Claudia Reis, originally from Germany, decided to change course from working in the tourism industry and, after going redundant, lamented the prospect of starting her own food truck business. When she returned to Germany and noticed her inherent need for a fresh pretzel from many kiosks, she realised this German delicacy needed to improve in New Zealand.
“Pretzels for me are intertwined with fond childhood memories; it was always such a treat as a kid to be handed a freshly baked warm brezel…,” ruminated Reis.
“Although pretzels could now be found in Auckland and throughout New Zealand, they didn’t taste like the real thing.”
Reis set herself the mission to introduce authentic-tasting pretzels for Kiwis to enjoy by going behind the scenes at bakeries in her hometown to encapsulate her nostalgic taste.
She purchased a vintage-style caravan and, with help from her son, in seven months, had it completely restored. The significant difficulty in the revamping was the placement of the oven. As for Reis, it was essential to have the centre stage to allow customers to view the pretzels baking to fulfil a more traditional feel. The caravan’s first debut was at the Grey Lynn Park festival and had mobile around many events in the Auckland region.
Reis prides herself in her Brezel’s (the German spelling), to be baked fresh on-site with high-quality and locally sourced ingredients while keeping the simplicity of having them salted.
“The hero is the pretzel and its unique flavour; I do not want to overshadow it with many other sauces and condiments.”
A traditional dip from her hometown in the Rhine, and German cakes, such as the baked cheesecake. The menu also includes filled Brezel, the most popular being the Italian Combo, a savoury blend of pesto, bocconcini, tomato, and basil. The truck also takes on a zero-waste approach by using any left-over Brezel, either turned into breadcrumbs and Brezel loaves or filled into pies, quiches or salads.
Reis has dedicated herself to her business and feels rewarded for sharing a nostalgic product, despite the industry’s unpredictability.
“We recently did a corporate event with a pre-order of 800 pretzels; since our Brezel are handmade, that sure meant a lot of dough, twisting and slinging!”