I guess the good Lord couldn’t wait anymore for a piece of black forest cake.

Last night Fort Worth lost a culinary icon. Hans Muller, the founder and longtime owner of the Swiss Pastry Shop, passed away.

His son Hans Peter Muller left this touching note on the Swiss Pastry Shop’s Facebook page:


“To all my friends and friends of Swiss Pastry Shop,” he said. “Today my Father Hans Muller, founder and original owner of Swiss Pastry Shop, passed away after a long battle against Parkinsons. His lovely wife Sara was by his side as she has been for 25 years. Dad was a man’s man. He spoke little, but his actions spoke volumes. He could work most men under the table and his determination made Swiss Pastry a great success when few gave him much of a chance. I will miss him greatly and my whole family will always be grateful for the life he built for us.”

The Swiss-born Muller was the longtime pastry chef at the Ridglea Country Club, where he worked under another Fort Worth culinary icon, Joseph Sennhouse. He opened Swiss Pastry Shop in 1973, and years later passed on his sweet legacy to his son, who now owns and operates the venerable shop.

On a personal note: The Swiss Pastry Shop’s black forest cake has been my birthday cake since I was a child. Even now that I’m in my 30s, as birthdays have become somewhat mundane occasions, I still drop by for a piece of that cake.

On my most recent birthday, I was consumed with work and wasn’t able to get down to there to buy a slice. Luckily, my girlfriend surprised me with a couple of pieces and the tradition remains unbroken. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but I don’t have many traditions, and Muller is responsible for my favorite one.

I can only hope he had an opportunity to reflect on the many lives he touched during his time in this town and this world.