Where people and the town's history meet.

Wangen residents have known it since childhood. Many visitors to our town, however, are currently discovering the milk mushroom for the first time. At the 2024 State Garden Show, three typical mushroom roofs made of red and white spotted truck tarpaulin will shine out over the site. Time to give the iconic mushroom-shaped kiosk its full attention after 70 years. ... may we introduce you?

Milchpilz - The iconic mushroom kiosk from Waldner

Why Waldner launched a milk kiosk in the 1950s milk kiosk onto the market, is quickly explained: As a Wangen-based company, which today specializes in laboratory buildings, process plants, packaging machines and learning room concepts specializing in laboratory buildings, process machines for the dairy industry made a name for ourselves worldwide. In the post-war period, good things made from milk suddenly became indispensable for health. 

The kiosk is original, that's for sure. But why a toadstool of all things? Because it fits in well with the rural Allgäu region, you might think. What is far more certain is that pioneer Anton Waldner was looking for a memorable shape for his sales stand. And a design with a high recognition value, matching the milk: clean, fresh and hygienic. And so the toadstool was born. A little crazy, but appealing.

Waldner employees in front of the milk mushroom on the company premises

A meeting place full of memories

In their heyday, the mushroom houses stood everywhere to promote the sale of dairy products: along roads and highways, in sports facilities and swimming pools, at trade fairs and exhibitions or on campsites.

Even far beyond Wangen, the iconic sales mushrooms sprang up all over Europe
49 in total between 1950 and 1958 - in Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland all the way to Italy and Greece.

Some of the sales mushrooms actually still exist. Some of them are listed buildings.

The first milk mushroom in Lindau

The first mass-produced mushroom was delivered to Lindau on Lake Constance in 1952. It is still in operation there today. Soft ice cream and confectionery are still part of the product range, and regional snacks and specialties have been added. The mushroom is a listed building.

Milk mushrooms in Wangen

The mushroom kiosk in Waldner's home town has also been standing for 70 years and continues to operate as a snack bar. In the meantime, it has been restored and fitted with new walls. In 2024, it got a new addition - three new mushrooms were built for the State Garden Show in a completely renovated but still traditional design.

Milk mushroom in Bregenz

The Milchpilz in Bregenz has had an eventful history. In the 1990s, it was due to be demolished because it was in the way of traffic planners. But after vehement public protests, the beloved mushroom kiosk was moved just a few meters. Since then, it has also been a listed building. Traditional dairy products are still sold here today.

Milk mushroom in Regensburg

The Regensburg milk mushroom is also a listed building. The “Schwammerl”, as it is called by the local population, is located on Fürst-Anselm-Allee. It has been operated there as a stand-up café since 2007.

Other milk mushroom locations

If you look closely, you will discover the iconic mushroom kiosks in other places too - for example in Rosengarten, Borgolzhausen and Markdorf, but also in Austria's capital Vienna. In total, at least 8 kiosk locations are still in operation today.

Miniature mushroom kiosk

Since 2024, the charming kiosk has even been available in miniature size: the Wangen-based model making company Noch has built a miniature kiosk for model railroads in H0 format. The true-to-scale replica, which is around 5 centimetres tall, is available from noch.com.

Milk mushroom - Cultural asset at the state garden show

The fact that the milk mushrooms are now celebrating a joyful comeback delights fans - and us most of all! After all, even for experts like us, the production-ready implementation based on old manual design drawings was a challenge after such a long time. Fortunately, we succeeded! The successful new edition of Wangen's cultural heritage makes us all revel in nostalgia and a portion of pride.

 On the one hand, because we are continuing to write our city history with the three new Milk Mushrooms of the 2024 State Garden Show and your memories of it.  On the other hand, because as developers and designers, we inherently love it when a plan works and works.

Illustration of a milk mushroom for the 2024 State Garden Show

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