Arena Redaktion, 07.04.2022

Naturwerk Ehrwald

Pleasure for all the senses

Sight, smell, taste, touch: there’s something for all the senses at Naturwerk Ehrwald. Sandra and Fredi have taken their restaurant and, with love and passion, transformed it into a store where visitors can browse at their leisure.

A large wooden counter, two cosy tables, a display refrigerator, and, a little further to the back, wood shelves filled with jars, bottles, and small bowls. Gift baskets and wood carvings scattered throughout. At first glance, you might think this is just a nice little delicatessen. But spend a bit more time exploring the details here and you’ll see that there’s more to Naturwerk Ehrwald – it’s about stimulating all the senses.

After more than 30 years as proprietors of the well-known ‘Loisachstube’ à la carte restaurant in Ehrwald, Sandra and Fredi made their dream come true when they remodelled their business in May 2021. Promising to go ‘back to the roots,’ the couple process and sell products from the forests, meadows, herb gardens, and local agriculture.

‘I know what’s in it’

Proprietor Sandra greets us from behind the large wooden counter, a hand-me-down from the old restaurant. She’s just preparing today’s lunch in the kitchen. ‘People keep asking for our old dishes, so we haven’t been able to give up serving food altogether,’ she laughs with a shrug. In addition to good home cooking, Naturwerk also sells homemade herbal products, syrups, bread, wooden decorations, and lamb and sheep products made in-house. Everything matches the current season – all the products grow naturally. ‘It’s very important to us, we want to be in harmony with nature,’ Sandra says, explaining the Naturwerk philosophy. ‘Back to the roots, so to speak.’

To give her passion for herbs a solid foundation, Sandra even trained as a herbalist, and with her new-found knowledge and her grandparents’ recipes, she transforms herbs, berries, and plants into delicious spices, herbal syrups, jams, and a whole range of other products. You can smell and taste the difference. In addition to its own products, Naturwerk Ehrwald also sells items such as natural cosmetics, yoghurt, honey, cheese, and more made by selected regional partners. ‘We want to add a few things to our range,’ says Sandra. ‘But I always know what’s in the products. I know they’re natural and where they come from,’ she adds. ‘I can’t really eat yoghurt, for example, but even I can tolerate and truly enjoy the natural yoghurt made by our regional partner.’

Soft, woolly lambskin and regional lamb sausages

Take a look around the Naturwerk and you’re sure to notice the many sheep products. There are lamb sausages in the display refrigerator, while the soft, woolly lambskins on display exude comfort and wellbeing. Sandra and Fredi keep 25 Valais Blacknose sheep on their farm, and they spend the summer up on the mountain pasture. ‘My husband’s out with animals right now,’ says Sandra.

The passionate animal-lover takes care of all the farming and produces the homemade meat and sausage specialities they sell. Together with Sandra, Fredi is also responsible for the beautiful woodwork found in the cosy furnishings and decorations of the Naturwerk in Ehrwald, which he makes in the farm’s own workshop.

Visitors love the details at Naturwerk Ehrwald

The door of the Naturwerk opens. In comes a young couple to ask about commissioning a wood cutting. It’s the playful little details that visitors love so much. Allow your eyes to wander and you’ll discover more and more of these details and realise just how much effort and passion went into them. The woodwork is rough and natural to the touch; engraved images and letterings make the wooden decorations even prettier. It’s worth taking your time on a visit to the Naturwerk. Sight, smell, taste, touch – it takes a moment to activate all the senses.

An older couple – regular guests here – dropping in for a chat seems clearly aware of this. They pause, talk, laugh, and share their news. ‘It’d be lovely if we could all just slow down a bit,’ says Sandra, commenting on the pace of society today. Enjoying the natural surroundings, spending time in nature, and noticing the beautiful little things all around us – for Sandra, these are the things we need to unwind and relax. That’s why there’s a mixture of relaxation and pleasure at the Naturwerk Ehrwald: slowing down is much more fun if you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a slice of homemade cake while you browse the store.

A hike to the Almkopf is also a great way to unwind. Those who take on the climb will be rewarded with a unique panorama and the chance to forget all their everyday worries for a moment.  

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