The Kurt Schulz Grocery is now a breakfast spot, with cakes, pastries, and meat


Kristine M. Kierzek

Four years ago, Brian Kennedy opened the doors to his dream job. After decades of experience baking and working for others, he has his own restaurant: Kurt Schulz Delicatessen and Pastry Shoppe, 8752 N. Deerwood Drive, Brown Deer.

Every day, you’ll also find family members behind the counter serving the store’s comfort food staples, from breakfast, popular roast beef and pizza slices, to soups, salads and homemade desserts. home. In fact, he learned the longtime business was up for sale because his daughter, Rachel Kolarich, worked there while in high school and while taking baking and pastry classes at MATC. Now she creates their custom cake orders.

For decades, the deli was known for its German staples, and since taking over Kennedy, it’s maintained some of those traditions while adding baked goods and new flavors. German potato salad is always on the menu, while bienenstich is a specialty served every Saturday with its fresh donuts.

Kurt Schulz Delicatessen and Pastry Shoppe is open 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Find the menu and more on

Kurt Schulz Delicatessen and Pastry Shoppe in Brown Deer is over 40 years old.  Brian Kennedy bought it four years ago and his family helps in the business.

Become a baker

Before I got married 32 years ago, I got into the habit of baking cookies for Christmas. I used to give them as gifts to friends, to the point where everyone was expecting them. They are good. They start with butter. I created a niche.

I got married, and my wife and I got married and moved to Asheville, NC in 1990. I started working at a country club and went to culinary school. I learned baking skills and moved back to Milwaukee in 1994 with our first daughter. I worked in a few bakeries, landed at Miller Bakery and Hartter’s for a few years.

A break from the business

I left the industry because I had a neck injury and needed surgery. … But I always kept my hand on the pastry aspect. I led the Easter breakfast in my church for about 18 years. I would make a bunch of Danish pasta and the high school kids would come and be my apprentices. They deployed everything, and people gave money so that these children could go on a trip.

Brian Kennedy, from right, operates Kurt Schulz Delicatessen with his staff, nephew Steven Kennedy, daughter Rachel Kolarich and Thomas Xiong.

A dream and a delicatessen

My daughter, my youngest, Rachel (Kolarich), who is now my pastry chef, she worked at Kurt Schulz Deli while in high school. She also used it as a co-op in college (at Milwaukee Area Technical College). We found out they were selling. My dream gig was to own my own bakery…

It was nice to buy the deli and add the bakery. They didn’t make pastries. We do everything from scratch. I’m also a coffee snob, so we added Anodyne. …

Now our hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and we’re a breakfast destination. We added breakfast in the last six months, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday we do a full service breakfast, but only about five things on the menu. Top is eggs with toast, but I have really cool French toast, cookies and gravy, all homemade.

Personalized cakes

We make cakes to order, and that’s Cakes With Rachel. We like to have orders a few days in advance. She makes the best cakes ever, chocolate, banana, vanilla, carrot, red velvet.

One of the funniest is for a woman ordering the blackest red velvet with the blackest frosting for big birthdays.

Work as a family

Rachel was the first. She knows way more than me, and she’s amazing. She went to the School of Baking and Pastry Arts at MATC. …

There is more family here too. My nephew Steven Kennedy Jr. has been with me since day one. He is 23 now and has grown into a great young man. There’s nothing he can’t do here. He’s my brother’s son, and Stephen Sr. and my other nephew Shane look after me. My brother Scott came and sometimes helped me. It’s really nice to have family help. …

My wife, Robin Kolarich, has been incredibly supportive in this endeavor. She comes on Saturdays, and I couldn’t have done it without her as co-owner.

Brian Kennedy places a customer's order at Kurt Schulz Delicatessen and Pastry Shoppe in Brown Deer.  Pastries and bakery are prepared on site every day, as are meats, pizzas, salads and soups.

