Grandma’s cake and chit-chat—that’s the concept behind the lovable Munich café and bakery Kuchentratsch (in German, ‘cake gossip’).
Located in the heart of the Bavarian capital, this sweet haven has perfected the typical German tradition of Kaffee und Kuchen-Zeit (afternoon coffee and cake time) and put it toward a good cause. The establishment doubles as a social initiative startup where all fresh-baked confections are made by local elderly folks.
Founded in 2014, Kuchentratsch serves some of the city’s best traditional German cakes. Depending on the season, and who’s aproned-up that day, a delectable selection may include anything from rhubarb torte to crumb cake (Streuselkuchen) to marble cake (Marmorkuchen). Cakes are displayed in a glass vitrine next to the name of the Oma or Opa (grandma or grandpa) who made them.
Cakes are delivered Germany-wide but for sit-in guests, the bakery provides cozy tables in an inviting interior. Think: large glass windows are adorned with plush armchairs against a strawberry-pink ceiling. Throughout the day, elderly folks bake in an open kitchen and socialize around tables, gabbing while waiting on their oven timers. Pensioners work part-time at Kuchentratsch, and many spend their retirement time getting together here, even when they’re not on duty for the dough.
The wafting aromas of warm treats and happy banter contribute to the ambience that owners Katharina Mayer and Katrin Blaschke always wanted: an interactive “experience bakery” spanning tastes and generations. Along with frequent baking workshops, Kuchentratsch aims to support the elderly with a fun hobby that provides purpose, prevents loneliness and supplements pensions with extra pocket money.
So, whether you go for the poppy seed crumble or a chocolate cake made especially for the vegan crowd, rest assured that, as the German saying also goes in English, “the way to one’s heart is always through the stomach.”
Know Before You Go
Cash donations, in addition to cake purchases, are also appreciated to help keep the project afloat.