History

Baking artistry since 1928

Wafer rolls (or “Hüppen”) have been known and loved for a long time in the little Thurgovian village of Gottlieben (founded in 1251). The secret behind the Hüppen baking artistry has been kept and passed down generations in Gottlieben. Even Queen Hortense Bonaparte enjoyed “gaufrettes” from Gottlieben when she lived at the nearby Arenenberg chateau from 1817 to 1837. And so, this is how her famous son, who would later become Emperor of France, Napoleon III, also became an enthusiastic consumer of the delicate Gottlieber speciality.

The beginnings of Gottlieber Spezialitäten AG

In 1928, Elisabeth Wegeli, founder of Gottlieber Spezialitäten AG, was introduced to the art of baking Gottlieber Hüppen by her neighbour. Her neighbour gave her her waffle iron, as she had to give up baking Hüppen. Her husband was employed as a cantonal surveyor and public officials were not allowed to have a double income during the crisis years. These were the beginnings of the long-established Swiss company Gottlieber Spezialitäten AG and “Gottlieber Hüppen” as a product. Today, many years later, the reputation of Gottlieber wafer rolls as a unique delicacy reaches far beyond the Swiss borders.

The innovation of wafer rolls with fillings

In 1938, Gottlieber, as the first company/factory to do so, started filling the hitherto empty wafer rolls with a praline filling. This is still today the most popular filling for Gottlieber wafer rolls. Business was quite slow during the war years, as rationing prevented a sufficient supply of raw materials. Following the death of the founder in 1952, her daughter, Berty Wegeli, took over the business. With great commitment and tenacity, she managed to lay the solid foundations for today’s company, establishing an excellent reputation for Gottlieber wafer rolls throughout the Lake Constance region and Switzerland. Walter Brauchli, son of Berty Wegeli’s sister, became her right-hand man. After taking over the company in 1959, he gradually introduced mechanised production techniques.

Expansion of productions in the family business

Urs Brauchli joined the company in 1977, thereby securing the continuity of the company within the family. The following year saw the beginning of wafer cornet production for the Swiss ice cream industry using modern equipment. By the spring of 2000, the important strategic decision to expand production had already been taken. While maintaining its top-quality standards, the company managed to expand capacity in order to produce custom-made, semi-finished products, i.e. “fillings”, for their very demanding clientele in the chocolate industry. In 2005, the proprietary Seecafé, with its factory shop, was opened directly on the Seerhein, next to the factory.

Dieter Bachmann takes over as successor

In 2008, the company was passed onto ‘young’ hands as part of the succession solution. Hailing from Thurgau, Dieter Bachmann acquired the shares of Gottlieber Spezialitäten AG, becoming its main shareholder. This ensured that this jewel at the Seerhein would continue to be an owner-operated and independent company. Major investments were made in production starting in 2009. The Seecafé also underwent some minor renovations and a larger factory shop was added.

Opening of Gottlieber Sweets & Coffee shops

In 2012, a new flagship store was opened in the centre of Winterthur under the name of Gottlieber Sweets & Coffee. Just one year later, in 2013, the first Gottlieber Sweets & Coffee abroad opened its doors in Guangzhou, China. On 1 May 2015, the opening of the Gottlieber boutique hotel and restaurant “Die Krone” marked the beginning of an entirely new adventure. The Seecafé was also renovated and refurbished. In 2018, a new Gottlieber Sweets & Coffee was opened in Basel in collaboration with the Orell Füssli bookshop. In the very same year, the Gottlieber hotel “Die Krone” was passed onto new owners. In March 2019, Gottlieber strengthened its partnership with Orell Füssli by opening two additional Gottlieber Sweets & Coffee in their bookshops, one in Aarau and one in Päffikon SZ (Seedamm-Center). The opening of the Sweets & Coffee shop in Regensdorf followed in the summer of 2020.

Today, an average of 60 to 80 members of staff are employed by this long-established Thurgovian company.