ANNA ZEDRÉN (1894–1978)
– a successful female entrepreneur
Anna Ljungberg was born in Yxnerum, Östergötland and devoted herself to the hotel business early. She met Oscar Zedrén at Grand Hotel in Stockholm, where Anna worked as a receptionist.
Anna supported her husband in his work for many years and a few years after his death, she took over the management of their hotels in Gävle, before her son Rolf took over. She sold Engeltofta and in the autumn of 1939, she started to phase out the hotel business at the Grand Hotel. It was closed the year after. The property, which then housed many different tenants, was sold to Gävle Municipality in 1970.
The family focused on the Central hotel, modernized the dining room and created a bandstand. Anna Zedrén collaborated with famous Swedish artists and designers. Among other things, she ordered panels of sandblasted and engraved glass by artist Edward Hald at Orrefors to the bandstand and started planning for a development and expansion of the hotel for the city's 500-year anniversary in 1946. A new entrance and a hotel floor were added, as well as the Restaurant Skeppet. The artistic cooperation continued, now with the sculptor and ceramist Gunnar Nylund at Rörstrand and the artist Pelle Åberg.
Shortly before reopening in May 1946, the hotel name was changed to Grand Central Hotel AB. The family Zedrén always had great quality in their operations, and it was important that their guests had a positive experience. They focused Danish furniture design in its interiors, which is popular today. The demands on the food were always high. They used local products and were almost self-sufficient in pork and chicken. There are also several examples of how the couple Zedrén utilized today's popular concepts History Marketing in its decor and advertising.
As a curiosity, Anna Zedrén was the first woman in Gävle to have a driver’s license.
Anna’s son Tolf took over the operations after her, and the grandson Nils-Göran later succeeded