How it all started...
Our shop after moving to Sögestrasse. The fact that this move was possible in the first place is thanks to an appointment at the hairdresser's, where Helmut Schmidt and Carl Ronning happened to have their hair done. You can read the whole exciting story in the Grashoff history "It shouldn't remain a secret".
One of the early menus from the young bistro. It was the only French bistro of its kind far and wide. Since many of our customers were and are merchants who love to travel, this culinary enrichment of Bremen quickly became very successful.
A small part of the Grashoff workforce in the 1970s in front of the shop on Sögestrasse. The picture came about spontaneously. The dog wasn't part of the staff but happened to drop by and stayed for the moment.
Rudolf Landrock, foreman of the butchers' guild in Bremen, has been invited to a sausage tasting in the bistro for the trade journal "Essen & Drink". As fate would have it, his second daughter Elke would marry Grashoff junior Oliver D. Schmidt years later – but nobody could have guessed that at the time.
The new business premises for our jam production (affectionately called "marmalade" in company jargon), which was created around 1964 from a few crates of unsold blood oranges, has grown so large that it gets a new home in 1977.
The first book with photographs of people in the midst of life by Jürgen D. Schmidt and humorously wicked aphorisms by Ken Kaska is published. A very entertaining and thought-provoking essence of wisdom in words and pictures.
For the first time we are awarded the coveted Michelin star. We got it back every 25 years until 2002.
Oliver D. Schmidt begins his training as a chef with a six-month internship with Anton Mosimann at the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane in London. Years of training followed at the Hotel Nassauer Hof in Wiesbaden and at Hans-Peter Wodarz's "Ente vom Lehel".
Last picture taken in front of the old shop at Sögestraße 54 on Saturday, May 11th, 1985. After 20 years at this location we say goodbye to revive the new shop at Hillmannplatz from then on.
"Outstanding performance, unique discipline, best organization - Elke Landrock (Bremen) and Ralf Nagel (Ludwigsburg) are the big winners" was the headline in the press after the successful performance of Elke Schmidt (née Landrock) as the newly crowned national winner of the federal butcher youth competition .
With the move into the new business premises, Barbara Schmidt takes over the service management of the bistro and takes care of our guests with her team.
A collection of fine, old spirits, which we obtain directly from the distillers, enriches the range. Certainly not for everyday use, but when the right moment has come, you should refine it!
Gert von Paczensky and Jürgen D. Schmidt doing research for the joint book "Champagne". Here they strengthen themselves for the day's work in their base camp at the winemaker André Secondé. Like the work "Cognac" published three years earlier, the book was declared the standard German-language book on the subject and awarded a medal.
"The license to grill" and much more: On June 24, 1992, the trained butcher shop saleswoman Elke Schmidt successfully passed her examination to become a master butcher. Not only her father Rudolf Landrock, himself a master butcher and for more than 25 years senior master of the butchers' guild in Bremen, was and is proud.
After extensive training as a chef, commercial business administrator and delicatessen salesman and three years of work at Grashoff , Oliver D. Schmidt becomes a partner and now manages the business together with his father.
With the album "Schmidts Midnight Special", Oliver D. Schmidt releases his first CD with jazz and blues titles. It is the perfect companion for the late hours of the day, ladies of the world and dry martini cocktails.
On January 23, 1999, Oliver Schmidt opened the “Schmidts Wein- & Sandwichbar” at the flower market in Bremen.
A new culinary idea enriches the city center from now on.
On May 13, 2003, Grashoff's delicatessen was honored with the title "Deli of the Year 2003". We are very happy about the recognition of our achievements!
For his work on our comprehensive wine list, Oliver D. Schmidt was awarded the “Metternich Award 2007” by the Fürst von Metternich sparkling wine cellars for the “best commented wine list” in Germany.
On January 23, 2009, Oliver D. Schmidt's wine and sandwich bar will be 10 years young! A little reason to celebrate.
In October , Elke Schmidt successfully passed the sommelier exam at the IHK Koblenz. She is therefore the only master butcher-sommelier in the company's history - probably in all of Germany!
" It shouldn't remain a secret " : The interesting history of the delicatessen, which is now over 140 years old, is finally available in words and pictures.
