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The coming of the Nutcracker to Utah goes back nearly 40 years to the Mount Olympus Clock Shop in Salt Lake City. Shop owners, Werner Recksiek and his wife Helga, both originally from Germany, opened the business a few years earlier, and were very busy with sales and service of clocks and watches.
As they needed to travel to Germany to buy clocks and clock parts, they decided to also cater to the previous requests of several of their valued customers, to bring back a few hand-carved nutcrackers. They traveled to Hohenhameln and introduced themselves to Christian Steinbach, president of the Steinbach factory, who received them very graciously. He personally showed the Recksieks the different available nutcrackers and music boxes, and helped them put together a small order. Helga now reports that all of the items sold almost immediately, once they arrived in Utah.
The next year, Werner and Helga went to Germany again. This time, Helga happened to be alone when she saw Mr. Steinbach and his display of nutcrackers at the Frankfurt Trade Show, one of the largest of its kind in the world. they exchanged friendly greetings and, before long, Helga had hesitantly placed an order for more nutcrackers - many more than the previous year. But, says Helga, by Christmas of that year, the entire shipment sold out again.
For almost every year since then, the success story has been the same: as the orders have increased in size, the collectors of these beautifully handcrafted pieces have gladly come to take them home. And as the popularity and fame of the Steinbach nutcrackers have grown, so also have the numbers of avid collectors. Today they total several thousand. That little clock shop in Salt Lake City is now among the top dealers for Steinbach nutcrackers in the world, and is still owned and operated by the Recksiek family.