A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Published November 17th 2016
Hand-made Wholesome Organic German Breads & Meats
The name, Brot & Wurst, translated from German, means 'Bread and Sausages'. Positioned at 1442 Pittwater Road, North Narrabeen, on the corner of Berry Avenue, I've whizzed past this intriguing and unique bakery and German smallgoods café many times. Today, however, the pull of my German heritage must be stronger than usual, as I do a U-turn and circle back. It's around 1pm and I could do with something to eat, I tell myself. I easily find a park in Berry Street and, as I approach the entrance, the smell of fresh baking fills the air.
Once inside, my eyes sweep across the room and take in the aisle of European groceries; racks are stacked with goodies such as Wild Lingonberry Sauce from Austria - 'delicious on pancakes or over ice-cream for dessert', reads the label - or Sweet & Sour Pickled Gherkins from Germany, jams, chocolates, biscuits and baking ingredients. An array of attractively packaged gift ideas fill a table near the door.
At the far end of the store is the bakery. The wall, lined with wire racks, is filled with loaves of all shapes and sizes: organic Swiss rye (yeast & wheat free), sourdough cottage, organic dark sourdough rye, organic Munich Malt, sourdough caraway, French baguette, to mention just a few of what I see. I'm warmly greeted by Dean & Karen Stockburger, owners of Brot & Wurst. "We bake fresh daily, and only bake in small batches so breads and pastries are coming out of the oven fresh and hot throughout the day", they tell me. "We hand-make everything you see, and import the flour from Germany because it has three times less gluten than Australian wheat. There is a range of gluten-free breads available too".
a large range of organic sourdough bread is available
Dean trained as a master butcher in Germany 25 years ago. Born in the Black Forest in Germany, he learnt the craft from his brother-in-law, who learnt from his father. Dean's dream had always been to have a store front selling the very best of his country's fare. After living here for a few months, Dean missed being able to source good quality sausages and hams, so that inspired him to open his own shop-front. 'Everything we do here is of the very best quality. The key to a good sausage is the ingredients, namely the meat. We add no extras - no dairy, wheat, gluten, soy or fillings, just free-range pork meat, spices, and a little salt as a preservative", he says. Onion Liverwurst, Bangalow Sweet Pork Lonza, Deluxe Black Forest Ham, Hungarian salami, and Beutwurst; the variety here is enticing.
Raising five children of their own, Karen is ever-thoughtful about catering to the little ones. A desk and colouring pages are provided, and mini treats are created to suit smaller appetites. Plus, they're priced so parents are not paying for an adult-size portion.
My husband is a great fan of a 'sausage sanger', so while I'm trying to choose which ones to take home I wander off to peruse the bakery products: mini jam donuts, Black Forest cake, Swiss chocolate croissant, and Raspberry Rose Nistaccio are some I recognise, and there are many I don't. Here's a vast new world of delicacies to tempt me.
Trying to summon the energy to make a decision, I sit and have a coffee and piece of orange-almond cake. The cake is delicious; moist, sweet and has a fine smooth texture. The coffee is strong and smooth. Next visit I think I'll have one of the melts with German sausage, roasted onions, mustard, organic tomato, and their own aioli, or perhaps the German hotdog, topped with hot mustard and sauerkraut, also hand-made fresh on the premises. Thank goodness I live nearby; there's a whole range of breakfasts to be had, too.
I could easily do my Christmas shopping here; everything seems very reasonably priced. Apart from the delicious smallgoods on offer, the store is filled with some really nifty gift ideas, such as quirky aprons, 'lolly-dolls' filled with sweets and chocolates, and do-it-yourself Gingerbread House kits for $15.00
As a way of giving something back, each year Karen and Dean bake a giant 2-metre-high gingerbread house, which is raffled and all the proceeds go to the Westmead Childrens' Hospital. They're putting the final touches on it this week, and it will be on display in their store by the end of November. Grab a ticket when you grab your coffee and cake. The raffle will be drawn on the morning of the 24th December; I can't wait to see it.
Dean and Karen seem to have thought of everything; fresh wholesome food made with love, milkshakes and meals for the littlies, a range of seating options including a large table and chairs for family groups (seats 8 - 12), and providing a wheelchair-friendly entrance and restrooms. They have filled their café with European-seasoned smallgoods, and flavoured everything with passion and purpose. It's a special and unique small business and the love for what they do is evident in the surroundings. Plus, they have passed on business and life skills to their five children. "All the children have grown up working in the business at some stage. They've learnt how to handle money and deal with the public, and it's been wonderful watching them grow in confidence and self-esteem", says Karen. Dean agrees. "Brot & Wurst is my life; it was my dream, my dream came true and it makes me very happy. I love doing it, and I love getting feedback from my customers. It's not always about the money".
Brot & Wurst Bakery and Café are open Monday to Friday 6am - 5pm, and Saturday and Sundays from 7.30am - 3pm.