Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Food Column: Edelweiss is a slice of Germany in Tuscaloosa


It’s quiet in Edelweiss German Bakery and Cafe. It’s 8 a.m. and my roommate and I are the only two customers there.

We order our muffins, and my roommate orders a mocha latte, then we grab a seat on the couches near the door. There’s an unfinished New York Times crossword puzzle on the table, along with a sign that reads “Birds belong in the sky, fish in the water and feet on the ground,” gently asking us not to put our feet on the table. Next to the couches is a table covered in magazines, books of German folk songs and a German to English dictionary.

For an hour, we watch as people grab their breakfast and leave, stopping for a moment to chat with the employees or the owner, Ester Scheeff.

“We have everyday regulars that come everyday, we have customers who are waiting when we open the door in the morning or pick it up and go to work,” Scheeff said. “The afternoon we have our special crowd, lots of professors and students and business people.”

Scheeff and her husband first moved to Tuscaloosa in 1996 and stayed for over a year before returning home to Germany. They moved here again in 1998 and have been here since.

“We didn’t think we’d stay forever here but now we do,” Scheeff said. “My kids got married, have grandkids, my in-laws are American so it’s now our family is here.”

Scheeff opened Edelweiss over nine years ago after another German coffee shop in Tuscaloosa that she worked with closed. This year, Edelweiss moved into its current home on 4th Street after Bama Bean closed.

Most of the recipes are German, from the pastries like the apple strudel and plum crumble cake, to the meal specials like the Wolfgang Signature Sandwich with chicken, mozzarella, tomato and pesto. They also have a selection of cakes, some of which change from week to week.

It’s a little slice of Germany in Tuscaloosa, something Scheeff said many customers appreciate.

“Some have been in Germany, they’re military, or they have some friends that have been over there so they know how the German stuff is,” Scheeff said. “It’s not so sweet, it’s semi sweet.”

Scheeff comes in between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. every day to start baking, and continues baking all day – especially on Mondays after everything becomes sold out on the weekends.

“You have to bake everything again,” Scheeff said.

Edelweiss German Bakery and Cafe is located at 2324 4th Street. They are open Monday – Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

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