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Our Story

The Story of Café Anton and Hotel Schweizerhaus

1954  Manfred Anton and his mother immigrated from Germany.  Before they left, he had already a work as a master baker and confectioner at the Putensen Bäckerei, where Café Treff is today!

1956 Helma Jansen came to Swakopmund, from Germany and she had work at the Strand Café with Mr and Mrs Schiessl. Manfred in his off-time, baked cake at the Strand Café, where he met Helma!

1965  Manfred’s and Helma’s dream was, to own a little Guesthouse with a Café. They bought the piece of ground from Mr Kaiser, but did not have enough money to purchase the ground with an old house on it, so Helma’s previous employer Mr Pruter gave her a blank cheque with the words: Mrs Anton, you can fill in any amount!  What employer would do that?  Within a few months, they converted the first four guest rooms on the first floor of that old house.  It was named “Schweizerhaus” due to its architecture!  4 rooms in a new building next to the old house were added with the Café and a small kitchen!  Only years later, they discovered that the old house was imported by Dr Rhode in 1896 from Wolgast (Pommern) and was used as a mess-house for the German Colonial Society.

1966 The Café was opened on 7 May 1966! It was named: KONDITOREI & CAFÉ, but quite soon, the customers named the Café: CAFÉ Anton.  Additional rooms were built.

1981 Daughter Heidi, who studied at the Witwatersrand Hotel School and worked for SAA, joined the business due to a severe illness of Helma.

1982  Heidi married André Snyman, also an SAA employee and he joined the business.

1990 The Anton’s retired and Heidi and André took over the two businesses and renovated both.

1998 André died after an operation.

2007  Silvia, daughter of André and Heidi joined the business. She has a degree in Hospitality Management – same Hotel School that Heidi went to!

2010 Desirée, the younger daughter of André and Heidi, hairdresser by profession (the profession of both Manfred’s parents), joined the business.  She had experience in baking with her grandfather Manfred and she had more practical training in Germany.  We offer a variety of about 60 different cakes and pasties, depending on the season.

Most of our loyal staff has been working here between 15 and 30 years.

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