gmhTODAY 01 gmhToday Mar Apr 2015 - Page 91

In 1875 in Gadenstedt, Germany, Wilhelm von Cramm, opened a small village butcher shop. It was here in this unassuming town about 150 miles from Berlin, that Wilhelm’s love of cooking would unknowingly impact the next four generations of his family: from a POW son during WWII, to an immigrant entrepreneur great-granddaughter in Morgan Hill, California, 140 years later. It all began behind the walls of a local butcher shop where Wilhelm von Cramm served a variety of meats to nearby German villagers. Here he crafted an array of unique spice blends incorporated into savory sausages, pates, and ham recipes. When the First World War broke out, duty called and his wife continued to run the shop. When Wilhelm returned home, he brought with him a suitcase filled with fresh dried herbs and spices from far off lands. He began to experiment and to integrate the new found blends into his meats much to the delight of his customers. His fame began to spread around the village as his customers grew to enjoy the unfamiliar flavors. Wilhelm diligently recorded each creation in a small red notebook. Wilhelm’s only son, Hermann worked alongside his father as soon as his hand could reach the counter. He too gained a love of cooking. Unfortunately, just like his father, as a young man he was also called to serve in a war. During World War II, he was captured by the French army and became a POW. It’s been said that he was assigned to the kitchens as a cook where he used his father’s unique spice blends to make the severely limited war rations taste good; so much so, that he caught the attention of the Commandant. He soon gained his favor and was made the head chef of the kitchens. Five years later Hermann was released and finally returned home. When Wilhelm died in 1952 Hermann took over the business. He also inherited the little red notebook of spice recipes and blends that the customers had come to love. Hermann eventually married and had a son, Helmut. He also became a master butcher and over time grew the business into a modern day shop thriving well passed Hermann’s death in 1978. In 2006 Helmut was ready to retire. His only heir and daughter, Astrid Senior a marketing executive, had married and later immigrated to the Untied States. She had no interest in the butcher business. Then something happened in 2012. Six years after closing the 130 year-old family business, he rediscovered the little red notebook that chronicled his grandfather’s seasoning blends. He had recently had a brush with a serious illness and felt that it was only right to pass the book on to Astrid who at the time just happened to be making transitions in her marketing career. When Astrid read the writings of her great grandfather, she began mixing and concocting his recipes. She gave the blends away as gifts. “My first spice making experience was pleasing friends and family for Christmas with those homemade goodies. My friends wanted more and they wanted to pay for it! So my husband Bob said ‘Why don’t you make a business out of it? You can do it!” With her business and marketing G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MARCH / APRIL 2015 knowledge and Bob’s encouragement, Astrid decided to consider the idea. “I love to cook and to help people learn how to cook and how to make healthy eating decisions,” said Astrid. With her family history and love of cooking it was a natural fit. As she opened that little red notebook and saw her great-grandfather’s writing something came alive in her; some- thing she shared with generations past. That little red notebook helped Astrid find her passion in life and connected her to all those who came before her. In 2012, after Helmut handed Astrid the red notebook, she started Opa Helmut’s Pure Organic Seasonings. Opa Helmut (German for Grandfather Helmut) is named after him—to carry the tradition of the family business as Helmut is grandfather to Astrid’s son Simon. She hopes someday he will treasure the little red notebook as well. Today 7G&BvF&.( 2V7VG0F2VWFrvF'WW'2F7G&'WF'2G26rFV7G&F2@6Ɩw2B7&VFW2Wr&GV7G2FF@FW"ƖRN( 26֖"FvBW"w&V@w&FfFW"FBF6RV'2vf7BF2V"6R2FFrVF&R6VV7Fb6W6vW2B6VV2FBFRf7&ЧG&FF2r6RgV6&6RBFPƗGFR&VBFV&( 26V7&WG26FVRFƗfRॖR6VCV'2bVVP&VFVBF7FW2b6VG&W27V60vW&Bg&6RB'W76'vrFVWG26vևFF6У