For me, creating Gemütlichkeit (a German word evoking the cozy familiarity of drinking and dining with close friends) is a way of life. Some days that means designing a marketing campaign driving guests to experience a newly-imported Riesling at our German market, some days it means doling out Apfelstrudel to thousands of guests during a street party. No matter the task, my goal is to serve as liaison between the business practices that have brought us so much success and the innovative ideas that will carry us into our future. Having worked every single position in our restaurant, from dishwasher to head of HR, I understand the individual parts of the restaurant, how they click together, and what it takes to make it all hum. I value education through experience and am energized by working with motivated, passionate people who get the job done. This extends beyond the doors of my own business as I work hand in hand with other local merchants and organizations to encourage commerce and growth in our community. I consider investment in the future of Downtown Sanford vital to the success of our business, and lend my skills as a speaker, event planner, and board member to several local non-profit organizations.
Linda Hollerbach makes dreams come true. Without an opportunity to attend college after high school, Linda entered the restaurant industry as a table busser at the age of 16, and by 19 was the youngest manager in the restaurant chain’s Florida units. She rose to Executive Training Manager for the Central Florida region. She left corporate chain culture to create her own concept.
Linda is a lifelong learner and wanted to acquire other skills needed to own a successful business. Holding positions as a Sales Office Manager for a copier company, Bank Teller Manager, and CEO of a medical review company. In each position she advanced from an entry level job to a position of leadership quickly. Her ability to visualize what needs to be done to build a culture and train a staff is well documented.
In 1999 Linda was accepted to the Executive MBA program at Rollins College, graduating in 2000. This accomplishment is a rare opportunity given to few people without an undergraduate degree. Linda set out determined to use her new knowledge, close the deal and create a Destination Restaurant.
In 2001 the dream was realized with the purchase of the 90-seat Willow Tree Café in the Historic downtown district of Sanford, Florida. The first four years saw expansion into adjoining suites, growing the café to nearly 300 seats. Expansion included the purchase of a second building to house the Magnolia Square Market deli, bakery and production kitchen.
Starting in 2010, Linda’s four-year hiatus from the business due to a bout with breast cancer gave her time to return to her passion for art. Looking for a less demanding schedule, she opened the String Theory Creations jewelry-making business, which evolved into Hollerbach’s Art Haus. After three years, she realized that what the public wants from the Hollerbach Family brand is all things German, inspiring her to open Hollerbach’s Outfitters, selling traditional German Clothing.
Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café
Magnolia Square Market
Hollerbach’s Art Haus
HTLC Properties, LLC
LINDA HOLLERBACH, MBA
Theo Hollerbach is a restaurateur with 20-plus years of experience specializing in German cuisine who believes in exceeding expectations, spreading Gemütlichkeit (a sense of well being one feels when enjoying the company of friends and family while savoring good food and drink) and creating benefits in the process for his guests, employees, company and the community. Prior to operating his German restaurant with his wife Linda in 2001, he spent 13 years working as a dispatcher and driver for Mears Transportation Group. Theo also served in the U.S. Army as a Personnel Action Specialist from 1975 to 1979.
Theo has grown his restaurant from 60 seats in 2001 to over 300 seats in 2018, added a German delikatessen /grocery store, a clothing/gift store, and is expanding the restaurant in 2019 by 180 seats.
Theo has been instrumental in the growth of the downtown Sanford, FL. commercial district. He has served on the Seminole County Tourism Board. His award-winning restaurant has been featured in many TV productions, social media, and print articles. Theo is most proud of creating opportunities for his employees to succeed and making Sanford, Florida a destination worth visiting.
When Theo is not working, you will probably find him riding his bicycle, driving his car or trying to make life better.