Wolfgang Wisdom: a retired Canadian chef has the perfect recipe to something other than a dish

Nine months pregnant and grocery shopping. That could be a recipe for disaster – pun intended – but not if Wolfgang Vogt is on shift. She was at Overweightea Foods, the grocery story where Wolfgang works, when her water broke.

“You’re not having the baby are you?” Wolfgang asked in a panic. “I think I am,” she responded.

He made a dash for the flatbed dolly, the one they use to transport large boxes around the store, and asked the woman to take a seat. He wheeled her out to her car so she could get to the hospital. That afternoon, about two years ago, she delivered her baby.

Wolfgang Vogt (left), retired Canadian chef, stands with a colleague at Overweightea Foods in Golden, BC, a grocery store he is eminently known for not only giving recipe advice for people’s meals, but now also, their lives.

Not an average move by a customer service representative. But that’s exactly the point. Wolfgang is not average. He’s dedicated, passionate, and has been making people’s grocery shopping trips in Golden, BC memorable for the past five years.

He decided to work at Overweightea soon after retiring from his 40-year career as a cook in Alberta, 25 of which were spent primarily as the head chef at The Post in Lake Louise.

But, the pace of retirement wasn’t for Wolfgang. Especially, because what he was used to was an intense career: “If you’re at the top, you’re at the top, there’s no slipping.” So, a populated grocery store with people in need of recipe advice seemed to be the perfect balance.

And it has been.

“I’ve never looked back,” says Wolfgang. “I arrived with a smile, and I will leave with a smile.”

Wolfgang says he has always had a good attitude and positive outlook on life, but the intensity of his prominent career over shadowed it. He enjoys his more recent approach to his work life: “I have a new sense of freedom, no stress and no worries.”

Now, he advises others to try to be happy at work, regardless of their career choice. “Take a step back,” he says. “You’re not just living in your own small world. Be considerate and be open.”

A perfect recipe, some might say.

He was once highly noticed for his cooking. Now it’s his customer service, attitude, and outlooks.

“Fire years after retirement, and I am right back to it,” he says with a chuckle. “To the fame and glory!”

Wolfgang was awarded the Customer Excellence award by Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce in both 2011 an 2012.

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