If you’ve ever spent any time on the southern end of Tempelhof Park, you may have found yourself suddenly racked by an unexplainable craving for cookies. That’s because if the wind is just right, it carries over the vanilla-sweet scent of a cookie factory located on the other side of the Ringbahn.
I figured this out after getting a new Kleingarten earlier this year that takes me by this Bahlsen factory, the 125-year-old company that makes the famous Leibniz Butterkeks cookies, amongst many other delicious things. What’s more, my eagle eyes spotted a sign for a factory outlet store. Not only do I love cookies (who doesn’t?), I’ve also inherited my family’s genetic predisposition for sniffing out a good deal. Thriftiness is a virtue! Paying full price is for suckers!
First sign that this place means serious cookie business: The row of heavy-duty shopping carts at the entrance. I pass these up and vow to only buy as many cookies as I can carry. Inside, I discover a bare-bones warehouse with concrete floors and fluorescent lighting. But you’re here for gluttony, not aesthetics.
Cookies — cookies everywhere. I feel a little like Augustus Gloop in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Besides the famous Butterkeks and Pick-Up bars (two cookies sandwiching a layer of chocolate), there are more cookie varieties than I’ve ever seen in any supermarket, from wafers to Christmas cookies to baby biscuits, plus treats like brownies and snack cakes.
Generally, I’d say most products are around 40% off in-store prices, sometimes more. Most of the stock is being sold there because it has small visual imperfections or is nearing its expiry date. The best deals, though, are found in the Bruchware section, which is where you can buy a 2 kg bucket of broken cookies for €5. I live alone and do not have a death wish (though cookie overdose would be a heavenly way to die) so I pass these up, and keep my promise to only buy as many cookies as I can carry. The family behind me in the checkout line, however, has the right idea, and has heaped their shopping cart to overflowing.
If you’re a friend of mine, consider this fair warning: you may be receiving a bucket of cookies as your next birthday gift.
Just kidding — sort of.
Bahlsen factory outlet: Oberlandstr. 52 | Open Mon-Fri 9.00-18.00, Sat 9.00-14.00