Plan ahead

I do bienenstich every Saturday. It’s incredibly popular. During Germanfest it sells out. I learned how to do this at Hartter’s, a traditional German bakery, before they closed. I don’t use their recipe, but I use their idea with my personal touch. I make it from scratch, and my sweet dough is butter-based.

Its twists on traditions

When I purchased this deli it was considered a traditional German style deli. They had German potato salad, a ton of other German stuff. I’m German, but I wanted to open it up to more European ideas. I like the idea of ​​covering the whole field.

We do Danish, French and macaroons, and on holidays we do stollen, which is a very traditional Dresden style. Our cookies, I start with butter and end with butter. It is the grease of choice in our shop.

On Shrove Tuesday, we do pczki. Last year our paczki sold out. We made galettes des rois. These were super popular. My wife and I had been to New Orleans two weeks before Fat Tuesday. I came back and made samples, put them on the internet. People came out for it. It was awesome.

Her favorite time of the year

The holidays are the best time of year to be at the bakery. I love making stollen. I have a great recipe. When I worked at Hartter, we used to have Stollen Saturdays. There were weekends where we were doing, like, 800. I’m not doing 800 here. I sold 120, and that’s a lot.

Cinnamon twists and elephant ears are bakery staples at Kurt Schulz Delicatessen and Pastry Shoppe.

Desserts of the day

From Monday to Saturday, we prepare the regular danish, the fruit danish and some with chocolate chip fillings. Apple jacks is one of my signature recipes. I make this Danish dough and use it for about eight different products. My cinnamon twists, my elephant ears, you can never run out. Rachel started making molasses cookies recently, and they’ve taken off like crazy.

Essential meats

We boil our own corned beef, and we probably do 60-70 pounds at a time. We go through all of this in a week. I pitted him against anyone in town. We went through our trial and error the first year we opened, trying different brands and different vendors. I get this product from Detroit called by Grobbel. We have to boil it properly.

Our roast beef is our best seller, that’s for sure. We take a higher turn and put a seasoning on it. We roast it until it’s medium-rare and slice it thinly. I never liked roast beef until I owned this place, but it’s medium rare with the horseradish sauce on it. This is exceptional.

Hot ham and rolls here

We make ham and rolls on Saturdays, making the Kaiser rolls ourselves. We sell for $9 a pound and you get a bundle of rolls.

What he can’t remove from the menu

Roast beef, our ham and German potato salad, those can never go away. German Potato Salad is a scratch recipe, and we sell it to a few different restaurants around town.

Here we make a pickled beet that people love. I absolutely hate pickled beets. I make sure to try them once a year, but I just remember why I don’t like them.

Soup season

We make all of our soup from scratch. I went to culinary school. It’s so much easier and it tastes so much better.

I start with a roux and butter and heavy cream in my cream soups. My mushroom soup, people love it. We use fresh mushrooms and sauté them with white wine, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper before making the soup.

Pieces of local history line the walls of Kurt Schulz Delicatessen and Pastry Shoppe.

His turn on space

We have just celebrated our fourth anniversary. When I bought the place, I gutted the kitchen, stud to stud, wall to wall. … We were able to go to the Brown Deer Historical Society, and they opened their vault to us. There are pictures of my building from 1912, there is a dirt road in front with a hitch post…

I live in Brown Deer. I have lived here for 28 years now. I had been to Kurt Schulz Deli when my daughter started working here, but when I became interested in buying the place I went to everyone I knew. … Have you ever been to the Kurt Schulz Deli? About 95% would say “Where?” Larry’s market? No, it’s across from Larry’s Market. …

I wanted to create this cafe that offers pastries, you get your coffee and a comfortable place to sit with wi-fi. This is what I wanted in my community for me. So I created it.

His name is Brian

I walk around the community and a lot of people call me Kurt. I just say hello. People ask why I didn’t change the name. He had been here for over 40 years. I didn’t need to change the name.

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Fork. Spoon. Life. explores the everyday relationship that local notables (both within and outside the food community) have with food. To suggest future personalities to profile, email [email protected]


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