Lecker, Lecker!

Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe is Arlington’s staple for tasty German treats.

Homemade cakes, among other sweet treats, are a hugely important part of German culture. And when Wolfgang Büchler came to Washington, D.C., from Heidelberg, he couldn’t speak a word of English—but he knew how to bake. But when he opened his Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe in Arlington in 1975, he never imagined that he would be designing cakes for presidents, ambassadors, and the many pastry connoisseurs of Northern Virginia.

Büchler’s secret was “crusty,” the popular European-style bread made with imported flour. At first, customers returned the bread, thinking it was stale. “I gave them their money back,” says Büchler. But customers came to like the bread, and after some time, he expanded his business to include other German culinary delights, including deli foods and delectable desserts.

Over the years, Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe has hosted events, such as voter registrations days, Boy Scout holiday wreath events, open houses, farmers’ markets, and events in conjunction with local dance studios such as BalletNova (formerly Arlington Center for Dance).

Büchler runs the production area while his wife and co-owner, Carla, a native Arlingtonian, runs retail. Moving forward, Büchler wants to keep the shop within his family. “Our bakery is very important to me,” he says. “I met Carla when I hired her to work in the store. Now, I have my children working with me. What can I say? Success is sweet.” HeidelbergBakery.com

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