Tales of a Time at Servatii – Karen

The decorating Department at Servatii has so many wonderful people working with them. Karen has been icing cakes and decorating here at Servatii for 23 years. When getting to know Karen she started off a little shy but as we talked her personality started to really shine. She smiles at everyone all day. Her happy spirit is so uplifting in her department.

Karen enjoys icing cakes for everyone before the decorating happens. She has told me that she has stayed with Servatii all of this time because she loves the flexibility that Servatii offers for families and for life. Servatii is a company that understands the importance of family.

Karen is one of many employees that loves the Key lime Flan. It is a company staple with amazing flavor. This would be the one thing she tries to convince everyone to try at least once. One of Karen’s favorite memories from Servatii is from her first year here. She had a nightmare that Greg (owner) showed up and demanded that she iced two pans of cookies on the spot. In her dream she began to panic and after waking up it took her a minute to realize it was only a dream. I can personally attest that we all at some point have a nightmare about product not being correct or ready on time. Each employee values the hard work and dedication it takes to get the job done to make our customers happy.

Karen is described by her co workers as cheerful with a constant smile on her face. The decorating department is so fortunate to have Karen working with them all of these years. We are so very thankful that she has chosen to be with us all these years.

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Pumpkin Spice and everything nice is what Servatii loves in the fall. Pumpkin patches and corn mazes are starting up. The leaves are falling from their branches. Now is the time for fall fun at Servatii. Were you aware that one of the busiest times for a bakery is during the fall months? It is a season of comfort and we are here to help you with that!

Servatii offers such a wide variety of unique fall delights such as, Pumpkin donuts, Pumpkin Pies & Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cakes. Every year when the kids head back to school, the calls start pouring in to see if we have pumpkin donuts back in the stores. We however, do not rush perfection. We wait until just the right time to bring them back. The time has now come for the savory flavors of spice and cinnamon to fill the air at Servatii. Many of our stores even create a little pumpkin patch to feature the delicious fall flavored items we carry.

Our stores are now flooded with the tantalizing smells of fall as our seasonal favorites reappear. If you are a fan of pumpkin spice we have plenty of options for you. Pumpkin Rolls, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Donuts, Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cakes, and Pumpkin Pound Cakes. The Pumpkin butter cookies and Pumpkin smile face cookies are also back. But if pumpkin is not the flavor of choice for you, we also have our Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cakes and Apple Cinnamon Scones.

Growing up, I was not a true fan of Pumpkin flavored items, but through the years I look forward to the fall themed sweets that Servatii brings back year after year. If you were ever sold a Pumpkin donut by me over the years I would have probably told you that I buy a dozen at the very end of the season to bag individually and freeze so that I could enjoy them through the year. Out of all the perfect pastries Servatii makes, I love the fall items the most!

Tales of a Time at Servatii – Barb

When you call the Servatii corporate office you will most likely hear the voice of Barb on the other end. Barb has been working the same position at Servatii for 28 years. She is the beloved Order Confirmation Manager and she helps to ensure that all orders are processed and sent to the correct department so that you, the customer receive your goodies on time. From time to time during the holiday seasons you might find her helping someone in the back bakery packing items to stock the stores.

When you talk to Barb you are met with warmth and kindness. You can tell from speaking to her that she loves her job and what she does. When asking her why she has chosen a career here for this long she smiled and said the great people that she works with. They are all a family. Her favorite thing about her job is talking to customers and knowing that she is the voice of the company. It is a huge responsibility and an honor to do that for a company for so long.

If you are looking for something wonderful to try at Servatii, Barb recommends the Salty Rye Bread. I loved that she chose a savory product over all of the sweet things we make and carry. Over the years Barb has gotten to do a lot of different things with the company but some of her most treasured memories is going to Coney Island for the Retail Bakers Association picnic. She loves any outings with her friends at work.

One memory Barb shared is that even growing up she went to Octoberfest every year with her family. She would get together with her parents and siblings to spend a day walking the booth lined streets of Zinzinnati to enjoy the festival. Even though Barb is a behind the scenes employee we could not and would not be the company we are without her and we are so thankful that she chose us for the past 28 years!

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati and Servatii

This is the time of year that many of us Cincinnati natives gear up for and start planning our trips out to Octoberfest Zinzinnati. This year is shaping up a lot differently thanks to the unpredictability of the Covid Virus. Instead of the German businesses gearing up for a festival filled weekend, we are mourning a year without Octoberfest Zinzinnati! No exhausting days filled with Pretzels, Brats, Cream Puffs, and the Chicken Dance.

