German Traces in Alberta
The K&K Foodliner in Edmonton

The K&K Foodliner company logo
The K&K Foodliner company logo | © K&K Foodliner

As in many parts of Canada, it is possible to find German delicacies for sale in Alberta. In Edmonton, there is a German family whose store – K&K Foodliner – has been providing both German immigrants and the local population with food since the 1950s.

Albert Krause, one of the founders of K&K Foodliner
Albert Krause, one of the founders of K&K Foodliner | © K&K Foodliner
Albert Krause, a master butcher from Bavaria, followed his brother to Canada in 1956. His brother already had a job at a steel mill in Edmonton, but the two brothers decided to open a shop together since their parents had run a food store in Bavaria. Albert sold his butcher’s shop in Bavaria and moved to be near his brother in Edmonton, where they opened Lauderdale Foodmarket in the north of the city in 1956. Due to the success of this store, the brothers were able to rent a location for another store in 1959, later buying it outright. When their third brother came to Canada in 1962, the Krauses got together and built a third shop on Whyte Avenue, the site of their current address. As an allusion to their last name, Krause, all three stores were given the same name: “K&K Foodliner”. Originally, the shop signs read “Krause and Krause”. In order to avoid misunderstandings, the three brothers agreed to just use the letter K twice. At this point in their history, all three stores were typical Canadian grocery stores without a particular focus on German delicacies, though they also offered sausages and other meat products made in-house.

The manifold offer of the K&K Foodliner
The manifold offer of the K&K Foodliner | © K&K Foodliner
With the opening of large supermarket chains in Edmonton in the mid-1980s, two of the K&K Foodliner locations closed down and the remaining store changed its product range to specialize in European imports. While it had previously only occasionally sold German and European products, it transitioned into regularly importing and offering delicacies from Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. This concept proved to be very successful, and together with the in-house butcher’s counter it formed the basis for the current store. K&K Foodliner offers over 120 types of sausages, such as "Weißwurst"(Bavarian veal sausage), ham sausage, Thuringian sausage, and the much-loved German currywurst. The ham and garlic sausage, bockwurst, and (of course) bratwurst are their best sellers. Varieties of German chocolate also enjoy immense popularity with their customer base. Locals have remained loyal to K&K Foodliners for years, and the store attracts a lot of customers with both Canadian and German backgrounds, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas.

The company logo of K&K Foodliner
The company logo of K&K Foodliner | © K&K Foodliner
K&K Foodliner works closely with the Calgary-based family business “Edelweiß” and they import products from Germany together. Both stores have a similar assortment of goods, although Edelweiß doesn't have an in-house butcher’s, but rather a German bakery. K&K Foodliner sources a lot of its gift articles from Edelweiß, such as beer glasses and "Schultüten", traditional German goody bags for a child’s first day of school.

Today K&K Foodliner employs almost 30 people. Even though lots of small stores in the surrounding area have had to close in the past few years, K&K Foodliner continues to thrive. They constantly update their wide range of products, and most of their merchandise is also available online. The store is currently run by Bernie and Rudy Krause, who took over the store from their father, Albert Krause. They’re confident that K&K Foodliner will still be standing 60 years from now and that it will continue to sell European products and sausages – particularly German ones.

K&K Foodliner
9944 82 Ave
Edmonton, AB T6E 1Y9