Taste of Germany
A Taste of Germany is the homey little bakery and café located adjacent to the Post Office in the Southbridge Mall on Siesta Key. The Hofmann family has been running A Taste of Germany for almost six years now. What began as a small bakery next to Big Olaf on the north side of the key quickly expanded to the point that more space was required.
Tanja Hofmann and her husband, Manuel, run the place with help from their charismatic son, Robin, a 22-year-old man who looks to be about 17 but speaks with the confidence and wisdom of a man in his 40s. Robin moved to America from Frankfurt to help out with the family business about four years ago. He sounds as American as apple pie until he casually and affectionately begins conversing with his mother in fluid and fluent German.
Back in Frankfurt, Tanja was a master pastry chef and her prowess is displayed in all its glory in the full bakery cases: row upon row of decadent liquor cakes. The most popular cakes are the rum cakes that utilize Siesta Key Rum. There’s half a bottle of alcohol in each cake, Robin tells me, which means that when one of the cakes is shipped it can last in its container as long as two months. In the bakery there is an assortment of imported German goodies for sale and there’s evidence in some of the trinkets available that the Hofmanns don’t believe in waste. The empty Siesta Key Rum bottles have been repurposed as containers of poppy seeds, and the small cans that once held German beer have been transformed into candle holders. Besides the wide variety of Siesta Key Rum Cakes there are also Raspberry Vodka Cakes, Honey Apple Brandy Cakes, Jim Beam Apple Cakes, and Fireball Whiskey Cakes. Where does Tanja draw her inspiration? Robin jokes that whenever he goes out for a drink with his friends his mom gets an idea for a new flavor.
The Hofmanns work closely with Troy Roberts over at Siesta Key Rum and they also work with local German meat market Geier’s Sausage Kitchen as they believe in collaborating with other local businesses. The restaurant smells the way one would expect a German bakery and café to smell: The enticing aromas of fresh baked German bread and expertly cooked bratwurst combine with the pungent spice of fresh sauerkraut and red cabbage. I’m unable to resist the scent and find myself devouring a brat with perfectly crisped skin and a side of cabbage that is the same deep, muted red as a glass of good German pinot noir—next I have my eye on a slice of Siesta Key Toasted Coconut Rum Cake. As the Hofmanns would say: Guten appetit!