Swiss News December/January 2012/2013

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The international magazine of Switzerland

Transcript of Swiss News December/January 2012/2013

  • Eddie Izzard Lckerli Huus Daniel Albrecht Chocolat Frey Christmas markets Alprausch Hiltl Jason Spezza Scuol

    NO. 12 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012/13 CHF 7.50

  • 14.09.2012 17.02.2013eine Ausstellung ber ein abstraktes Thema, die aktuell, sinnlich, fr Laien verstndlich und fr Fachleute interessant ist. Tages-Anzeiger

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  • e d i t o r i a l


    PUBLISHER Remo Kuhn MANAGING DIRECTOR Jonas Hugentobler EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Carina Scheuringer ASSISTANT EDITOR Emily Mawson LAYOUT Mara Ahuctzin Lepel MARKETING & ADVERTISINGMANAGERS Erika Frey-Hasegawa, Isabella-Elisa Ott, Tel: +41 44 306 47 00 CONTRIBUTORS Angelica Cipullo, Brien Donnellon, Hiltl, Tsitaliya Mircheva, Paul Read, Deja Rose, Marion Widmer PRINTING [email protected] SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE SWISS NEWS, Kschenrti strasse 109, 8052 Zurich, Tel: +41 44 306 47 00, Fax: +41 44 306 47 11, [email protected], SUBSCRIPTION RATE Oneyear, CHF 60 inside Switzerland; CHF 100 abroad; Single copy CHF 7.50 DISTRIBUTION & SALES Available at major kiosks, Orell Fssli, Off The Shelf, and in business class on SWISS International Air Linesflights PRINTED BY Mattenbach AG, Mattenbachstrasse 2, Postfach, 8411 Winterthur SWISS NEWS 30th/31st year of publication COPYRIGHT Under the Inter national Copyright Convention, All rights reserved(ISSN 1420-1151) PUBLISHED BY SWISS BUSINESSPRESS SA, 8052 Zurich,

    There is nothing in the world so irresistiblycontagious as laughter and good humour. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    I must confess that I love this time of the year the sparkling streets and crisp starry skies, the endlesssoundtrack of cheesy carols and the mugs of piping-hot, mulled wine. The little wonders that bring atouch of magic to dark and cold winter days and that make people travel hundreds or thousands ofmiles just to be together. There is just something in the air at this time of the year. And it is this very spiritthat is at the heart of this winter issue of Swiss News.

    This December/January, we travel the length and breadth of the country in search of magical winterwonderlands from Switzerlands ski resort of the year (page 28) to its most charming Christmasmarkets (page 42) and hidden health retreats (page 36). We visit the secret, chocolaty land of theFreyans and their golden un icorn (page 10), find ourselves enchanted by sugary worlds (page 14) andglorious festive feasts (page 38) and learn the most important lessons of all from two courageousmen, whose spirits stand out from the rest. Both Eddie Izzard and Daniel Albrecht have overcome lifeschallenges to dedicate themselves to success in their respective professions of comedy and ski racing.And the lesson is simple: you have got to believe. And what better time to believe than at Christmas?

    We wish you a happy holiday season!

    Carina ScheuringerEditor-in-Chief

    Make believe










    News 07 The latest news from Switzerland

    10 questions with... 08 Jason Spezza NHL player in Switzerland

    Made in Switzerland 10 125 years of Chocolat Frey The Frey secret

    Entrepreneur in focus 14 Miriam Blocher Sweet thoughts

    Finance column 17 Be sure about insurance

    Celebrity interview 18 Eddie Izzard Comdien extraordinaire

    Profile 24 Daniel Albrecht Mountain prodigy

    Destination Switzerland 28 Saas-Fee Pearl of the Alps

    Off the beaten track 32 Aqualino to Scuol Journey to wellbeing

    Fashion column 35 Perfect party dresses Christmas and beyond

    Healthy living 36 Winter packages Holiday treats & retreats

    Healthy living special 37 Kai Sushi Bar Culinary creativity

    Healthy indulgence 38 Hiltl Festive feasts

    Fashion 40 Alprausch Wild at heart

    Insider 42 Christmas markets Let it snow

    Whats on 48 December/January Highlights around the country

    Books 45 English books at Orell Fssli

    Directory 46 Goods and services in Switzerland

    Classifieds 50 Noticeboard

    Images from top:Christmas markets SondereggerAqualino to Scuol, Bogn Engiadina Scuol Eddie Izzard, Amanda SearleSaas-Fee, Saas-FeeFront cover: Eddie Izzard, Amanda Searle


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  • b u s i n e s s | m a d e i n s w i t z e r l a n d


    The Frey secretBy Carina Scheuringer

    A ten-minute bus ride from Aarau station, a unicorn watches over a mystical world of childhood dreams, where the smell ofcocoa lingers in bright hallways and employees wear a knowing smile. This is the magical home of the Freyans, a force of839 people united by a passion for chocolate and by a remarkable heritage.

