passion, working in many different bakeries throughout Salt lake. Their Daughter Melanie was born in 1963. Around this time Willi decided he wanted to get away from the big city. He started working 2 jobs and saving every penny he could. In 1968 Willi purchased Halker Bakery in Idaho Falls from Fred Halker and opened shop as the new owner and operator of Carstens' Bakery. He has succeeded in this location for over 46 years and is still working everyday. Willi is currently apprenticing his grandson Ben Borsik who plans on continuing the tradition. Willi has always been a delightful man who loves to make people smile, we want to share his experience with you!