Did you know however, that we are all able to celebrate together remotely this year? Samuel Adams, Kroger, and the Regional Chamber of Cincinnati are bringing to us a virtual Octoberfest filled with all the favorites we look forward to every year. Servatii is also adding to the fun this year. I will be virtually participating in as many of the online activities as I can.

One really awesome thing the event organizers are offering is an Octoberfest Zelebration pack. You can find all of the information at www.oktoberfestzinzinnati.com. I ordered mine this week and will be picking mine up at Sam Adams once it is available. The package is pretty awesome and I am looking forward to all of the goodies inside.

Zelebration Packs come in an official Oktoberfest Zinzinnati tote and include:

  • $10 Kroger gift card for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati essentials (If you’re 21 and older, a six-pack of Sam Adams Octoberfest is essential!) 🙂
  • Official Oktoberfest Zinzinnati® In Za Haus yard sign
  • Two official Oktoberfest Zinzinnati beer cups
  • Two Sam Adams Octoberfest hats
  • Two Sam Adams Octoberfest “suspender” koozies
  • One pair of suspenders
  • Access to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati® official music playlist (link sent in confirmation email)
  • Kroger coupon packet for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati® essentials (brats, buns, mustard, sauerkraut, etc.)
  • $2 off coupon for the all-new Frisch’s Beer Cheese Burger – the Official Burger of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati®
  • $5 coupon for Sam Adams Cincinnati Taproom
  • 20% off coupons for On the Rhine Eatery
  • A surprise or two

Along with the official fun, Servatii has a few fun things lined up the 10 days of celebration. One of which is that we will be announcing daily two or three stores that Sherri, our social media operator, will be visiting each day to offer a pretzel toss. She will be giving away prizes each day to winners of the toss. The locations will be announced each morning as to where Sherri will be on our Facebook and Instagram! Make sure you are following both to make sure you don’t miss the chance to see her at a store nearest you.

This time next year, we hope that we can all be together raising our Steins in salute during the traditional song of “EinProsit” and eating Pretzels and Beer Cheese, through the booth lined streets of Cincinnati. Celebrating a tradition that is rich with Zinzinnati pride!

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with Servatii

Servatii is a unique bakery to shop in any day but the holidays are always a favorite time for me. The distinct options that Servatii offers for many holidays always spark feelings of joy and memories through us all. In the stores, seasonal items remind us of seasons changing and we gear up for the next big holiday.

Did you know however that Servatii has offerings for holidays less known about in our culture? Starting this Tuesday, September 15th, Servatii will be offering Round Challah and Honey Bundt Cakes for the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These days are very Holy days for the Jewish community. We at Servatii love to have options available for these special days.

Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two “High Holy Days” in the Jewish religion. During these days, there will be fasting and specific prayers prayed.

During this time every year Servatii makes available the Round Challah and Honey Bundt cake for the family and religious dinners and feasting. The round Challah is rich egg bread in a round loaf and the Honey Bundt cake is a honey flavored cake with slivered almonds on the sides. It is also topped with an apricot glaze.

If you would like to try these items you can find them in stock at our Hyde Park, Blue Ash, or Symmes locations. You can also call any of the stores and order these items in advance. We highly value everyone in our communities and are honored to be able to offer items of tradition to everyone! On Rosh Hashanah, we say “Shanah tovah um’tukah,” which means “May you have a good and sweet new year.

Grandparents and Cookies, a Servatii Favorite

If you look at a calendar online the chances of you seeing a random holiday or national day is very likely. Most of them just get passed over without a second glance and forgotten. I have however, decided to enjoy one of those special days and celebrate it with some Servatii fun. Grandparent’s day this year is Sunday, September 13th and I had the privilege of spending the day celebrating a few grandparents with their grandchildren decorating Servatii Cookie Kits.

These kits are built for good messy fun. You get 12 cookies, 4 bags of colored icing, and 3 packs of sprinkles. They will not be available much longer so we recommend getting yours this weekend! They are available for $21.95.

Grandparents are the foundation for many families. They support their loved ones and care for them all through life. It is a never ending and at times a thankless job. But after spending the day with these families I know it is so much more. I first spent time with Tracy and her two handsome grandsons Hunter and Micah. You could see clearly how close these little boys are with their grandparents. They knew just how to get what they wanted with the right look or smile.

