Mr. Erich Sollbock worked in the industry as a certified chef for over 30 years. Erich said that: “looking back in time every single day is a valuable learning experience.” After his professional chef training in 1970s in Austria, he developed a great desire to explore the world. He added: “And what better means could I take than to work on a luxury cruise liner and at the same time to see the most exiting places around the world.” After spending some years at sea, Erich felt the need to update himself on the culinary developments in Europe. From there, he joined a hotel chain in 1989, as the Executive Chef to work in China and Thailand.
Thereafter, he spent a couple of years in Malaysia and Indonesia before having the opportunity to work in Singapore in 1997. “Along the way, I learned a great deal about different people in different countries, and I have noticed that the key to getting along is respect,” as verbalized by Erich. In Singapore, with its multi-cultural environment, Erich felt very comfortable since the first day he stepped on its soil. At first, he worked for the German Club as the Executive Chef, providing its members and Asian guests with authentic food from Germany and central Europe. After the German Club closed its restaurant business in 2000, Erich worked in the German Centre and in a German Swiss Restaurant for a few years.
In 2004, the opportunity to operate a “western hawkerstall” in Chinatown arose. Erich then turned his idea of a sausage kiosk into a reality. “At first, people around me were very skeptical of an Ang Mo hawking in Chinatown. They did not give me a long ‘shelf life’, but 4 years down the road, I am still at the same spot where I started from, except my stall has expanded to two units. In addition, right across the road, I opened an Austrian Bakery within a coffee shop setting, supplying original Austrian Bread.”
Starting a business from scratch was a challenge for Erich. “One of my mottos is: Happy hour all day and night long (because) every hour you are happy is a happy hour.” That positive attitude is exactly what keeps him going.
He shares, “Yes I have been recognized by TV, press, travel guides, magazines and institutions. But the most memorable are the customers. Over the years I have made so many customers my friends and they actually inspired me to do what I do.” For Erich, the interaction with people on a daily basis is by far, the biggest reward.
This blog is about real life stories, happenings, gossip, ramblings and events at the Wuerstelstand, the Chinatown Night Market, Singapore and the rest of the world. Besides Erich's ventures we also want to introduce Singapore as a beautiful and interesting tourist spot and a great place to live and work. Many tourists or expats who have been here are now our frequent blog visitors to check what they miss out since they left. Feel free to participate in our Wuerstelstand community. Send us ideas for new posts or photos. Comments can be posted below each post. Your Editor at Large: Frank N. Furter