Class of 2016
Honoring and building a legacy has been at the heart of Bernard Garbusjuk’s career. He was born August 30, 1943, in Strehlen, Germany, to Paula Fuerst and Walter Garbusjuk, and has an older brother, Kurt.
After graduating from high school in East Berlin, he was in the process of enrolling in veterinary school when the Berlin Wall was erected. At the time, Bernard was on vacation in the West and, with the blessing of his parents, he decided not to return to communist East Germany.
Seeing as his great-great grandfather was pastry chef Paul Fuerst, who created one of Europe’s famous confections, Salzburger Mozartkeugel, Bernard decided to apprentice in pastries and chocolate in West Germany. He made it to the U.S. in 1968 and continued learning his craft at Marcel’s Swiss Pastry Shop, in Seattle, where he met Julius Boehm, who invited him to join his company. Starting as a candymaker in 1972, Bernard is today owner/president.
During the past 35 years, he has shared his experience by training candymakers and production staff from companies worldwide. As a result of his vision, Boehm’s is listed as one of Seattle’s Eastside icons, alongside Microsoft, Paccar, Nordstrom and others.
However, he says he is most proud of when his son Tyson and daughter Narissa Burton, joined the management team at Boehm’s, and he says he plans to continuw working alsongside them, pushing aside any thoughts of retiring.
He says incorporating fast-paced, high-tech and changing consumer attitudes into a business with an old-world aura has been his greatest challenge, but one that he has found the key to managing.
His endurance and creativity are evidenced in his winning of Candy Clinic awards at Retail Confectioners International (RCI) regional and national conventions in numerous categories every year since 1982, and he was named Master Chocolatier Emeritus by RCI in 2003. Bernard served on the RCI Board from 2008 to 2011, and has been an active member for 35 years. He attributes his success to staying true to the foundations of his early training and surrounding himself with capable staff.
On the social side, his strong support of the Northwest community and the value of tourism won him the Issaquah Beautification Award for dedication to Architectural & Landscape Design in 1991 and an award for Tourism & Excellence in 2009.
Bernard married Hee Jeong Park, who he met through the company’s banking business, at Boehm’s own little chapel on the company grounds, in April 2012. He laughs and says that behind his rough façade: “I am really a romantic and passionate person.”
Asked about a proud achievment, he states: “Being an integral part of training of hundreds of local sales staff members through the years — even some children of former employees.”