The little secret German bakery in town isn’t that much of a secret, as three decades of business was just celebrated at Sigrid’s.
Opened in 1983 by Josef and Sigrid Krautgartner, Sigrid’s Cafe and Fine Bakery just celebrated 35 years of some of most delicious treats in the city on Nov. 14.
Now owned by the Krautgartners' daughter, Andrea Higgins, the little shop, located at 10 Ross St., is still a family affair and is full of expert bakers.
“My husband and I took over the family business on Canada Day 2004 and now all three of my children are working here, too,” said Higgins. “My one son is at the front and is my general manager, my other son is a full-fledged baker and my daughter does most of the cake decorations and almost also has her Red Seal for baking.
"So yes, definitely, it is still very much a family business.”
Sticking mainly to European baking, Sigrid’s is known for their sweet treats and baked goods, particularly the Bienenstitch, which Higgins told BarrieToday is a custard-filled, yeast dough with honey and almonds on top.
The folks at Sigrid’s also pride themselves on using fresh yeast, unbleached flour and no sugar or shortenings in their breads. They have a diabetic and gluten-free menu.
Another badge of pride for the Higgins is that they bake everything on site, and her arms are evidence.
“I have the battle scars to prove it; me and that oven have met many times,” she said. “I love this job. I love the creative part and seeing the people come back.
"Since we have been here for 35 years I have seen people who have had their children and they bring their children, but I’m not quite that old yet that I’ve seen those children bring their kids, but one day. It is so nice to see that and we meet so many wonderful people because of this bakery.”
Sigrid’s serves a light lunch menu and has a quaint and quiet seating area where you can eat their famous goulash and some sandwiches. There is also a shop at the front of the bakery with many European imported gifts and drinks.
Higgins says that while it may seem like a struggle to get new clientele to spot them from their neighbour Tim Hortons at the corner of Bayfield and Ross, it always works out and they have a loyal customer base.
“We are known as the little secret German bakery and we are a little tucked away and it has been a little bit of a challenge,” said Higgins. “At the same time, we have a lot of people who come from all over, some from Kitchener, Toronto and other places who head to the cottage and swing by here to grab some treats.
"I think word-of-mouth and tradition is what keeps us busy and more and more people are hearing about us, too.”
Having just celebrated their 35th anniversary, Higgins said the next big day is obviously Christmas and she knows that people will be looking for delicious desserts for their get-togethers and encourages them to enjoy life’s pleasures.
“Everyday should be a treat day,” said Higgins. “You can go on diets but you’ve got to live so eat in moderation, but when you do enjoy it, then enjoy it all the way. If you have that apple cake, heat it up and have that whip cream with, that’s how I do so why not?”
For more on Sigrid’s you can check them out on their website at www.sigridsbakery.com or on their Facebook page at @SigridsBakery.