"Dispensing häppiness has been my stock in trade for 47 years"

Meinrad Meier (62) is the longest-serving employee at the Kägi factory. Sometimes he even takes his work home – his favourite is the hazelnut variety. It seems you just can't get enough häppiness.

Magazin Meinrad Meier

Besides the finest ingredients, a sense of unhurriedness is needed above all else for the manufacture of Swiss quality wafers. And if there's anyone at Kägi who embodies unhurriedness, it's certainly Meinrad Meier. The man with the distinctive mustache has worked at the factory in the Toggenburg for 47 years. He even still remembers the three Kägi brothers personally.

"The bosses always addressed me by my first name, never as Mr Meier," asserts Meinrad Meier. "Otto Kägi always asked if I was busy hay making again." Meinrad comes from a farm just a few kilometres from Kägi's head office and it seems relations in the factory were quite informal in the early days. Just like the recipes, this too has hardly changed to date.

When this grey-haired man is asked what he remembers most fondly from his childhood days, his eyes light up and he says: "The Kägi Classic wafer. Back then, being given a chocolate wafer by one of my parents was something quite special."

Meinrad Meier joined Kägi directly after having left high school; he was 15 years old at the time. "Over the course of time I became familiar with all of the manufacturing processes", explains 62-year-old Meinrad. "I have roasted the noble cocoa beans, mixed the wafer fillings and ground the sugar." 35 years ago, Meinrat joined the wafer production team.

"I personally like coconut and hazelnut the best," declares Meinrat. Product tastings are something he still enjoys "very much and frequently", even after such a long time.

He still has three years to work before he retires. Meinrad Meier speaks in terms of "being allowed" rather than "having" to do things. "If I had to make the same choice today, I would start here again without hesitation. There is something magical about working at Kägi." The people at Kägi are unique, just like the product that they make.

Meinrad Meier already knows how his days will be spent upon retirement, he has enough hobbies. "I have played tuba and bass in a music society for over 40 years, I have been a prompter for a theatre group for 25 years – and I have been married for 40 years." When asked about his wife’s line of work, Meinrad laughs and says: "She also works at Kägi of course."

18. October 2014