Johannes Buschhüter is a young face amongst his colleagues on the grounds of the Essener Frischezentrum. Together with his older brother Clemens he runs the fruit and vegetable shop, which has existed for over 90 years. The family business is today a GmbH & Co. KG instead of the sole proprietorship it originally had been. “The business model however has not changed,” asserts Buschhüter. "We deliver our goods directly from the producers."
Since 1926, the Buschhüter firm has been involved in the fruit and vegetable industry. It was a medium-sized business, of which there now are fewer and fewer. However, the Buschhüter brothers can still count on a steady clientele of catering companies, weekly marketers and retailers such as premium supermarkets and cash and carry shops. Domestic strawberries and asparagus are among the company's top products. "The producers are always different, according to the customers' wishes."
Owner Johannes Buschhüter with a box of tangerines
Although it is now up to a new generation of this family and the change from sole proprietorship to GmbH & Co. KG was only a recent event, regional produce remains one of the priorities. "We receive our goods directly from regional producers. We also buy products from other German regions, such as Lake Constance or the ‘Altes Land’. We also import directly from EU countries such as Holland, Spain or France, for a balanced full range guarantee.''
Despite the poor strawberry harvest last year, the young trader can’t complain. "Although of course the weather conditions were not optimal, fortunately we always have enough goods available, apart from apples." He admits that the fluctuations between prices and sales are part of his job. "When prices are high, sales will fall, and most of the time it's a mix of both. If we would only charge top prices it would be quite tough as well," he says with a smile.
The front of the storage room in the Essener Frischezentrum
With six delivery vehicles and a slightly expanding clientele, Buschhüter currently has no worries. This also applies to the majority of his colleagues in Essen. "We have relatively little competition here. Elsewhere, businesses are getting fewer and fewer, because many traders have no successors."
"I assume that the future will be more difficult," said Buschhüter on current trends. Even in Essen, traders always have to surprise their customers with new things - such as dried fruit and fresh dates - before it's too late. "In recent years, we are again seeing a recognition of Essen's wholesale market. However I doubt whether the market will keep recovering this way."
Fresh tomatoes are among the top products of this family business
For more information:
Buschhüter Obst, Gemüse und Südfrüchte GmbH & Co. KG
Inh. Clemens und Johannes Buschhüter
Frischezentrum Essen Lützowstraße 30
Tel. +49 0201 - 325396