The next family I met with decided to decorate cookies at a park near their home. It was a great mix of fresh air and icing. Mike and Karen, along with Josiah, Cady, and Lucas met me in the early evening to spend time celebrating Grandparents day coming up! The older kids worked diligently to make their cookies beautiful and Grams(Karen) showed off her piping skills from all the years creating beautiful things for her family.

This family enjoyed laughing together and sharing this sweet time with each other. If you look closely at the picture above there is icing not only on the cookies but also on Gramps head and Josiah ended up with an icing mustache. We all laughed and had a wonderful time together. If you need a fun activity to do with your family this would be an awesome adventure for all. This family has such a close bond and you can tell that together this family can and will move mountains in the future.

To all the Grandparents out there, Happy Grandparents Day! And thank you for the love and joy you bring to the world!

(More Pictures will be posted to our Facebook page! Please like and share to see more!)

Tales of a Time at Servatii – Randy

One thing I love about working for Servatii is the fact that there is a large group of people that have worked for the Gottenbush-Servatii family 20 years or more. Randolph (Randy) is one of those employees. Randy started with Servatii in July 1986 in the Pan room. Being in the Pan Room was not a glorious job but it was highly needed. He ensured that the pans and equipment we used to bake our products were cleaned daily. It was a hot and tiresome job but Randy never gave up!

Randy was a real treasure here at Servatii. He didn’t just settle and do one job. He also spent some time working as a Porter, or a Cleaner. He even did a short stint as the Porter Supervisor. Now when you look for Randy you can find him in the Baking Department. He specializes in Cakes and Cookies. He bakes these products then takes them to our decorators to be set up for our store orders.

When asking Randy what his favorite job at Servatii is he smiled and gave a little laugh and said he loves working in the freezer. I thought at first he was joking but it became quickly apparent that he was serious as he danced around a little bit laughing and smiling!

I absolutely love that I get to spend time talking to this seasoned veteran here at Servatii. When talking to Randy the gleam in his eye made it apparent that he had tales to tell. You can see the mischief behind the smile. Randy and I have one thing in common. Our favorite Servatii product is the Opera Cream Torte. If he had to choose, Randy would want the Opera Cream and will recommend it to everyone.

Randy made me smile quite a bit while talking to him. When asking him what his favorite Servatii memory was, his answer took me a little by surprise. Randy told me his favorite memory was being around all these years to watch the company grow and develop into what it is now. He also loves how many people he has met and gotten to know through the years. Greg Gottenbush was walking with me while I was asking questions and Randy even shared a few inside jokes and stories with me about Greg. It was obvious that Randy loves Servatii as much as they love him.

If you ever get a chance to visit our commissary Randy is someone to seek out and talk to. His love and respect for Servatii is ever present and his smile is contagious. It was definitely my honor to talk to him today.

Tales of a Time at Servatii – Renda

Servatii is a Bakery infused with history. Part of that history is the employees that have been serving the company for 20 or more years. These employees have seen so many parts of our past that talking to them is a real treat. This afternoon I got to sit down with the manager at our White Oak Store and ask her some questions about her time with Servatii.

Renda has been working for Servatii since October 1980. She has been with us 40 years this October. In 1980, Renda started working for Servatii at Pouge Department Store. Within her first year Renda was promoted to Store Manager. As she mentioned Pouge’s she told me about the merry go round that Servatii used to display some of their cakes. It was a true focal point when coming in to the bakery.

Since then she has traveled around the company moving from Pouge’s to Lazarus, then the Blue Ash store. After some time there Renda moved to Forest Fair Mall. When Servatii decided to leave the Mall, Renda was offered the Manager Position at our White Oak Store that opened October 23rd, 2002. She proudly showed me the first dollar spent at the White Oak store 18 years ago.

When asking Renda why she had chosen a career with Servatii, she smiled and said she loves the company and the fun she has had over the years. She also told me that a large part of wanting to stay for so long was the Gottenbush family. Their Pride in the quality of the products they make made her proud to be a part of their Servatii family. There is just no comparison anywhere.

I had to laugh when I ask Renda what her favorite Servatii item was to eat. She exclaimed “Oh Boy! I love everything!” Then she told me that if she had to choose she would pick Pumpkin Pie over anything. Renda also said she will eat them until it makes her stomach hurt. She is ecstatic that they are coming back in the next week. She also shared so many wonderful memories with me.

Renda worked closely with the Gottenbush family and remembers a time when a customer got mad at one of the Gottenbush kids and threw stuffing bags at her. One of the more moving stories Renda shared was that of September 11, 2001. When the planes hit the World Trade Centers, Renda was working at Forest Fair Mall still. The Mall went silent and everyone gathered on the first floor holding hands and praying for the people of New York. She told me the whole store came together in solidarity and prayed. It will always be the most memorable time she had at Servatii.

