German culture everywhere
Especially around this time of year we can see and experience the love for detail and craftsmanship that made German products once, long ago, very famous. On Christmas markets we can see artists and artisans with their products so lovingly created by hand. In Kitchener I always seek out a potter and a decorative wood painter and happily take my treasure home. I never leave without something new. It is a family tradition to buy ornaments and presents and small special paraphernalia, even though we all have enough of it already. But this Christmas season there is a new addition to be found in some of our markets. Sigi Erck, is a retired tool and die maker. He hails from Silesia, where woodwork and handicrafts are at home and the love for detail is instilled early on in life.
When he had to flee his homeland as a boy after the war to move to Stuttgart in West Germany he took this love with him and used it all his life in everything he did. Whether he worked as tool and die maker for some of the finest Canadian and European companies- he even worked in the USA for BMW- or when he owned and ran a few retail businesses, always the love for detail could be observed.
Life was not always kind to Sigi, but this love for beautiful and crafted things never left him. When he retired a couple of years ago he found a need to keep busy and create a bit of extra income, like so many of us have to do if we want to keep up our accustomed life style.
For a long time he knew and had studied the art of drying flowers and other things. You might remember having to make a herbarium in school yourself. But it is not quite as easy as pressing some flowers between the pages of a thick book if we want the colours to last indefinitely. There is an actual technology available and not quite inexpensive equipment one has to employ to do it right.
He took all his knowledge and decided to make timepieces that would have a high aesthetic value and fit many decors. Not only that, they bring nature indoors. These wall clocks are meticulously designed and assembled by Sigi himself and have already found many lovers. They make great gifts, even on a corporate level with a logo edition. The many different styles come in different colour and shapes and with wood or plastic frames. They retail from 45-350 dollars. Don’t miss Siggi in Newmarket or Kitchener at the Christmas fairs.
Have you noticed that a lot of Cafes in the middle European style have gone missing? Germans, Hungarians and Austrians complain always to me that they miss a real Café where coffee and pastries, tortes and sweets are available in a friendly atmosphere.
Fret no more! The city of Toronto is about to become richer in that department. Sugar baker of pastries, cakes and fine desserts, the in Vienna trained Burgi Riegler is about to open just such an establishment for our pleasure in the Beaches! Together with managing partner Berni Stellino and Robert Hoelbfer in Austria as a silent partner they bought and took over a French patisserie at 1856 Queen Street East, just half a block west of Woodbine Ave. The place is currently under renovations and will be ready the middle of November, around the 17th, I am told. The name will be Kaffeehaus Konditor and prominently displayed outside above the window, so you cannot miss it.
Not only will you be able to have Burgi’s famous Sacher Torte or strudel, or any other of so many different specialties, there will also be a light lunch menu.
In the meantime however you can still order from Burgi as you did before, by phone: 426-694-4871.
The new number will be: 426-694-0074. Why not check it frequently so you do not miss the opening!
See you there!
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