Fulfilling Omi’s Dream: The Legacy of Franziska Haus Bed & Breakfast
Produced in partnership by Travel Dundee and the Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association.
Brigitte Hoss lives with the story of her Omi Franziska at the front of her mind and the center of her heart. She wakes up before the sun rises over Franziska Haus to brew the coffee, boil water for tea, and start bringing the breakfast experience to life with the spirit her grandmother instilled in her as a young girl. Soon her guests will wake up and the hospitality will begin.
And it’s that word – hospitality – that fuels Brigitte, because it’s exactly what fueled her grandmother in spite of all the hardship life gave her. Following WWII, vast numbers of ethnic Germans were killed across Eastern Europe and almost everyone in Brigitte’s family perished. Miraculously, Franziska and her daughter, Brigitte’s mother, escaped one of the camps and traveled on foot from farm to farm, sometimes catching a ride on a train, until they ultimately arrived in Austria, where she survived by working at an inn. She worked in the kitchen from five in the morning until eleven at night in exchange for food and shelter for her and her daughter. Eventually Franziska reunited with her husband who had nearly died in a POW camp in Russia, and after eight attempts, they finally secured visas and immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island to make new lives for themselves.
The family eventually settled in California after being wooed by pictures of orange groves. Brigitte spent much of her early childhood with her Omi. They baked, sewed and gardened together as Omi cultivated a love of beauty and hospitality in her young granddaughter’s heart. “I was always very close to my grandmother and I knew it was her dream to have a little inn or a restaurant of her own,” Brigitte says. “I didn’t want her story to die. So Franziska Haus is my homage to my family; it’s named in her honor.”
Clark and Brigitte Hoss opened Franziska Haus, a stunning 7-room bed and breakfast, nearly a decade ago in the Dundee Hills, the heart of Oregon’s WIllamette Valley wine country. Nestled in the middle of vineyards, gardens and farmland, they pride themselves on putting the utmost thought into every detail of a guest’s experience. Every itinerary recommendation, every weed that’s pulled, every room that’s arranged to be perfectly welcoming – all of it brings joy to Brigitte. “I enjoy spending my day making sure people are happy, comfortable, and experiencing the utmost hospitality because authentic connection with others fills my cup to the brim.” Franziska Haus aims to bring personal engagement into travelers’ lives – a break from so much of life that has become dominated by the online world.
Clark and Brigitte hope you’ll visit Franziska Haus on your next trip to the Dundee Hills, to take a deep breath as you explore Brigitte’s gardens, pour a glass of wine in front of the 29-foot stone fireplace, and to bask in the hospitality and the moment of peace in front of you. It’s what Omi would have wanted.