Renda loves to make her store look like a “Showcase Cinema” and make it look magical for all the holidays. Her favorite thing to work on is making her store look special. She also shared her love for the Gottenbush family and said they are some of the most loving and caring people she has had the privilege to work for. Stop in White Oak and say hello to Renda. She will make you feel special and cared for!

Pretzels – A Real Twist of Fate

Servatii has several things that we are known for but the #1 item that people ask me about is our Pretzels. They are baked fresh multiple times through the day in each store so that when you walk in you can smell the fresh baked dough wafting through the air. Many people do not know that we hand twist our pretzels. It is a craft that many pretzel companies have long abandoned. We appreciate the craft for what it is. The time we put in to the pretzels we make is absolutely reflected in the flavor and quality of our Pretzels!

We have a great variety of options available as well. Not only do we carry our soft pretzels, we offer Pretzel Sticks, Bavarian Pretzel Bagels, Sandwich Pretzels, and 3LB and 6LB Pretzels. The options are endless here. The best thing about each of these options is the variety of how you can eat them! Our top seller is the Soft Pretzels and the Pretzel Sticks. On Tuesday you can get our Soft pretzels two for $2! I recommend slicing them and using them with one of our many varieties of dip.

If you ask any of our store team members I am sure they could all offer multiple suggestions for unique ways to eat our pretzels. A grill out is not complete without using the Pretzel sticks as a hot dog bun and the Pretzel sandwich bread as a hamburger bun. Our Bavarian Pretzel Bagels make for a savory salty breakfast treat. Make it into a breakfast sandwich and the flavor merges together beautifully.

The crown jewel of our Pretzels though is the 3LB and 6LB Pretzels. You can often find people at Cincinnati festivals or tailgates with these beautiful culinary delights. Often turned into giant sandwiches or as we like to call them “Original Deli Stuffed Pretzels”, these turn into the focal point of any major event. Filled with almost four pounds of meat and cheese, this sandwich is sure to be the best part of the party.

If you are looking for a quality Pretzel made from one of the best bakeries around come visit us today!

Baking it Fresh over 50 years

What do you think of when you hear the name Servatii? For many people it invokes feelings of warmth, home, and memories. It is a name that resonates deeply within the communities of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. When you walk into one of the store fronts you are immediately hit with the aromas of the baked goods that will travel to homes all across the city. It is a name that is steeped with history. It is a name that invites you to learn and know more about baking.

Servatii is one of the oldest bakeries in Cincinnati. It was founded by Wilhelm Gottenbusch, a German immigrant that came to the United States after traveling around the world on and international freighter. In 1963, Wilhelm opened his first bakery on Observatory Avenue in Hyde Park. In a one man shop, with a bakery in the back, he made a name for himself by focusing on one thing- quality. Focusing on the quality of his products, Wilhelm and his family have expanded and grown over the last 50 plus years.

Wilhelm brought the traditions of his father and grandfather over from Muenster, Germany. His grandfather, George, started out driving a horse drawn wagon door to door selling his fresh baked goods. Wilhelm’s father, George, attended Germany’s most recognizable baking school and received his “Konditor Meister” status – Master Pastry Chef. His father opened Café Servatii, on Servatii Platz, in the heart of Muenster, Germany. Wilhelm followed in his father’s footsteps by earning his “Master Baker” status and starting his own business in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Wilhelm’s sons Greg and Gary have apprenticed in Germany earning their journeyman status in Pastry. In turn, the Gottenbusch’s have acquired some of the most talented bakers, decorators and pastry chefs in America. All together they work to uphold the values set forth by Wilhelm Gottenbusch 50 years ago. Greg is now the owner of Servatii and you will find him always willing to pitch in and lend a hand.

On occasion, you can often find Wilhelm and his wife popping into a shop to say hello to the employees and customers. He is definitely a man that values the hard work and dedication the employees put forth to carry on his legacy. He also greatly values you-the customers. Without all of you, this bakery would not be where we are today. The appreciation for wonderful quality product and continued support of our patrons means the world to him and all of us here at Servatii.

As we move into the future of Servatii Gary’s son Paul is learning the trade and well on his way to delivering the next generation of excellence.

Thanks to the Gottenbusch family we are still growing and expanding today, Employing quality Bakers, Store personnel, and Office Personnel. We are a bakery to be reckoned with and our future is bright! Enjoy the Best!