Board of Ancestors
As a former “k. u. k. Hoflieferant” (Imperial and Royal purveyor to the court), it has always been of the utmost importance to us to preserve traditions whilst at the same time to embrace progress.
1803 to 1868
Dr. Wirer invited the Viennese viticulturist, wine seller and confectioner Johann Zauner to Ischl to manage his new cake shop.
The first Zauner Café was opened in 1821 in the former “Wirerkeller” in the Maxquellgasse (the place still known as the Zaunerkeller today) and the main café was opened in the Pfarrgasse in 1832. On 7th August 1837 Johann Zauner married Anna Zeits, however she died at the young age of 30.
Only one year later Zauner married again and his second wife Elisabeth Binder gave him 3 sons. In 1840 he opened a restaurant organizing parties for the high society in a casino and ballroom on the banks of the river Traun. By this time he already owned the building in the Pfarrgasse, numer 32, where the café was located. He became increasingly successful and his cake shop increasingly popular. He died on 4th July 1868 at the age of 65.
1846 to 1889
As second son he took over the management of the business following the death of his father. He opened the new establishment in the Pfarrgasse in 1869, four years after the fire which destroyed much of Ischl.
Maria Anna Zauner
1850 to 1925
Maria became the sole proprietor of Zauner following the death of her husband, Karl. However she soon met Hans Melzer, an engineer and emigrated with him and her youngest son to the United States.
She left her other 9 children behind. In 1905 she returned from the United States and handed over the business to her son Viktor. She had been the legal owner during the 10 years she had been away andhe had been running the business in her absence.
Viktor Zauner - Commercial Council
1877 to 1950
Viktor was the eldest son of Karl and Maria Zauner and was only 18 years old when his mother emigrated to America. At the time he was working in the Gerstner Cake Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse in Vienna but was quickly brought back to Ischl to manage the business. It was through his hard work and business acumen that the cake shop flourished. At the age of 43 he married Anna Binder, a longtime cashier in the café. She looked after the café along with Mr. Nickerl when Viktor was called up to fight for his country in the first World War.
Viktor was responsible for renovating the Café Walther which had been leased out and in 1927 opened the “Café Esplanade” Zauner, which was soon to become a popular meeting place. His wife, Anna, died childless in 1938. In 1944 Viktor adopted Rosina Öfner, a café employee. During this time he was on the lookout for a master confectioner. Richard Kurth was seen as a potential candidate, however he only married in Ischl several years later. Viktor Zauner died in 1950.
Rosina Öfner Zauner
1907 to 1957
Following the death of her husband Viktor, Rosina Öfner was the backbone of the business and was concerned above all with the service and sales stuff. As there was no direct descendant – Viktor and Anna unfortunately remained childless – Viktor Zauner decided to adopt his long-time employee Rosina Öfner on 3rd December 1944. She was later to marry Richard Kurth.
She tragically died from injuries received in a car accident in 1957.
1908 to 1970
He was born in the small village of Rheinfelden in Baden-Württemberg, Germany in 1908 and trained as a confectioner in the Pape Cake Shop in Lörrach. He qualified as a confectioner with distinction and then worked in Baden-Baden, Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden. He attended the professional confectioners` college in Wolfenbüttel where in 1935 he became a master confectioner – also with a distinction!
Kurth than worked in a cake shop and café in Guatemala City, which became the most famous and most popular in the country thanks of his hard word and ability. He also won competitions with his own confectionery creations and was awarded a gold medal at the International Central American Trade and Craft Exhibition. With his own creations he was also able to achieve beautiful successes in various competitions and won the gold medal at the International Central American Craft Exhibition.
However Kurth was arrested as an “enemy alien” in January 1942 after German had declared war on the United States on 11th December 1941 and after a long imprisonment returned home. It wasn´t long before he found his way to Bad Ischl where he started to work in the Zauner Café. He soon made a name for himself and came to the attention of Viktor Zauner.
In 1947, Kurth married Rosina Zauner’, the adopted daughter of Viktor Zauner, but the couple was to remain childless. Öfner. But the marriage unfortunately remained childless. The cake shop and Café Zauner went from strength to strength and in 1958 Richard Kurth was awardet a gold medal for his “Ischler Törtchen” at the World Exhibition in Brussels. Following the tragic death of his wife in a car accident, Richard took over the reins of the business.
In 1962 he remarried. His second wife, Hildegard Reitinger, a teacher, who was a great support to him and the business started to flourish again. The pastry shop continued to flourish and his wife Hildegard was a great support for him in the company. Richard died in 1971 at the age of 61.
Hildegard Zauner - Commercial Councillor
1929 – 2019
Hildegard Zauner was born in Strodenitz near Budweis and is a qualified sports and domestic science teacher. She was forced to leave her home country at the end of the war and continued her education in Stuttgart. She arrived in Ischl for the first of many visits in 1952. On one of these visits she met Richard Kurth who she eventually married in 1962.
The marriage was also childless and following the death of her husband she was forced to run the business alone. Josef Ferner proved to be a great help during this time.
In order to ensure the name Zauner remained synonymous with the business, Hildegard Kurth decided in 1982 to change her name to Hildegard Zauner. In 1987 she legally adopted Josef Ferner.
Hildegard Zauner worked in the company until the old age.- We are very sorry to have to hold on to the fact that Mrs. Hildegard Zauner left us on 15.7.2019 – just before the age of 90.
Josef Zauner was born in Tamsweg and started his apprenticeship as a baker and confectioner at the age o f 14. He qualified as confectioner at the College for Professional Confextioners in Wolfenbüttel, Germany and became a master confectioner in Germany in Braunschweig in January 1972. He qualified as a master in Austria in Linz two month later.
Josef Zauner has spent much of his time in countries such as Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Israel and Japan. He has taught at the famous “Japan Cake and Confiserie College” and has been a guest lecturer there since 1988.
As well a gradually taking over the running the business Josef Zauner has found time to appear on the Austrian television cooking series “Häferlgucker” (1978-1985) and on the Bavarian television programme “Genießen erlaubt” as confectioner (1985).
Numerous gold medals in international competitions demonstrate the quality and creativity of the master confectioner and this culminated in the award of the Austrian Coat of Arms to the Zauner Café in 1980 by the Minister of Trade, Dr. Josef Staribacher (highest national award for excellence – similar to Royal Purveyor).