WALDWICK, N.J. — Glenn Gramsch of Reinhold’s Quality Bakery in Waldwick is a third-generation baker.
He’s in at 6 every morning to join the other master bakers.
“We’re making the stollen today,” said Gramsch, who lives in Allendale. “It’s a big job but very popular.”
The buttery, fruit-filled loaf harks back to the family legacy.
Glenn’s grandfather, Eric, owned a bakery in Hagen, Germany.
When his father, Reinhold, and his mother, Hanna, came to the U.S. in the 1950s, they did what came naturally.
“My father got a loan from his boss,” said Gramsch, 54. “He opened the bakery and bought a house at the same time.”
That popular stollen is made from an old German recipe.
So is the Black Forest Cake and the German Beehive Cake, which features toasted almonds, butter, and honey with crunch on top and Bavarian cream in the middle.
Reinhold’s also makes German Chocolate Cake.
“We do it,” Gramsch said, “but it’s not really German.”
(Fun fact: German Chocolate Cake was created in the mid-19th century by an American named Samuel German.)
Every baking skill imaginable is passed down through four generations now working at the bakery, including Hanna Gramsch of Upper Saddle River.
“I was here on April 21, 1959, the day we opened,” she said, “and I’m still here to help my son.”
Also working in the shop are Gramsch’s daughter, Christine Tominovich of Upper Saddle River; her granddaughter Jessica Tominovich of Upper Saddle River; and her great-granddaughter Briana Gramsch of Waldwick.
“If it wasn’t for family, I don’t think we’d be here,” Christine Tominovich said. “We never get to enjoy any holiday. But we like working together.”
The thing about Reinhold’s, according to Glenn Gramsch, is that it has survived and thrived by honoring the old while embracing the new.
Need a fancy fondant cake? Not a problem.
Need a classical cake? Not a problem, either.
Need bread, rolls, Danish, buns? Reinhold’s has it all, in spades.
Working with Glenn Gamsch are two highly experienced bakers — Pastry Chef Scott Casey of New Milford and Baker Bill Sidlovsky of West Milford.
More than anything, the fact the bakery has full lines of everything is what distinguishes it in the market, according to Hanna Gramsch.
“Today they teach people to make fancy cupcakes and cakes, but that’s not a bakery,” Hanna Gramsch said.
“There are many other things to make,” she added. “It’s a lot of work and there’s a lot to know.”
The back of the shop is the manufacturing side, she said, and the front is retail. That’s two businesses in one.
To her, both are second nature now. Bakeries are what she does.
“And I enjoy the customers,” she said. “They keep us going.”