Under the Seal of Bichl Quality

Barbara Zaß produces high-quality, regional food with her family at the Bichlbauernhof (Bichl Farm) in Erpfendorf. The reason why her jam, milk and bread products taste so incredibly good is quickly explained: "Because they are made with love."

When you look into Barbara's sparkling eyes, you know immediately that this is a woman who puts her heart and soul into what she does. Growing up in Kirchdorf, Tyrol, she was inspired by nature and regionally produced food from an early age. As early as secondary school, her school friend knew: "Barbara is going to be a real farmer's wife." And so it came to pass. During her time in the country youth organisation, she met and fell in love with her husband Ägidius "Gidi". It quickly became clear that she wanted to move to her partner's farm and be actively involved there. "My parents-in-law welcomed me with open arms and let me realise my dreams from the very beginning," , one dream of which Barbara has many.

Kitzbueheler Alpen Lebenswege Barbara Zaß Bichlbauer© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

Many footholds, lots to do

In 2016, the idea matured in her mind to offer her home-made bread at St. Johann's Weekly Market . "The food producers who sold their goods there asked me if I would like to offer regional delicacies as well, and one thing led to another. After three days of deliberation, the family decided that the project was a good one, and six months later, not only did the smell of freshly baked bread permeate the house at the Bichlbauernhof, but the product range was supplemented by many other delicacies. Milk, curd cheese, various types of cream cheese and yoghurt, jams, seasoned salts and sweets are available depending on the season and demand. The bakery has been around since 2016, and the modern milk processing room was built in 2021. "The raw material for the dairy products is supplied by our 21 dairy cows, and we also have sheep and a small sawmill, which we run," says Barbara, listing the many different pillars of the business.

Kitzbueheler Alpen Lebenswege Barbara Zass Kühe im Stall
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
Kitzbueheler Alpen Lebenswege Barbara Zass Brotbacken
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
Kitzbueheler Alpen Lebenswege Barbara Zass Bichlbauerhof
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

Where family comes first

There is always something to do at the Bichlbauernhof, but never so much that you‘re forever stuck in your rubber boots, Barbara remarks with a twinkle in her eye: "We work to suit ourselves and ensure the family doesn't suffer." Barbara and Gidi wouldn't trade the precious time with their three daughters for any money in the world. Afternoons spent hiking together on their own alpine pasture in summer, skiing in winter; the Tyrolean natural landscape leaves plenty of opportunities for every leisure activity.

"We don't want to get any bigger and expand, we want to keep our farm exactly as it is at the moment. Our parents-in-law built the basic structure and we are now allowed to go our own way with direct marketing on a full-time basis. Of course, we would love if one of our girls took over the farm in the future. We try to show them everything so they understand and appreciate the cycles of life and nature."

Kitzbueheler Alpen Lebenswege Barbara Zass mit Pferd
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
Kitzbueheler Alpen Lebenswege Barbara Zass Bichlbauer
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
Kitzbueheler Alpen Lebenswege Barbara Zass im Stall
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
Kitzbueheler Alpen Lebenswege Barbara Zass Lebensmittelautomat
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
Kitzbueheler Alpen Lebenswege Barbara Zass Geschenkskorb
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

Vending machine 24/7

Why Barbara's products sell so well and taste so good is probably also due to the love of craftsmanship with which she pursues her work. If something new is introduced, the family is the jury: "If everyone likes it, it goes on sale. I know that I am eating a good product with our homemade food, and I want to convey that to my children and my customers. People appreciate the regularity with which they can buy our food and for all those who are spontaneously gripped by the inclination, we have a vending machine on the farm, which is open 24 hours a day and stocked with many good products for a delicious Tyrolean snack." For culinary moments whenever you feel like it.

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Sabine Ertl

Sabine Ertl

...nurture body and soul. Born 1986 in Carinthia, studied media and communication sciences in Klagenfurt. As a freelance journalist, copywriter and blogger she likes to travel a lot. Mountain freak, horse freak, neo-cellist and gourmet. More details: www.gedankenschmiede.at more details

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