Lawrence’s pastry chef receives German-American friendship award • Current Publishing

Juergen Jungbauer has made it his mission to bring German and American cultures together since he immigrated to America in 1963.

Jungbauer, the owner of Heidelberg Haus Café & Bakery at 7625 Pendleton Pike in Lawrence, was recently recognized for his efforts. He received the German-American Friendship Award from the Federal Republic of Germany on the opening day of Carmel Christkindlmarkt on November 20.

“They think I’ve done a great job of promoting German-American culture in Indiana for the past 50 years,” Jungbauer said. “But it’s not just me. This is the store. It’s the atmosphere. These are the employees. I got (the price), but my wife and daughters who work here and the beautiful sales assistants pass this happiness on to customers every day.

Heidelberg Haus is well known as a German cafe serving pastries and lunches, but it also offers gift items and is a German grocery store.

Jungbauer, 78, said he tries to give Heidelberg Haus customers a good image of Germany.

“They come into the store and they feel like family,” he said. “It’s just such a cool place. We are actually a destination bakery. We don’t have houses around, but my clients come from hundreds of miles away. Some only come once a year.

Jungbauer often has guests bringing exchange students from Germany to the cafe, or German teachers bringing their entire classes.

Jungbauer always wanted to be a baker. He began his career in the United States in 1963 after working as a pastry chef on a cruise ship. While working on the ship, a New York restaurant owner saw Jungbauer’s work and invited Jungbauer to come and work for him in New York.

A commemorative case showcasing some of the equipment of Juergen Jungbauer’s army. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

“At that time you would get off the boat and go to the embassy in Frankfurt, Germany and ask to come to America,” said Jungbauer, from Karlsruhe, Germany. “It worked really well.”

Jungbauer became a United States citizen and after starting his career as a pastry chef in America he was drafted into the United States Army in 1966. He received basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington, then attended school. of finance at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Lawrence when it was still a commissioned military base.

“The finance school didn’t work because I didn’t speak enough English, so I told them I would like to work in the kitchen,” Jungbauer said.

This request took Jungbauer on an incredible journey. He has baked cakes and pastries for government dignitaries such as presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, various governors, mayors and politicians. On a wall in Heidelberg Haus, Jungbauer displays letters he received from former Presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson and other personalities, as well as countless awards, newspaper articles, old photos of him and other memories.

Despite the cafe’s success, Jungbauer said he never expanded and would never expand the bakery. He even refuses to have a stand at the Christkindlmarkt in Carmel, although he says the organization is fantastic.

“I’m not going anywhere. I have no interest in putting on weight, ”he said. “We like to be small. We cook in the morning and in the evening we come home. I could have opened five stores, but we are happy and satisfied. We pay our bills, we pay our taxes, and we make people happy, and that’s what I want. I lived the American dream. I came with $ 30 in my pocket.

“They let me into this country and I provided work and employment for hundreds of people. Our store is so unique.

Although she did not attend the Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlmarkt CEO and Market Master Maria Murphy said Jungbauer had an incredible impact on connecting German and American cultures.

“When I first got this job in 2017 it was one of the first calls and visits I made because I wanted to be sure that our Christkindlmarkt would be authentic and represent German culture well,” Murphy said. “He’s one of the best resources you can find. I tried to recruit him to sell cookies, and he said, “No, I don’t want to lie down. But he was very supportive and energetic about the idea (of a Christkindlmarkt). He has always been a good partner for us.

To learn more, visit heidelberghaus.com.

Juergen Jungbauer pauses with his prize in the cafe. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Genuine German Offers

Heidelberg Haus has maintained its same menu since 1969. The store opened in 1968. The lunch menu offers authentic German cuisine, such as bratwurst, smoked Frankfurt sausage, Weisswurst and many more options. All menu items are under $ 10. Bakery items include Springerle cookies, Pfeffernuss cookies and wedding cakes, Bavarian pretzels, and other products.

Heidelberg Haus is open 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The kitchen closes 30 minutes before the store closes.

James R. Rhodes