Few business owners trace their company beginnings to a party. The Bauerhaus first was used more than 135 years ago as a venue for church summer socials, known then as Bauer’s Grove. Today, the historic property has defined its place in Southern Indiana by serving parties and celebrations.
Started in 1880 by Michael Bauer, the great-great-grandfather of current owner Jim Bauer, the Bauerhaus hosted potlucks between the Methodist and Lutheran churches in the Darmstadt, Indiana, area. Michael and his family had come to America from Darmstadt, Germany, and were a part of the original settlers to the Southern Indiana area of the same name. Many changes and expansions happened over the next century to make the business what it is today, according to Jim Bauer, who is the fifth-generation Bauer to head the venue.
He attributes his staff’s ability to transform with trends — the Bauerhaus once sported square dance halls before updating to the current European-inspired building of today — and their level of service as reasons why the business continues to grow.
“I truly do believe, and I say humbly, because we are concentrated on our customer service … that’s why we get the recognition. I’ve got a wonderful team that works for me,” he says.
The Central High School and University of Evansville alumnus returned to take over the family business in 1994. Along with the expansion of Bauerhaus Catering and the addition of Bauerhaus Pastry, Bauer says he also is proud of the company’s move to become a full-service wedding destination spot.
The site has become just as popular with wedding parties as it has with corporate event planners.
Bauer says his staff’s ability to stay up-to-date with wedding trends is what helps the historic business stay current. “We do definitely keep track of the web, just like our client might,” he says. “We also attend conferences, just being aware of things.”
There is a lot of pride in the family’s history with the business and what they continue to accomplish, Bauer says.
“I don’t think in his wildest dreams, (my great-great-grandfather) would have thought that we would be who we are,” he says. “I have three generations in heaven above me; I hope we put a smile on their faces.”
For more information about the Bauerhaus, call 812-759-9000 or visit thebauerhaus.com.