140 years of tradition
Fisch-Gruber makes history! Relive with us, how our family was part of the colorful history of Vienna’s Naschmarkt. From a single fish-selling woman to Austria’s most known fish monger!
The history of Fisch-Gruber goes back to 26th November 1876 when Laura Laula Lämmermann got a trade permit from the royal magistrate and founded her fish-business on the old Naschmarkt at the Freihausplatz in Vienna. Since then the vat with carps is trademark of Fisch-Gruber.
The stall had to be rebuilt every day. In summer Laura Lämmermann also sold shells as an additional income. In summer it was too hot to sell fish, so she sold fruits and vegetables.
Her daughter Luise loved to travel and visited Italy frequently. There she got to know Italian fishermen and began importing seafish during the cold winter period from Italy by coach around 1900.
Back then this was quite complicated: The fish was transported by horse coach, in baskets with ice and seaweed, to keep it fresh. Exclusive fish like monkfish, sea bass and sea bream was very sought in the time. But also other fish like sardines, octopus or mussels came from Venice to Vienna on this way.
The Lämmermann family was supplier of embassies and even the royal court – the fresh imports from Italy were a real sensation back then. Around 1910 the family bought four of the new stalls (each 3x3m) on Naschmarkt, planned by Friedrich Jäckel. Also new carp vats were bought.
Around 1935 the next generation took over, as Helene Lämmermann (born 1935) stood in the front row of the family business. But still the vigorous Luise Lämmermann attended the business. Even as an old woman she used to sit in front of the shop with her coffee and her “Kipferl” (croissant) to supervise the business.
During WWII people suffered a lot. Food was rationed, on the black market virtually everything could be bought. A lot of people went fishing in the Danube to survive.
After the war, in 1956, Helene Maisinger took over the shop in the 3rd generation. In the tradition of the typical “Marktstandlerinnen” (saleswomen on the market) she developed a successful business, both with humor and charmant dominance.
Hella Gruber remembers:
We delivered to alle the big hotels – the Sacher, Bristol, Imperial, Astoria. I delivered the fish by bike, carrying the living trouts in a vat on my back. Suddenly I fell down in the middle of Kärnter Straße (a famous street in Vienna’s center). The trouts jumped on the street. They used to call me “blue lightning” because of my coat and my red hat. Even the policemen let me pass when the lights were red.
Hella Meisinger got to know Erich Gruber from Mörbisch (Burgenland). He sold her crayfish very cheap and brought it to the Naschmarkt. A friendship developed…and soon more.
In 1971 Hella and Erich Gruber began to import fish from international Partners. The concept turned out to be successful and the shop grew continuously – to be one of the most traditional and successful family businesses in Vienna. A huge cool storage was built and the Gruber’s were Austria’s biggest lobster importer in the 1980ties. But like in the beginning the customers came from all classes: From the small restaurant on the countryside, over housewifes up to high class restaurants – all bought from Gruber!
In the 1990ties the profile of Naschmarkt changed. Until then the backside were only storages, where the merchants in the evening sold off their goods. The city did a restructuration and closed the storages to build new restaurants and shops.
In 1997 Wolfgang Gruber took over the shop, now being the 5th generation of the Lämmermann-Gruber family. Not only familiar with the world of fish and fishery from his childhood on, his passion is his wonderful product. He gets the strength for his work from his customers, many of them loyal for years and decades.
He made Fisch-Gruber what it is today: The leading specialist for fresh fish and delicacies in Austria. Since 2009 customers can order in our onlineshop 24/7 and have Gruber-quality delivered to their homes in Austria and Germany. As it was 100 years ago, communication and contact with our customers is very important to us. Therefore we offer personal advice and our homepage with special services like in-depth articles, tips and Frischfischlieferungen (delivery notifications). Feel free to contact aus!
Beside our big selection of living fish, every 48 hours fresh fish is delivered to our shop. Highest quality and absolute freshness are the cornerstones of our work. Because when it comes to fish, you can trust us!