Christian Foerschner and his wife, Iris, have opened up a new European bakery and deli in Lehigh and are bringing many of the treats of tasty German foods to the community.
The European Bakery & Deli is the first German bakery to open in Lehigh and when one enters, you are likely to smell the sweet aromas of baked breads.
Christian is the baker and his wife works the front of the new bakery and deli which also has a small area of tables and chairs where patrons can sit down and have a light breakfast and later at lunch, a special sandwich of the day.
Large German pretzel is a favorite at the bakery.
Christian is 28, and his trade in Germany was that as a carpenter. He met Iris, who is 32, who came from a family of bakers. Her father owned a bakery in Germany but was forced to sell it due to bad health.
When Christian and Iris were married, they decided they wanted to come to the United States and they went on the Internet - especially Christian - to look for meat markets that were for sale in the area. They negotiated with someone but when they flew to the U.S., they were unable to finish the deal.
"That was when we looked around and really discovered Lehigh Acres and we decided to live here and open up our own bakery and deli," Christian said.
Although the bakery and deli is new, it is receiving a lot of attention and patronage from the large German population of Lehigh and now through word of mouth, more and more Americans are coming to the deli for meat and the great bakes goods cooked in German style like Apple Strudel and dozens of other items.
"We really like Lehigh. It's so nice here. Where we came from is very cold this time of the year," Christian said.
The couple said they were awarded a Green Card which allows them five years in American when they expect to apply for American citizenship. The couple has two small girls, ages 5 and 8.
The European Bakery & Deli is located at 1251 Taylor Lane Extension. They are just below the Bistro Munich restaurant which has been there for years.
There are many interesting foods at the new deli including German stone oven baked breads, rolls and pretzels, the big ones.
Also they bake up cakes, pastry and Bavarian specialities, Gelato ice cream, sandwiches, German homestyle cooking and European sausages and a line of groceries.
You can call them at 239-303-1822 even to order a special cake or breads and Christian will have it prepared when you come to get it.
They came from an area in German called Noerdlingen, a small city, they said that was built in a crater.
Christian said he learned some English in high school, but is really learning the way Americans speak by being here and having his oldest daughter teaching him.
"I think in English now and I am learning more each day," he laughed. "I have met a lot of wonderful people here in Lehigh."
So far, word of mouth advertising as brought visitors to the site, which was the former LA Pizza shop.
"Just today, while we had many German patrons come and get things, we had a woman and her children who said she just stopped by because she saw our sign. She wanted to see what we offered," Christian said.
They rented the large suite from Eugen Borosch, who owns most of the building that faces the Victory Christian Church, was was once a new movie theater in Lehigh. During the week, it is a charter school.
Breakfast is offered between 8 and 11 a.m. and you can get eggs, a meat, rolls, jam, butter and coffee for an inexpensive price. Then at noon, they serve lunch and each day they feature a different sandwich. It could be a Reuben, liverworst, cold cuts or Christian will make you a different sandwich if you want. The cost is only $6.50.
"We're really getting to know a lot of people by their faces because they come back and buy more," Christian said.
When you go in, you will find a meat case filled with meats prepared by a German butcher and several shelves of German foods.
The front showcase will be filled with all kinds of baked goods and if you don't see it, just ask and they may be able to get it for you. They offer German coffees and German chocolate goods, tea and all types of German cheeses.
"And we have good supply of local honey and some candies from Germany," Christian said.
The family isn't homesick yet, but they do keep up with their family in Germany.
"Our daughter goes on the computer on Skype and spends a lot of time with her grandmother through video and talking almost every night," Christian said.
There are all kinds of breads there including light and dark rye bread, sour dough, French bread, black Forest Cake and more.
"And it's all made from scratch," added Christian's wife, Iris.
The Black Forest Cake is a real treat as it is made with some liquor. Be sure to ask for a slice if you go to the new bakery and deli.
The new European Bakery & Deli is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m.to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is closed on Sunday.
"That's when we have time to really be with the children," Christian said. "They are very important to us."