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Lechtal Tourismus - Christoph Moosbrugger

Monika Karall

It's strange what paths life often takes. We all make plans and fervently hope that they will come true. Detours to the fulfillment of a dream are clearly often lengthy and associated with patience. Being satisfied with oneself and one's life is often difficult for some people. Fortunately, there are also moments in life when you realize that everything is good the way it is.


If you meet Monika Karall at her home in Gramais, you can quickly understand why she is happy, content and in tune with her life. Monika originally comes from Vienna - Austria's largest municipality - if you will. She has now lived with her partner Bernhard and their daughter in Austria's smallest community with just 41 inhabitants since 2001. It was love that made them move to the small Lechtal side valley. Monika could not get the "Bergbauernbua" - as she affectionately calls her partner Bernhard - out of her head after meeting him in an inn in Lower Austria.

Simone Knitel_Lechtal natural handicraft

Some 20 years later, the two now live together in Gramais, where they run cozy vacation apartments, a farm and a small 24/7 self-service store. "If someone had told me in the past that I would leave Vienna to live more or less at the end of the world, I would never have believed it in my life," Monika smiles. The 46-year-old originally wanted to become a confectioner and had applied for an apprenticeship at the legendary Hotel Sacher. When her dream apprenticeship fell through, Monika enrolled in a technical college for fashion and design. Monika successfully completed her training as a specialist in fashion and clothing technology and subsequently worked in the clothing industry. After Monika moved to the Außerfern because of love, she had to realize that Reutte was not Vienna. The professional opportunities in the countryside were very limited there. After 5 years as a branch manager, Monika then became pregnant and she withdrew professionally to be there for the family first. "That's when I took over my mother-in-law's bed and breakfast (www.bauernhaus-gramais.com) and I have to say: being a landlady was already great fun for me back then" - she tells with her charming Viennese slang. "Somehow, over time, I wanted to do something more with my work as a farmer, landlady and housewife and I opened a small farm store with a bar in Gramais. The small farm store was incredibly well received, with visitors and guests in Gramais but also with the locals my small business got around. However, my farm store was only suitable for the hiking season in summer - in winter, unfortunately, I could not maintain the business."- Monika continues. In 2015, she then gathered all her courage and fulfilled her big dream of owning her own small business including a café - "Monis Kaffeklatsch & Dekoglück" in Häselgehr(www.lechtalerkaffeeklatsch.com).

Life in the Lech Valley - Simone Knitel

Her own "gem" - as Monika lovingly calls her store, has become a popular meeting place for cake lovers and all those who like to stock up on regional products. Once a week, Monika offers homemade stone-baked bread from Gramais, cheese from the Lechtal mountain pastures, homemade jam and pasta and, of course, homemade cakes. Even if nothing came of her training as a confectioner, Monika has not let herself be deprived of her love of baking. With a coffee and a piece of homemade cake, you can admire him in her store besides all sorts of beautiful decorative items and of course take home. Who needs a gift or wants to beautify his home - in the Lechtaler Kaffeeklatsch with Monika there is something for every occasion and every season about which each (r) is happy.

Monika has arrived here in the Lechtal and in her home town of Gramais. She appreciates and loves the rural life, the naturalness of the landscape. "I get to live where others go on vacation and enjoy the peace and quiet in my time-out village of Gramais. I love being allowed to live here, where people still stick together. In the last 20 years I could realize myself in the Lechtal and I consider myself lucky to have a job that distinguishes me and that I enjoy."

But the small store "Lechtaler Kaffeeklatsch" is also a one-woman show and requires a lot of work and total commitment. "That also sometimes leaves little time for myself," Monika remarks thoughtfully. "However, I draw my strength from my family, who always gives me support, when hiking or even when haying in the field. I've learned to simply be content with myself and my surroundings - that's the right way for me to be happy."

Life in the Lech Valley - Simone Knitel

There is no doubt that Monika enjoys living in the Lech Valley and has consciously chosen to live in Austria's smallest community. However, the last two years in light of the Corona pandemic have also left their mark on Monika and her business. "It was already a tough time. From one day to the next, I had to close my small store and was practically forced to wait. At the beginning of the pandemic, we all didn't know where it would all lead. How long the lockdown would last and whether I would be able to continue my business at all. The pandemic also brought the tourist industry to a standstill. Suddenly there were no more guests in the Lech Valley and of course I felt that in my store. It is easier to realize one's career or to be self-employed in a tourism-oriented region. The Lech Valley is not a typical business location. Many Lechtalers commute to work in the Reutten valley basin. However, tourism is a valuable and, above all, indispensable economic sector and employer in the valley. This must not be forgotten and underestimated." - Monika points out.

For the future, Monika would like to see even more focus on local businesses and regional suppliers. In her opinion, it is important to create awareness among the locals for the creative Lechtal companies. Those who buy and consume regionally leave their mark on the valley in the long term and contribute to the fact that businesses such as Monika's Kaffeeklatsch will continue to be there for us in the Lechtal.

Schnitzerei Schnully




Anja Ginther

von Anja Ginther

May 03, 2023


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