Baking is in the family at Hazelnut Cafe going back to Steinbach, Germany in 1882 where Emil Keller was born. By the time, he was tall enough to reach the counter he knew becoming a baker was his calling. By the time, he was 18 years old Emil became a degreed Master Baker in Europe. Emil had a son, Phillip, who followed in his father’s footsteps and became well respected in the 1930s for his talents as an artisan baker. Then Brigitte was born in Germany and soon learned the tricks of the trade through two mentors; a father and a grandfather. From generation to generation baking was in the family blood, secret recipes, many of which are found at Hazelnut café, were passed down and perfected.
Handed down through the generations, with many family members still involved in the baking industry. After moving to the States and coupling her gift with over 30 years in the restaurant industry, Brigitte then in turn passed on her extensive knowledge of the craft to Phoenix where he went on to open his own successful bakery in 2000. Phoenix used his own love of baking and passion for business to open a popular cheesecake bakery in Texas.
Following on from the success of the cheesecake bakery and in the tradition of a family of Master Bakers, Hazelnut Cafe brings the family recipes, the love of baking and enjoyment of seeing others happy together. Hazelnut Cafe has an old-world taste in everything they bake, something slower, something fresher and something that brings back old childhood memories and creates new memories for the generations of tomorrow.
Brigitte - Mom
For Brigitte, baking growing up was never about business, it was more of a hobby. Something that she was passionate about, something that she enjoyed doing in her spare time.
Founding the Hazelnut Cafe has always been a dream of hers as it would be following in her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. And they would be proud. She was asked what she loved most about it the bakery business and she summed it up with “The smells of fresh baked goods throughout the kitchen. Oh, the smells!”
Geno - Dad
Geno is no slouch in his own right. He may not have the baking chops, but if you are lucky, he may whip up his family lasagne or any one of his other Italian specialties. But you must be real lucky.
After serving our country in the Air Force for 23 long years he retired and moved onto restaurant management where he never looked back…until his next retirement nearly 30 years later. His acumen when it comes to business operations within a kitchen environment are of the highest caliber.
Phoenix - Son
Phoenix has always had a passion for being in the kitchen and with his own cookbook series scheduled to be released soon, he is no stranger to baking as well. Who says a former U.S. veteran and successful business leader cannot bake cakes for a living?
The joy and passion passed down through the family shows in the cakes and eats that Hazelnut Cafe sells. Phoenix is always happy to sit and chat about the cakes he bakes… but will he share the secret recipes? There is no way of knowing until you ask him.