Nowadays, every retailer tries to stand out from the crowd with certain specialities and exclusive products, not only in the wholesale sector, but also in the retail trade. Franz Laslo from Schorndorf is no exception: the committed retailer has been operating a shop under the name "Beit Shalom" (House of Peace) for almost 15 years. This shop offers its customers a rich selection of Israeli products of all kinds. Over the years, he has increasingly devoted himself to the sale of fresh and dried fruit from Israel. And the success is there: soon he will open a third branch in Wanfried.
Franz Laslo is the proud co-partner.
Franz Laslo and his wife were involved in various projects in Israel from 1979 to 1987. After they returned to Germany, the desire grew to open an independent business with Israeli and 'oriental' products. After the first positive feedback, the first commercial shop was opened in Schondorf in 2005.
"Over the years, our company and our product range have grown steadily. After the first business years we started to offer the first fruits from Israel - at that time with only 30 boxes of oranges. This has expanded considerably, because last year we had a total fruit sales of about 12 tons. Although we can supply some fruit products all year round, the focus of our marketing season is still on winter. Between October and April, only fruit sales currently account for around one third of our total annual sales."
Sharmuti/Jaffa-Orangen, fresh from Israel
Sharmuti oranges still the best seller
As far as the products from his second home are concerned, Mr. Laslo is now an absolute expert. In general, he believes that the great citrus boom in Israel is now over. "Nevertheless, the fruits are still available and some customers are actively looking for them. The Orri-Clementine is still very important. Grapefruit is also enjoying increasing demand, especially the red fleshed ones." Laslo also sees an interesting market potential for the so-called sweetie, a green citrus fruit or a cross between grapefruit and grapefruit. "It is not as bitter as a white grapefruit and is already available on the market. Usually the Minneolas, which are suitable both for direct consumption and for the juice press, are added a little later."
Later, the already established Orri-Clementine arrives on the market, one of the most popular Israeli citrus fruits of all time. "Finally the oranges followed, which arrived for the first time just before Christmas a few years ago, but are now only available in the New Year. Navel oranges have almost disappeared from the market. There are also juice oranges from Israeli cultivation, but we do not offer them. We mainly trade in Sharmuti oranges, which is our bestseller in terms of quantity. Half of our total turnover last year was Sharmuti oranges".
Avocados and Minneolas from Israel
Depending on the season, the specialist retailer's range also includes pomegranates, pomelos, Sharon kakis, avocado, jumbo peanuts and dates. "We are currently looking for dried figs from Israel."
Stationary trade and delivery
The retailer currently operates two stores - in Schorndorf and Illertissen - and a third store in Wanfried is being completed. Through this new location, he also wants to supply customers in the neighbouring states of Thuringia and Saxony, because he believes that there is still a lot of marketing potential there. In contrast to the stationary shop sales in Schondorf, the retailer wants to increasingly specialise in the fruit trade and delivery in the coming years. "For the sales, we basically only need a storage area, from where we can then deliver the fresh produce to the customer. So we want to start at the new location: If this goes according to plan, we want to continuously expand the branch into a retail shop so that we can serve both customers - in stationary retail and in delivery - accordingly."
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