Switzerland is a small country and a large part of it is covered by high mountains and lakes. Every plot of land is expensive and people look to use it in the best way. As a result there are only a few public parks where families can enjoy a sunny afternoon.
Gottlieb Duttweiler, a successful businessman knew about it. He has founded in 1925 a retail company called Migros, which was to become the most important grocery chain in Switzerland. From the very beginning he had in mind something only few businessmen thought of at that time, and what is called today the corporate social responsibility. He has created Klubschule, an organisation offering courses and education for large audience. He has decided that a percentage of the revenues (not profits!) of Migros will be used to found cultural events through the Migros Kulturprozent. In 1941 he has transferred the ownership of Migros to its customers, transforming a corporation into a cooperative. Finally, last but not least, in 1946 he has donated a large plot of land in the town of Rüschlikon, transforming it in a public park, open to everyone without any access fee. Today, it will be my pleasure to take you to Park im Grüene.
The area is quite large. It includes a large lawn where you can enjoy the sun, play the ball or have a picnic.
The children can enjoy a playground with some slides, swings and constructions to climb.
There is also a nice cafeteria where you can enjoy a snack or even have a full lunch (from the Migros restaurant of course).
Next to the main path, you will find a stone dedicated to the founders, Gottlieb Duttweiler and his wife Adele.
Further back there is an observations deck.
From there you can see a great panorama of the Zurich Lake and of all the small towns on its shore.
There is even an guide which helps identifying the most important spots.
Can you please follow me outside the park itself? I want to show you one more place related to Mr Duttweiler.
No, I did not mean the Migros supermarket. I meant the orange building in the back. The path that leads to it shows the highlights of the history of Migros.
Here comes year 1925, there Migros was founded.
In 1957 the Migros Bank (yes! they even have a bank!) and the Migros Kulturprozent were initiated.
Next to it comes the Migros Hall of Fame, featuring some of the most important products sold by Migros. Featuring them in green style of course. Do you fancy a cup of coffee?
Or maybe a bit of chocolate?
Finally, we arrive to the Oranger garten, which exhibits the history of Migros.
Inside you can find an interactive wall. By choosing a particular product you can select one of the highlights of the Migors history.
The washing powder was hiding year 1945.
Historical pictures appear.
Then another amazing story is shared with the visitors. In 1945, to make oil more affordable for its customers, Gottlieb Duttweiler founded an oil refinery.
It still operates and remains one of very few refineries which are not owned by big oil companies.
I must admit I was really impressed by the heritage of Gottlieb and Adele Duttweiler. They were real visionaries, whose names will never be forgot in Switzerland. Now I propose that we go back to the park and enjoy some nice time in the green.