Mr. Siedersberger knows where to find everything and he also knows what products you really need.
60,000 products on 16,000 square meters of market floor. In case you happen to get lost in the aisles of this gigantic range of products, just ask for Mr. Siedersberger – because not only does the store manager know where to find everything, he also knows what products you really need.
Honestly: Who really needs 20 different kinds of tomatoes?
Well, not every type of tomato is right for every type of dish. Star chefs ask for those sweet yellow Piennolo-tomatoes for example – they only grow at the base of the Vesuvio volcano. Others need just regular, less expensive beef tomatoes to prepare large amounts of sauce. We are committed to being there for every customer: with the best product at the best price.
There are quite a few urban myths surrounding the number of products that you stock. What’s the real number?
That’s hard to say because we carry some items only on a seasonal basis. Right now we have around 60,000 to 65,000 articles. Not only do we have 20 kinds of tomatoes, but 1000 kinds of cheese, 800 wines, 50 kinds of Champagne, 100 kinds of sparkling wine, 20 running meters of olives, 75 running meters of oil, 2 aisles of noodles, 220 different fishes from moon fish, cobia and parrot fish as well as lamb, game, bison, crocodile, snake – and Wagyu-Filet, which gourmets rate as the best meat in the world.
Excuse me: What is Wagyu?
A very exclusive breed of cattle originally from Japan that is often mistakenly call “Kobe Beef”. But only cattle that were bred in the Kobe region can be called Kobe Beef. And those cattle cannot be exported.
Is giving advice part of your job?
Every day. Not every restaurateur or gastronome can afford to have a sommelier on staff. That’s why we employ a wine academic who can help you with your selection in order to find the perfect wine for your product. The members of our cheese department regularly visit cheese seminars and all our field sales reps have gastronomy experience. Most of them have worked as chefs and know from years of experience what is important in the kitchen. Our customers don’t see us as merely a product warehouse, but more as a food consultant and idea provider.
How do you keep up with all these products?
By walking through every department every day and keeping an eye on our range of products – from the fresh food to dry foods right on down to the non-food items. It is extremely important to stay on the ball, to always know which products have been discontinued and which ones are new. “We don’t have that.”, is not an answer that we give. Because then the gastronome has to explain to his guest why a dish had to be scratched from the menu.
Is there a company out there that has a comparably large range of products?
In Germany? Not even close. Especially when it comes to Asian or Italian products.
Can I find products here that I can’t find in an Asia shop?
Mr. Kling, our buyer for Asian products spends a lot of time researching new products – on trips to Asia, talking with customers and at trade shows. Asia is a very broad culinary area with very specific tastes. There are articles that are only known in certain regions in China, Thailand, Korea, Japan or Vietnam. I’m sure there are a few specialties in some Asia shops that we don’t carry. The difference to them is that with our products, you always know where they come from.