Interview with Carla and Wolfgang Buchler of Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe
Heidelberg Bakery is a local landmark in Arlington. Like the county itself, the restaurants and bakeries throughout the area are incredibly diverse and delicious.
In this oral history clip, Carla and Wolfgang Buchler, owners of the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe, discuss the lack of diversity in breads that Wolfgang found in America when he first came to the U.S. in the 1970’s—and how tastes have changed, partly due to Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe’s delicious treats.
NARRATOR 1: Wolfgang Buchler
NARRATOR 2: Carla Buchler
INTERVIEWER: Andrew Ausel
DATE: March 8, 2017
WB: Well, for me, I didn’t have—like, in America you couldn’t find a good bread. Okay? That was my—you could find some pastries, but you couldn’t find any good bread around. So at the beginning, they actually gave me a very rough time when I baked bread like we baked in Germany. They brought it back, as if it was stale, but it was just normal, so we had to adjust some of our baking—
CB: In the 70’s people were—I guess exotic bread was French bread. So switching over to rye breads—
WB: Rye breads.
CB: Hearty breads. Kind of heavier things.
WB: Seeded breads, and everything. Yeah.
CB: Now it’s different, people are exposed to—I think they are more international with their tastes. In the 70’s it was a little different.
WB: And our white bread was not like in America. White bread, we tuck under and tuck over and it comes back up again. (Laughs). It was very different, but that difference is what established our name and our breads and our good products.
AA: Did you find that people were sort of—they had a hard time adjusting to your style of bread? Or was it like “Oh my Gosh! Why have I not been eating this?”
WB: I think it’s just the style. A lot of people just had never been used to eating a healthy bread.
You can find Carla and Wolfgang Buchler's interview in its entirety in the Center for Local History - VA 975.5295 A7243oh ser. 13 no. 6. Photo: RG216-0491, Eleanor Schlesinger Photograph Collection.
The goal of the Arlington Voices project is to showcase the Center for Local History’s oral history collection in a publicly accessible and shareable way.
What is the oral history collection?
Oral history is a popular method of research used for understanding historical events, actors, and movements from the point of view of people’s personal experiences.
The Arlington Public Library began collecting oral histories of long-time residents in the 1970s, and since then the scope of the collection has expanded to capture the diverse voices of Arlington’s community. In 2016, staff members and volunteers recorded many additional hours of interviews, building the collection to 575 cataloged oral histories.
To browse our list of narrators indexed by interview subject, check out our community archive. To read a full transcript of an interview, visit the Center for Local History located at Central Library.