• The Vienna Zuckerlwerkstatt (Sugar Workshop)

    Zuckerlwerkstatt: We love what we do!

    Maria Scholz and Christian Mayer are the proud owners of delightful candy shops in Vienna and Salzburg. How the year 2012 changed everything when they discovered their love for the old tradition of candy making.

    "We were in the Swedish little shop for ten seconds and that was all it took," Christian Mayer recounts his revival experience. "The smell, the colours and the indescribable variety of the sweets enchanted us. We spent countless hours in the small candy manufactory in the far north and were so impressed by the craftsmanship that we dreamed of our own shop back home."

    This idea did not remain a dream for long, but became reality very soon and so, after many years, a candy manufactory was once again established in the heart of Vienna. Christian didn't even leave the search for a suitable location to chance, and since 2013 Austria's very first high-rise building has been home to the high-quality creations directly in Herrengasse in Vienna's first district.

    Reviving old traditions - turn-of-the-century sweets

    •                     bonbon factory "Zuckerlwerkstatt" Vienna
    •                     The Vienna Zuckerlwerkstatt (Sugar Workshop)
    • The alluring scent of simmering sugar is omnipresent, heralding the start of the production of these delicious nibbles. With practiced hand movements, Christian and Maria shape unique works of art out of the soft sugar mass. Christian skilfully swings the tough sugar mass over the sugar hook to incorporate thousands of air bubbles that make the sugars really pop at the end. It looks like they have never done anything else.

      "Unfortunately, it wasn't that easy," Christian laughs, "we spent a long time looking for master craftsmen because this traditional craft had long since become extinct. Maria and I have acquired the 150-year-old craft technique," Christian Mayer explains, "so that we can also produce long-forgotten types of candy, such as silk candy or crackling almonds, by hand".

    • The top class, however, is the creation of the small works of art inside the motif candies. This is how tiny little flowers, animals, symbols or even lettering are created.

      When Maria and Christian decided to join the guild of candy makers, they searched the world for someone from whom they could learn this ancient craft, which had been extinct for 60 years.

      However, they found what they were looking for at home in Austria. In their search for old candy makers they met, among others, Fritz W. Heller, the last boss of the legendary Heller sugar factory in Vienna.

    Vienna and Salzburg - from their sweet side

    High-ranking visitor in the sugar workshop

    Christian and Maria's confectionery workshop had only been open for a few months when an elderly gentleman entered their shop with two large paper bags. From the bags the gentleman, who introduced himself as Fritz Heller, pulled out 120-year-old catalogues of the Viennese confectionery manufacturer Heller with the words "I think you can do something with this".

    Heller is the last member of the family that ran the confectionery factory in Wien Favoriten. Founded in 1891 by Gustav and Wilhelm Heller, within a few years the family business not only held the prestigious title of K. u. K. Hoflieferant, but also fulfilled the even rarer role of Kammerlieferant, meaning that it was a supplier to the emperor's private chambers on his personal order. In 1971, the traditional Viennese company was closed down in the course of a merger.

    The Vienna Zuckerlwerkstatt (Sugar Workshop)

    "Our greatest emotional treasure, is the original Heller catalogue from 1898, which Fritz Heller gave to us. And probably one of the most beautiful editions in our assortment are the original Heller sweets, which stem from originals of this catalog from 1898."

    The Vienna Zuckerlwerkstatt (Sugar Workshop)
    Christian Mayer

    The show workshop: There is a lot to discover!

    If you stroll through Herrengasse during the week, you'll see a bunch of children flattening their noses at the inviting shop windows of the Zuckerlwerkstatt. "The most important thing in the creation of our Zuckerlwerkstatt was that visitors could watch us making sugar candy and thus feel our passion," says Christian. Passion and a lot of joy are the main ingredients for the little delicacies.

    "We believe that you can taste this passion in every single one of our sweets. And every day we see anew that our customers love the taste when they leave our manufactories with a sweet smile. The fact that our sweets are so colourful is thanks to roughly 300 different natural plant extracts. For example, the colour red comes from sour cherry, red radish and black carrot. I maintain a personal relationship with every single supplier, choose my ingredients carefully and leave nothing to chance."

    "Things get mystical with our jellies," Christian grins, "here we work with, among other things, a legendary herbal mixture from the 18th century - specially produced in the Saint Charles Apothecary in Vienna. This so-called herbal miracle weapon is a mixture of essential oils of lemon, cinnamon, cloves, rosemary and eucalyptus.

    The Zuckerlwerkstatt is also a tribute to the extinct tradition of the typical Viennese candy shop. At one time there were about 400 small candy shops in Vienna.

    Sweet time travel

    In Tulln on the Danube, everyone who wants to experience the fascinating development of candies in all its facets will find what they are looking for. Starting from its origins in antiquity, the path leads through the history of sugar to the present day of modern sugar production. The Austrian Sugar Museum in Tulln leaves no sweet question unanswered.

    Learn more

    "We focus on tradition and 100% manual production of the sweets," says Christian, "we allow everyone to look deep into the sugar bowl and observe our craft every day. We make sure to only use ingredients from the region."

    Lured by the delicious smell spreading in the immediate vicinity, people are regularly observed setting off in search of the source of the enticing aroma. Surprised, adults and children enter a wonderfully fragrant and colourful world of sugar and you can see in their eyes how excited they are to witness how the goods on offer are made before their eyes.

    Christian proudly tells us, "We are very happy that we have brought this unique tradition into the modern age and that it resonates with young and old."

    The Vienna Zuckerlwerkstatt (Sugar Workshop)

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