Children love the bags of colorful things from the kiosk on the Bönninghardt Forest Playground

Boenninghardt Forest Stadium
Cake is the hit in the pumping chamber

Brigitte Keelerbach, a trained baker, took over the playground’s Forest booth in Bonninghardt six years ago. Children let her fill their bags with colorful things, and adults praise the cakes they made themselves. We know the favourite.

The phrase “a piece of cake weighing less than 300g biscuit” was written on a small plaque on the dark brown wooden facade of the woodland hut in the big stadium, making Bönninghardt known throughout the region. “Families come to us from Krefeld, even from Holland,” says Brigitte Kellerbach, “and from the whole of the Ruhr.” Revier has now formed the kiosk she’s been running for six years. RVR-Ruhr-Tourism lists this in its 50 Best Bowls to Drink Halls. Kellerbach, who, at the suggestion of her colleague Andrea Bosci, had no chance of being included in the illustrious circle of members of the “intangible cultural heritage”, says that therefore, this is a great honor, and therefore “colored bag” things were declared “in” Pumping Room Day.” Hei’s Little Surprise Bag will open on Saturday from 3pm.

Of course, the Waldbüdchen is not a drinking hall in the strict sense of the word, even if it is an official window-selling booth. But what makes the place away from Revier so inviting are the cakes that Brigitte Kellerbach (59) bakes by hand. The trained baker, who only worked as a day laborer for a year and then sent auto parts all over the world for many years, has always dreamed of selling her own cakes.

Her dream came true when the Society for the Promotion of Nature Conservation and Customs knocked on her door six years ago and asked if she’d like to take over the little booth in the woodland playground that Monica Watch had previously ran for two decades. Kellerbach saw her opportunity and immediately accepted. Together with her husband Rüdiger, a former miner, she renovated the log house from the ground up, installing a brand new kitchen and creating an inviting outdoor restaurant on the under-roof terrace.

    Rüdiger Kellerbach, a former miner, supports his wife Brigitte in a booth in the forest stadium as a

Rüdiger Kellerbach, a former miner, supports his wife Brigitte in a booth in the forest playground as the “man in the background”.
Photo: Armin Fischer (ARVI)

The 59-year-old remembers the official opening day well. “It was raining cats and dogs.” It was a long day. After the opening in the morning, the silver wedding was celebrated in the evening. Since then, the kiosk has stood in the shaded grove on the sunny side. “I have the best job in the world,” says Brigitte Keelerbach. Your cake creations are legendary. “On Sundays and public holidays, Bönninghardt furnishes the whole with the art of baking,” enthuses Mayor Herbert Oymann: “Cappuccino cake, a poem.” On a good Sunday, up to ten cakes are served.

Adults without children or grandchildren also come to the jungle playground to enjoy coffee and cake at half a dozen round tables with comfy wicker chairs. Only from the bakery of course. On the balcony there is an iron rule: “No food or drink shall be brought to the tables,” and it is printed under the transparent tablecloth.

“There are two normal tables,” says the bread-stall worker proudly. The “retirees’ group” comes every day, the ladies from the kindergarten “always on Wednesdays” when the children are in sight. Coffee and cake are the main items on the table. Cyclists, in particular, who take a break here in the woods, treat themselves to a bottle of beer.

In order to always have enough supplies, Brigitte Keelerbach stands at the bakery when the booth is closed, conjuring up her sweet business with professional equipment she inherited from her old master. “Thermomix is ​​a game,” said the oven professional, who works ten hours a day. Not even on Monday, when the booth is closed, there is no rest. Only in winter – from November to March – Büdchen is closed. Then there’s time to relax, and in two weeks off, Brigitte Kellerbach and her husband Rudiger pamper themselves now that the summer holidays are over: “So there’s not much going on here on the field.”

But then she is happy to be standing in the window again, behind the spit-pan from the days of Corona, which she does not want to do without yet. In front of them are the children, politely in a row to get a bag of colorful things for one euro or 50 cents. Brigitte Keelerbach has filled boxes with temptations. She has a heart for children who, as you have noted, are well brought up and are more disciplined than some impatient grandmothers who are “just being pushed in front of them.”

Parents rely on the “mother of the nation”, as Brigitte Kellerbach calls, who is always in a good mood. They call to see if the accused have arrived safely. A handful of boys she has is particularly fond of.

Seniors also appreciate the site, which also has an extensive wellness facility as a unique selling point for a playground. Semester reunions, neighborhood festivals and birthdays are celebrated in Büdchen, like that of a Bönninghardt woman who lives in the Saarland and always comes home for her anniversary in September.

“Büdchen is the community center in the village,” said the mayor. “It is a think tank.” Over coffee and a piece of cappuccino cake, the best things came to mind, how to make Boenninghardt more attractive and to cultivate the village community. There is no barrier to french fries. “I don’t have room in the kitchen for that,” the baker says. The mayor calls it an “absolute stroke of luck.” More flattery is not possible.


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