After long preparations we made it: our factory was certified according to the International Food Standard IFS - higher level with over 95%!
After 50 years, in which many of our delicious products were also traded with sales partners nationwide, on September 1st, 2014 our new sales limited partnership will take over all commercial transactions ourselves. Now we can reach everyone in Europe who is interested in culinary things directly - isn't that nice?!
© B. Grashoff Nachf. GmbH
Grashoff is repositioning itself for the future
Grashoff has stood for enjoyment and passion in Bremen for 149 years. This will also be the case in the future, albeit in a different form: Grashoff will close the delicatessen and the bistro in downtown Bremen as well as the catering service on July 30, 2021. The quality brand Grashoff will remain and will be further expanded. As the owners of B. Grashoff Nachf. GmbH, we, Elke and Oliver D. Schmidt, will in future concentrate our entrepreneurial commitment on the wholesale business of our Bremen manufactory, our online shop and our wine seminars and wine trips .
This decision is the result of a development that has become more and more apparent in recent years: the stationary delicatessen trade, the bistro and the catering can no longer be operated economically in the form we are used to. The reasons are varied. Individually, they may not seem so important, but taken together they do carry weight.
The image of downtown Bremen is not changing to the advantage of businesses like ours. More and more shops that are also frequented by Grashoff customers are closing down. This in turn ensures that Bremen's city center is becoming less attractive and fewer people go shopping there who would also find their way to us. Unfortunately, this will not really improve in the medium term. The tendency for companies to downsize in Bremen, withdraw from higher hierarchies, migrate completely or be sold into group structures will continue. As a result, our city will ultimately lose the affluent social class that companies like ours need to survive. Demographic change is also affecting shopping habits and our business model in particular. Younger target groups in particular are not familiar with full-service shopping offers and have different expectations of their shopping experience. The experience of the past few years shows that many people do not feel comfortable when trained sales staff closely monitor their entire purchasing process and offer continuous advice.
At the same time, it poses a challenge for customers, who in turn appreciate and demand high-quality advice during their purchase, to employ the appropriate specialists. Many of our employees used to come to us from the butcher and baker trades. These industries have suffered just as badly in recent years and decades.
Working in a company like Grashoff requires a high level of specialist knowledge, a sense of responsibility, the ability to work in a team and, above all, a feeling for dealing with people. But while Grashoff can primarily promote professional skills directly, it requires a certain level of initiative and motivation on the part of the employees to develop further - also personally and socially. This willingness has decreased noticeably in recent years, while at the same time the demands of many applicants have increased.
Last but not least, there is the corona pandemic with its massive burdens. Although it did not cause this process, it accelerated it considerably and also left serious traces. Months of closures of our bistro and the ongoing failure in the catering business are difficult to cope with. The limited access to our delicatessen business that has been caused by the pandemic for the past 14 months is also not conducive.
All in all, however, the factors mentioned have led us to come to a negative assessment of the development potential of the business model, which has been functioning for more than 149 years. We are still in the position to act on our own and have therefore consciously determined the timing of our actions. Our customers and guests, some of whom have been connected to us for generations, can consciously use all our offers in the delicatessen and in the recently reopened bistro up to and including July 30, 2021.
The decision to close the shop at Loriotplatz in downtown Bremen was very, very difficult for us, mainly because it means losing jobs for long-standing and valued employees. We informed our team about the closure at a works meeting on May 29, 2021. This was certainly not easy for us, many have been walking their path with us for over 20 years. On the other hand, the need for well-trained specialists in the kitchen, service and food retail trade is enormous right now, so we have good hope that all employees will be able to start a new job straight away. Of course, we provide proactive support through our personal contacts and also with the help of the employment agency. Last but not least, I would like to emphasize again that Grashoff will continue to exist as a quality brand for the high-quality food trade in Bremen and beyond Bremen's borders. We will concentrate on the future-oriented areas: the wholesale business of our Bremen manufactory, the Grashoff online shop and the wine seminars and wine trips .
Oliver D Schmidt
April 23, 2022
It shouldn't remain a secret!
150 years Grashoff. We would like to thank everyone who has made this path unforgettable for us.
Kind regards to your entire team and all Schmidt's