Adam Baumann, the owner of three self-storage facilities and several other businesses in British Columbia, Canada, is the subject of a new book coming out soon. “The Upside of Hunger, a True Tale,” written by Roxi Harms, will chronicle Baumann’s immigration to Canada from Hungary, his time as a teenage World War II soldier and his business ventures. Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Adam Baumann & Roxi Harms Scholarship Fund, benefiting kids with promise who can’t afford tuition, according to Harms’ website.
Baumann and his wife, Jean, own OK Mini Storage and Penticton Self-Storage in Penticton, and Vernon Mini Storage in Vernon, as well as several other ventures. They met Harms while vacationing in Central America in 2011. During a shared dinner, Harms became intrigued by Adam Baumann’s story. The pair have collaborated on more than 400 recorded interviews and seven drafts of the novel, the website states.
Adam Baumann was born and raised in Hungary. He immigrated to Canada in 1951 and meet his wife at a dance two years later. The couple married the following year and moved to Penticton to open A. Baumann Masonry Ltd., where Jean Baumann worked as the company’s accountant.
The masonry company grew, and the couple opened the area’s first concrete-block plant on Camrose Street, now called OK Ready Mix. Additional business ventures followed, including several motels, the city’s first mini-golf course, the Sage Mesa housing subdivision, the storage facilities and St. Andrews Golf Course. In 1986, they built 86 Lakeshore, a condominium building across from Okanagan Lake Park. The Baumanns moved in there and still reside in the building.
“That’s my swan song, what I consider my greatest accomplishment,” said Adam Baumann, who created sketches of his vision for the project’s architect. “I’ve always been interested in architecture.”
The Baumanns also recently donated $30,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation, which is raising money for new medical equipment for the expansion of Penticton Regional Hospital. The $312 million patient-care tower to which the Baumann's contribution will be applied is expected to open next year, according to a source.