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The company was founded in 1836 when Rudolf Sprüngli bought a confectioner's shop in Zürich. He started producing chocolates, as David Sprüngli & Fils, in 1845 and opened the shop on Paradeplatz in 1859. In 1892, the chocolate-producing branch of the business split off from the confectionery and now operates independently as Lindt & Sprüngli.
In 1956, Richard Sprüngli took over the confiserie and positioned it as a luxury brand. A year later, Sprüngli sold the first Luxemburgerli, a sort of macaroon invented by a Sprüngli confectioner from Luxembourg; they are now the company's flagship product of which about 650 kilograms (1,430 lb) are produced daily. Since 1994, the family-owned company is led by the brothers Tomas and Milan Prenosil, sixth-generation descendants of Rudolf Sprüngli.
Products and facilities
As of 2010, Sprüngli employs some 1,000 staff, has annual sales of more than 100 million Swiss francs and a range of 2,000 products, including ice cream and bakery goods. The company has 19 retail outlets, some of which also include restaurants. The main store is located on Bahnhofstrasse and Paradeplatz, while smaller outlets are found elsewhere in Zürich, as well as in Basel, Bern, Winterthur and Zug. Sprüngli products are also delivered worldwide by air mail and are since 1961 produced in Dietikon near Zürich.
The Sprüngli café on Paradeplatz is a traditional meeting-place of the elderly ladies of Zürich's upper class. Local folklore has it that young men who attend the café alone may signal their availability to these well-to-do women by turning over their coffee spoons in their cups. But according to the company's director, this is a persistent myth reflecting Zurich's more puritanical past, when the Sprüngli café was one of the few places where upper-class women could talk to strangers without risking their reputation.
- Porter, Darwin (2010). Frommer's Switzerland. Frommer's. p. 120.
- "History of Spruengli". Sprüngli. Retrieved 10 August 2010.[dead link]
- Fournier, Anne (10 August 2010). "Sprüngli, six générations au service du luxe". Le Temps. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "History of Luxemburgerli". Sprüngli. Retrieved 10 August 2010.[dead link]
- Confiserie Sprüngli. "Verkaufsgeschäfte". Retrieved 10 August 2010.[dead link]
- Schütt, Julian (29 November 2006). "Sprüngli: Das Kaffeehaus als Lebensschule". Die Weltwoche. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
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