Germany Down South: Part II

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

To come from a foreign country and make a living in a different culture is an accomplishment in itself. But then to be successful while helping the rest of the community thrives is something to be proud of.

When Ingrid Strange opened her jewelry store in 1982, she was hand-making wings for pilots at Fort Rucker.

Decades later, her business has grown into a restaurant and she still provides wings.

Only now, they're flying beyond the Wiregrass to soldiers overseas, the United States president and even with astronauts to outer space.

However, back in the Wiregrass; the local German community also has a partnership with Fort Rucker's Commissary, which is essential for the post's well-being.

"We have a very wide German community here, from soldiers overseas and a lot of their wives, this is the one place in the area they can get anything," said Deli Manager Jennifer Warren with the Ft. Rucker Commissary.

About 15-percent of the grocery store's products are foreign foods and half of that is German.

"This is sectioned off. You've got a burmay section, you've got the German food, which there’s a big German base on this base because of where the Army's stationed," said Mike O'Meara.

The store sells almost every type of German food from liverwurst rolls to wieners, bratwursts, imported German cheeses and even hearty, all-natural rye bread.

They order about six deliveries from Karl's German bakery each week.

"We basically started in Enterprise in our garage and we're filling a need for authentic, European-style bread," said Karl.

Now however, Karl’s Bakery has grown to not only provide for Fort Rucker, but they sell bread to about 100-other commissaries at posts across the country.

Then there's also a contract with Wal-Mart where they ship to more than 40-stores nationwide.

Both Karl's Bakery and The Castle Plaza provide hundreds of jobs, tax dollars and cultural variety to the Wiregrass and each of the owners plan to continue growing their business and contributing to the area for years to come.


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