Kalle Stöckle used to be a carpentry teacher at a trade school.
In his spare time, he bought old pine furniture, did it up in his garage and sold it.
Which is how we first met him.
Then he moved out of the minuscule house in the minuscule village they lived in and bought some rambling farm buildings in Ober-Hilbersheim just screaming out for lots of TLC.
He and his mate Roger set about doing the place up and restoring even more furniture until it became obvious that – despite pillaging Scandinavia and Eastern Europe – the supply was finite.
So he hired a guy to MAKE furniture.
He’s now got a workforce of 10 and a really good business outfitting winebars.
And he hasn’t changed a bit.
OK, so he’s got a Jaguar (which he keeps hidden in the barn) and he plays golf (which he doesn’t flash around), but he’s the same cool guy we’ve known for going on for 30 years.
And he puts on his Annual Legendary Summer Festival, with food from Thomas at Schloss Sörgenloch, wine from Klaus and Isabel Gres (that’s her, showing a fair bit of bare midriff in the background, music by Becker ohne Stecker (The drummer told me “We only tolerate his wearing socks and sandals, because he’s so bloody good…”
Normal looking guy.
Until he puts on his corduroy hat, his health-insurance-standard glasses and pops in his catastrophic dentures….