    Robert & Max Frey

    Use of electric machinery

    18871888 On the premises of an old spinning factory A public limited company1900 1906

    R. & M. Frey sets itself apart with quality products1903

  • Steeped in historyLooking at the size and versatility of the operation today, it ishard to believe that Chocolat Frey AG started out as amodest family business. On 17 December 1887, eight yearsafter the invention of the conching process by RodolpheLindt* (which marked the onset of the industrial productionof chocolate), brothers Robert Frey (1861 1940) and MaxFrey (1863 1933) were amongst the first chocolatepioneers in Switzerland. Their venture R. & M. Freyincorporated leading techniques of the age, including theuse of machines powered by electricity.

    Focusing its early production on chocolate bars andchocolate powder (as well as soups and health productsthat were later discontinued), the small enterprise quicklybuilt a reputation for itself due to the outstanding quality ofits products. In 1906, the family business assumed thestatus of a public limited company and started to trade asChocolat Frey AG both in Switzerland and abroad.

    Just as exports with Germany, France and the UnitedKingdom were taking off, the onset of the First World War sentEurope into turmoil. Shortages of raw materials during the warand plummeting sales in post-war years forced Frey toabandon its international partnerships and exclusively focuson the domestic market. By the beginning of the 1920s, thecompany was at the brink of collapse. Trying to survive andreduce costs, production was suspended for days on end.But somehow, Frey still managed to pull through.

    In good spiritsWhenever [people] think of Switzerland, [they] think ofchocolate. And I have worked in the largest chocolatefactory in Switzerland. That fills me with pride to this day,remarks retired employee Peter Lienhard, who served atChocolat Frey for 41 years.

    A strong team ethos and personal identification with the brandlies at the heart of the success of a business that generated aturnover of CHF 399 million in 2011 and is the number onechocolate producer in the domestic market (with a market shareof 38.2 per cent). Global sales reached almost 43,000 tonnes ofproduce; manufactured in the Buchs factory to the higheststandard of quality, with great love and attention to detail.

    Social capital is our greatest good. Without a first-class team,everything else in the company means nothing; it is crucial forour future, says Hans-Ruedi Christen who heads thecompany as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). If you want toremain competitive in todays tough economic climate, it isessential to work through challenges and difficulties together.As CEO, you have to lead by example on an everyday basis,talk to people and listen to what they have to say. The highstaff retention rates (in 2011, the average number of serviceyears at Frey was 12) and the number of jubilee celebrations,rewarding 25 to 45 years of service, speak for themselves.And even as an outsider, I can feel this elusive Frey spirit as Iwalk through the building. In every corridor, I am met withsmiles and friendly welcomes.

    All photos Chocolat Frey AG


    Robert Frey junior takes overfrom his father1932

    Chocolat Frey AG is taken over by MIGROS Chocolat Frey AG moves to Buchs/Aargau1950 1967MIGROS builds a modern chocolate factory at Buchs/Aargau1965

  • b u s i n e s s | m a d e i n s w i t z e r l a n d

    12In 1950, when Robert Frey junior signed over the familyshares, Chocolat Frey AG became the oldest company everto be acquired by Migros. Although the agreement raisedeyebrows at the time (as Migros already had its ownchocolate factory, which was later assimilated into thecurrent Buchs location), the decision proved to be worth itsweight in gold. Under its new ownership and still managedby Robert Frey junior Chocolat Frey grew exponentiallyover the next decades and soon had to relocate to biggerpremises at Buchs. If you take a look at the attractivefactory in Buchs today and the position of the chocolateindustry in Switzerland, I believe that I acted correctly,wrote Robert Frey junior in a letter to his wife in 1968.

    It is hugely beneficial for us to be part of the Migrosstructure, explains Christen, whose history with thecorporate group spans 20 years. The value chain runsalongside the entire production chain, from raw materials tothe final product. This front to back integration approachmeans that we truly are in control of strategic goals and canexercise a much greater influence than an ordinary producercould. Take sustainability for instance