The idea for Vollpension comes from Mike Lanner and Moriz Piffl. The creative geniuses behind eco-fair customized jeans label Gebrueder Stitch, one of our first projects when we started with Business Models Inc. Back in 2012 the guys were having a coffee and a very dry cake when they realized they missed the moist cakes their grandmas used to make.
They started dreaming about a coffee shop for grandma-missing youngsters in the center of Vienna. They gathered two other creatives, Julia Krenmayr and David Haller, to quickly turn their dream into a reality.
In September 2012 the first pop-up Vollpension opened for a week in the jeans shop of the Gebrueder Stitch. They ran the pop-up without a license or a plan, but the people lining up to get a piece of cake was enough proof in the pudding. Experiment validated.
'Tis the season
Because of the huge demand, they organized another Vollpension guest appearance during the Christmas season of 2012. The team quickly found out that Vollpension was not only a venue where people gathered to eat, laugh, and spend time with each other. It also addressed a bigger social-political challenge. They founded an association to have a legal structure for the project.
Now that the company was there, staff was needed. A big Austrian daily newspaper job ad created a wave of applying seniors. They all had two things in common: they love baking and they were looking to make some extra money to supplement their small pensions.
In 2015, it was time to settle down and find a permanent place Vollpension. Via social media, the entire community searched for the "perfect" place. But instead, a run-down basement was found. After half a year of blood, sweat and tears the reconstruction was finished and Vollpension opened its first Generationencafé.
In years after the café, the Vollpension team partnered up with a team of young and old. When they started recruiting grandpas and grandmas again, over 350 people applied in just a matter of days. Showing once more that the Vollpensions business is really making an impact in the lives of people.
In 2019 the second Generationencafé opened located in the Music and Arts University district in Vienna. Making the Generationencafé a well-functioning social business.
When the pandemic hit Vollpension was facing a major challenge as their cafes had to remain closed. But leave it up to the team to get creative. Next to a successful crowdfunding campaign they also launched the Vollpension BakAdemy: a digital platform where all (wannabe) bakers can follow step-by-step baking courses with a granny. After several months of development, the platform went live with more than fifteen hours of on-demand video courses, as well as an extensive range of live baking courses.
“More than 500 participants have attended our more than 150 course dates, including an increasing number of companies. But also private groups book our courses to meet with their loved ones who do not live in the immediate area and bake with grandma in a relaxed atmosphere” says Julia Krenmayr, Managing Director of Vollpension.
A 100 granny's is just the beginning. Together with Business Model Inc we are working on the next steps and planning the next concrete projects.
Check out the video to see what real impact looks like. It's in German, but trust us. It will make you hungry for more.