Enrico Smolik, Smolik Obst Gemüse Freiburg GmbH:

"Regional rocket and babyleaves are well received"

Strawberries and asparagus nowadays dominate events at the Freiburg Wholesale Market. On the medium-sized, very manageable wholesale market in southwestern Germany, certainly the regional fresh specialties are well received by the major customers. That is why, apart from all the classic Easter specialties, regional leafy vegetables are quickly finding their way to the commercial buyers, according to Enrico Smolik, Managing Director of the company bearing the same name.

Enrico Smolik operates a classic wholesale business based in Freiburg's wholesale market.

As expected, the Easter business will be starting about now, Smolik believes. "Thursday will be a very strong day. On Saturday we will then be supplying the caterers. After the Easter holidays, the market usually is somewhat calmer again." As is true for all the stands on Freiburg's wholesale market, at the Smolik GmbH stand, asparagus and strawberries quickly finding their way to the customers. Domestic strawberries are not yet available. "At the moment we are mainly offering Spanish strawberries, that are selling at satisfactory prices."

Leafy vegetables and edible flowers
Throughout the product range, Smolik observes an increasing demand for leafy vegetables that were regionally cultivated. "Wild garlic, herbs as well as rocket and baby leaves from the region are currently well received and they are sourced from reliable, long-standing partners. For example, we have been able to offer domestic rocket since the beginning of March. At the moment, the greenhouses are being emptied and this product is replaced by tomatoes. But our producer is able to deliver rocket throughout the season, partly from the open field.“

Babyleaves from a local producer

Another type of vegetable grown and marketed regionally are baby leaves. The leafy vegetables can now even be offered year-round from regional production, explains Smolik. "Even edible flowers - such as daisies, capuchin flowers and violet flowers - are currently in ever greater demand and we see more and more native nurseries dedicated to the production of this specialty."

Regionally produced rocket has been available since the beginning of March.

Partnership in the convenience market
The Freiburg wholesale market is a fairly manageable market where mainly full-range suppliers are based. Apart from commercial customers who shop at the market, the goods are also increasingly being delivered directly to regional restaurateurs and large consumers. Smolik GmbH has been trading there under its current company name for almost two years, but the managing director has been active in the fruit trade for 25 years now. An overarching trend in the retail sector is the rise of processed products: "In order to serve our customers in this area, we work together with Schenk in Karlsruhe."

In addition to all this, the wholesaler has a regional supplier who supplies him with peeled potatoes. "Currently, I sell more peeled than unpeeled potatoes, simply because canteens and large consumers have to save on time and staff. So the market is clearly moving towards convenience goods," concludes Smolik.

For more information:
SMOLIK Obst- und Gemüse GmbH
GF: Enrico Smolik
Robert-Bunsen-Str. 7
79108 Freiburg
Telephone: 0761-59035960
Telefax: Fax 0761-59035977
E-Mail: e.smolik@smolik-obst.de 
Internet: www.smolik-obst.de  


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