All over Europe, countries are going into a (partial) lockdown due to the second big wave of Corona and almost everywhere, this means the closure of the gastronomy industry. After a few difficult months in spring, it is now hitting the restaurateurs and suppliers again. We spoke to Peter Windhaber, the managing director of the fruit trading firm with the same name in Stubenberg, Austria.
"All in all I am quite relaxed. We had a good summer season and even more tourism than usual. The next challenge will be our Christmas business. We'll just have to wait and see how it turns out," says Windhaber, who mainly supplies the regional gastronomy. Due to the lockdown, this sales branch will be discontinued on Tuesday.
Vitamine boxes from the Windhaber fruit trade are well received by private consumers in the region
In the spring, the entrepreneur already decided to focus on delivering crates filled with goods, which are more popular again now. "During the summer, I decided on a short break, since our day to day business and the sales of these crates could not continue side by side under one roof due to the size of my business size. Since October it has been up and running again." Current sales correspond to about 30% of the sales in spring. "This lockdown is easier for people. They know how it all works and there is not that much fear now. Furthermore, many Austrians can still go to the office and shop without any problems.
Windhaber offers various options for his crates: there is the surprise crate, which he mixes himself, or alternatively consumers order from a list of over 30 products. "I offer various fruits, vegetables and also yogurt from the region. Starting at a minimum of 20 euros, people can customize the content of their crate." Italian grapes are among the favorites of his customers: "I get high quality blue seedless grapes from an Italian supplier. They are particularly popular. Apart from that, soup vegetables are currently also very popular, which is typical for the autumn."
For the time being, the Austrian lockdown should only apply until November 30th, but Windhaber believes that this is not the end of the story: "I don't believe in a relaxation before mid-December. It remains to be seen how Christmas will continue then." He has already thought of something special for the Christmas season: "For Christmas, we offer special gift packages, containing various regional products, in addition to fruit and vegetables, for example with beer and meat. This is a really nice gift for private consumers, or even for companies who cannot hold their regular Christmas parties."
This is what Windhaber's Christmas boxes will look like: containing meat, eggs, Styrian pumpkin seed oil, beer from the region and of course a large portion of fruit - apples, grapes, mandarins and nuts.