Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bierberg Bakery

Bierbergarrange

I might have found another favorite spot in the city.

bierbergsign

It's been such a cold stretch, and I have had a sick child home with me the last few days. Now that he is back in school, I had a bunch of errands I needed to do out and about.

Bierbergweighing

Before I headed out the door, I made a note to myself that a stop at this (infamous) little hidden gem had to be on my itinerary.

Bierbergcutting

The secret about this tiny German bakery is no longer, especially if you have seen the article in the new Winter issue of Edible Columbus. Surprisingly, however, many people still don't know about it. Take the two people I asked for directions at Katzinger's who looked at me like I had three heads.

No matter, I put in the address into my GPS and a few minutes later, I was parked in front of a well signed and decorated, yet unassuming, store front: Bierberg Bakery.

An older German lady greeted me. She had a thick accent still, even though she and her husband moved here since the 60s. As I entered and regained my senses from the freezing cold temperatures (really Columbus, why so cold?!), I started to take in all the scents and smells of all the cookies that laid before me.

I did not count, but there must have been a few dozen different kinds of cookies. These special German cookies are only made here, in this tiny house, 3 months out of every year. Johanna, friend and baker, told me how busy they had been and will continue to be until the end of the year when she will again close up shop and retreat to her much deserved rest.

After I purchased some good-looking cookies, as well as a stollen, I asked if I could slip into the kitchen and watched them work a little.

Another lady in the kitchen, Cathy, is a family-friend. She helps out each year at the bakery. While Johanna and Cathy cut up more cookies to be baked, they recited to me their stories of how they ended up in Columbus (because you know, as a transplant myself, I am always interested!).

As it turns out, they were both sponsored to move to the States from Europe, Johanna from Germany and Cathy from Hungary. I listened with curiosity as Cathy told me the story about her family living in a castle in Germany where several other immigrant families took refuge.  Their hands never stopped working, but they seemed to enjoy reliving their past with me as their audience.

As I turned around to say goodbye, they wished me well in discovering my new home city. I told them that I was happy to have met people like them because that is what matters the most. Johanna agreed with me, and then she added: It's also what you give back, too. That's also very important. Don't forget to give back."

She is absolutely right.

Bierberg Bakery
729 S 5th St.
Columbus, OH

They will be open until the end of the year.

9 comments:

  1. Kit, I read your recent article on the Edible Columbus blog, and now found this blog through Columbus Underground. So fun to find you! My husband and I are also from California, and new to Columbus. I can't wait to try out this bakery. It looks like a total gem. And I look forward to reading more on your blog.

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  2. Hi Bo!

    Welcome and thanks for visiting the blog! Hasn't it been COLD? California may have the ocean and the mountains (that I miss dearly), but Columbus has plenty to offer...and I love finding the hidden gems! Cheers!

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  3. Ah HA! Finally home & able to read... I *loved* this bakery. I visited for the first and only time during the German Village Lights event & this teeny place was jammed with people. I need to go back and see the cookies in their expansive glory.

    My favorites were the anise, the macaroon with chocolate dipping, and anything with marzipan. Really, there is something special about every cookie they make there.

    I wanted to hug the nice lady who boxed up our cookies (the same lady that it looks like assisted you).

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  4. Lori - I would have hugged her, too, if she wasn't busy cutting up the cookies with a sharp tool! ;)

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  5. Kit - Great article! I hope it is ok that I provided a link to your article on germanvillage.com In the future, if you write any other stories re: germanvillage, let me know and I'd be more than happy to link 'em from our site. Thanks again and hope you enjoyed those cookies!

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  6. I found your blog through Columbus underground and absolutely love it! My boyfriend and I moved to Columbus last fall. (He's getting his MBA at OSU.)

    There's a lot of great places mentioned on your blog that I will have to check out! I've been to some of them already, but not all. We're always on the look-out for hidden gems too. Have you been to El Arepazo on Pearl St? That's a fave of ours along with Surly Girl Saloon and Clever Crow Pizza at Circus. And you'll have to go to Kihachi at some point! It's awesome.

    I also love Flower Child vintage shop in the Short North. Homage is a cool new store near Tasi that sells some great Ohio and Columbus-inspired t-shirts.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Aubre

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  7. Hi Aubre: Thanks for stopping by! I will have to check out all the places you mentioned. One place we HAVE been to is Kihachi! I just didn't write about it because I didn't bring my camera and I was not quite prepared. We will be going back, though, so I still have time! :)

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  8. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting. Many thanks.
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