Professor Zlata Bartl, born in Dolac near Travnik in 1920 and grew up in Sarajevo, most of her life was known by the nickname “Aunt Vegeta”.
She grew up in a family in the city, with one of the first radios in Sarajevo, bakelite records, in a four-room apartment on Cengic Vila. After graduation, she went to study in Zagreb, where she graduated in chemistry, physics, mathematics and mineralogy at the Faculty of Science.
It was enough that her friend from France brought her the soup from the bag, a revolutionary “invention” that will change the life of women, so that Zlata’s imagination starts working: the latest technology of dehydration and packaging connected with flavors of her childhood.
As an excellent chemist, employed at the factory in Koprivnica (Croatia), she started to explore the processes of dehydration of vegetables. In 1957, she started to produce soups on her own initiative, and in 1959 the first kilograms of Vegeta went from the production line, the spice that was created by Professor Bartl.
Almost all of her life, she spent in Koprivnica, where she received the status of honorary citizen. She died in a retirement home in this city, back in 2008.
After World War II, she was trialed by the authorities and got a sentence of 8 years of imprisonment in the penitentiary Zenica. She was accused for belonging to the Ustasha movement, and that she took the high school students to a trip to Rome. She got tuberculosis of the spine in the prison in Zenica, and her sentence was reduced.
She received numerous awards, among which are the Award for Technical Culture of Croatia in 1985, Podravka’s Memorial Award for Life Time Achievement in 1987, Status of honorary citizen of Koprivnica, and the high decoration of the President of the Republic of Croatia – the Order of Danica with the image of Nikola Tesla.