National German/American Day
RESTON LLOYD'S GERMAN RÖMERTOPF HISTORY
In 1968, Ms. Bolle (then working for Trans-Ocean-Bridge) worked tirelessly to promote the Römertopf® line in the United States, with unheard of, in store cooking demonstrations. Later she built her own company and requested the rights to distribute the Römertopf® line. The request was refused. The owners of Römertopf®, at that time, discounted her already proven successful work, refusing her solely based on her status as a single mother. Forty plus years later (technically still a single mom) she is vindicated with the exclusive rights of distribution of the “German Made” Römertopf® line for the United States & Canada in 2013.
Rita Bolle discovered the Römertopf® at the Hannoer Fair in Germany in 1968 and brought it to the United States. Ms Bolle negotiated the exclusivity for this product for the United States and Canada under the name of the company Trans-Ocean-Bridge. Ms. Bolle promoted the Römertopf® all over the United States and it became very successful, particularly thru demonstrations in all department stores. She also participated in one of the first cooking demonstrations in any department store in the United States which was held in Burdines, FL. With this hard work, Römertopf® became a Household name and became very successful in the market place. In 1972 Rita Bolle separated from the company (Trans-Ocean-Bridge) and went back to Germany. In the meantime the company went out to business.
In 1972, Ms Bolle started her own company called Reston Lloyd. She then returned to the United States in 1973, with her two twin sons. During her visit to the Frankfurt show, she hoped to come to an agreement with the factory Eduard Bay to have the exclusive import rights transferred to her, since Trans-Ocean-Bridge had dissolved, but unfortunately she was told after many hours of negotiating that she wouldn’t be given the distributing rights. The reason she was declined was due to her being a single woman with two children and the agreement was given to a gentleman in the United States.
So Ms. Bolle contacted the Scheurich Company, which is located in the same “clay area” and produces a similar clay cooker and since they have never been in the United States market they agreed to give her their exclusivity. One of the major hurdles that Reston Lloyd had to endure, was the well-established Römertopf® line in the United States which was all due to Ms Bolle’s hard work. Ms. Bolle believed that Römertopf® was always a quality product, but one problem was that it became very dirty looking inside due to the porosity of the clay pot. Therefore she developed a transparent glaze inside the pot, but left the lid totally unglazed to have all the advantages of porous clay cooking (the moisture is released out of the lid during the cooking process.)
In 1974 the first container with the Glazed Schlemmertopf arrived in her warehouse at Reston Lloyd and she has been selling this product line ever since. She continues her efforts to outshine the name Römertopf® which she made so famous. Later, the new importer of the Römertopf® made an agreement with the factory in Germany to manufacture these clay cookers in Mexico. The retail prices for Römertopf® were very low and Reston Lloyd had a hard time to compete with the Mexican made Römertopf®. These pots were always unglazed (top and bottom). In 1997, Eduard Bay Company went under new ownership, the new company then became Römertopf® Kermik GMBH They also developed a glaze for the inside of the bottom only. These pots were sold all over the world, but no one could buy the German Glazed Römertopf® in the United States, only the Mexican made unglazed pot. Römertopf® Keramic decided to explore the United States Market again with their original Römertopf®, glazed inside made in Germany and appointed Reston Lloyd as their exclusive importer and distributor for the United States and Canada as of January 1, 2013.
Oktoberfest events have been an important tradition for Reston Lloyd. Ms. Bolle always holds her large Oktoberfest event in her 65,000 square foot warehouse with family, friends and clients. No Oktoberfest would be complete without a live 20 piece German band and entertainers. Ms. Bolle and her friends from Germany tirelessly make all the food themselves in their clay pots to prove the most authentic and delicious event.
- Anna Manalo