Hero of the Week: March 21, 2022: Café Vollpension, Vienna

Vollpension Bake Against Poverty on euronews Good Morning Europe

Vollpension Bake Against Poverty on euronews Good Morning Europe

During the month of March, this Viennese coffee shop is “confiscating” its guests’ mobile phones and locking them in a cage!

For the month, a little box or cage sits on each coffee table, inviting clients to put away their phones and instead re-engage in face-to-face conversation after many months of lockdowns and social isolation. The café rewards those who are happy to “incarcerate” their phone while enjoying a cup of Melange (a typical and favorite coffee version of the Viennese) with a 10% discount on the bill.


The unique, charming, and altogether different Café Vollpension* has broken the mold in more than one way. First established in 2012 following a spontaneous idea by two young men who missed their grandmothers’ home-baked cakes, Café Vollpension offers fresh pastries made by real grannies and grandpas! More than 50% of the staff working at what has grown into two coffeehouses and two cake-and-coffee kiosks in Vienna are over 60 years of age.

The nannies and gramps not only bake the cakes and pies but also serve the coffee and engage in conversation with guests who love the taste of old-fashioned, real, homey cake made by “Oma.” The venue has become an intergenerational meeting place—but in particular, a place where elderly citizens contribute their skills for the delight of others. An added bonus is that many a grandpa or elderly lady, in finding an occupation at Cafè Vollpension, is able to alleviate their own situation of old-age poverty, which has become so widespread in our day.

The pastry chefs and management of Café Vollpension—and all those who believe and work for cooperation and communication across generations while having fun and building culinary and cultural experiences—are our heroes of the week.

* Vollpension is German for “full board” and is a silent hint at how we all sometimes yearn for “Hotel Mum” and grandma’s pampering cakes.

Homepage of Café Vollpension