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Essen wholesaler cuts to order

"Germany: "If your customers are nice, it’s so much fun"

His hand-peeled potatoes made potato merchant Manfred Liersch famous and popular in Essen and the surrounding areas. Since then, his firm has been transformed into a complete service company and its products include vegetable sticks, fruits, salads and other vegetables. Two years ago Manfred’s daughter Silke took over operations, so it is now up to a new generation. However, quality customer service and flexibility remain the firm’s focus. Father Manfred still shows up almost every day. "He is still very active here."

On the grounds of the Essener Frischezentrum the Liersch company - going back more than 40 years - is amongst the oldest firms on the premises. In addition to the storage room and the office next door, they also operate a hall diagonally opposite, where the goods are peeled and packed by employees. "We have recently rented the hall over there."

Trader Silke Liersch and employee Mrs. Steuer

While her father once started with hand-peeled potatoes, nowadays the assortment mainly consists of finished goods of all kinds. "This is just the trend; we have to offer not only French fries but also sauces and frozen goods, and we are also marketing vegetable sticks right now." The more varied the offerings, the more mixed the clientele. "With a total of four vehicles we supply restaurants, catering services, homes, kindergartens and commercial kitchens throughout the city," said Miss Liersch.

Front view of the company

As the daughter of a potato trader, it seemed like Liersch was predestined for the wholesale market. After she started working as an employee 10 years ago, in 2015 it was finally time for the generational passing of the baton. “Getting up early is not a problem for me. What’s that saying again? The early bird catches the worm." For this business manager, personal relationships with the customers and variety are the best elements of this job. "If your customers are nice, it’s so much fun."

Customers usually do not need to ask how previous owner Manfred is doing. "Father comes by every day and is actively involved." Products are currently ordered by phone, fax and email only. Online ordering is currently not an option. ''My 25 year old daughter works here as well. Maybe she can fix that."

An older photo with Silke Liersch and her father Manfred (left), now 79 years old

For more information:
Liersch Obst-, Gemüse- und Kartoffelgroßhandlung 
Inh. Silke Liersch 
Lützowstr. 22 
45141 Essen
Telephone: +49 (0) 201 - 318 00 

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