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Three old foxes in their den: how retirees manage the construction of the Macardo distillery

In one month, Macardo will open the new distillery in Kreuz near Bissegg. The three project managers are 199 years old between them. They are currently managing the largest construction site in the entire municipality.

There is a lot going on at the construction site in the village of Kreuz near Leutmerken. Work is still going on everywhere to ensure that the opening of the Macardo Swiss Distillery, scheduled for November 28, will be a success. Three retirees are in charge of what is currently the largest construction site in the municipality of Amlikon-Bissegg: Arnold Schmocker (67) and the two brothers Walter (68) and Ruedi Bossert (64).

"It's a great collaboration here on the construction site. The young craftsmen respect us," says air conditioning engineer Arnold Schmocker. "We bring our experience to the project, they know the latest specifications and work diligently." He also says that on the construction site in rural Thurgau, it's more like working together and less like working against each other, as he knows it from many a construction site in Zurich.

A bottle of whiskey in the construction office

The three first heard about the construction project two years ago. And since former pilot Ruedi Bossert was already working at Macardo in the distillery, one thing led to another. "None of us really stopped working. Even beyond retirement age," says Bossert. So when Macardo owners Martina and Andreas Bössow approached the three of them with the idea of managing the construction, they would have gladly accepted. From their construction office, the three coordinate all the work. There is always a bottle of whiskey on the table. "This bottle is central for us - it gives us the goal. And it helps when there are disagreements with the workers." That's why it's already the fourth or fifth bottle, says overall project manager Walter Bossert.

Full concentration on one project

The big advantage for them, she says, is being able to make meetings as detailed as they want. "When you're in the middle of your career, you usually have several projects going on and time pressure accordingly. We can focus entirely on this build," he says. "It also gives us enough time to think, and we're very close to it." And they're on track. "By mid-November, the construction will be 99 percent complete," Bossert promises.

Opening without open day

Guided tours are possible

On November 28, Macardo Swiss Distillery opens its new building and takes the distillery, the barrel warehouse and the store in operation. As well as the bar, the event room, the lounge and ten bed&breakfast rooms. "Unfortunately, however, we cannot hold the planned open house. Large events are currently not possible," says owner Martina Bössow. Starting November 30, Macardo will offer free tours in small groups. These can be booked on the website from November 18.

Author: Mario Testa

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Macardo Swiss Distillery