What we have achieved with Mutterland in recent years, and I am not talking about our annual sales or economic results, gives me great pleasure. We have become home to thousands of delicacies, all of which are carefully processed and fairly traded in Germany. Unlike many industrially manufactured products, they really do have an authentic taste and a lot of soul. Our aim is to promote owner-managed manufactories and to strengthen our food sovereignty. I sometimes find the ever-increasing power of large corporations worrying! Is it good that a few corporations dominate and control the global food industry? However, Mutterland does not see itself as an opponent of the big players but as a kind of complement or enrichment, simply to promote diversity and give the small ones a chance in the market.
03. On Mutterland's shelves, you can always find something new and rare. For example, high-quality brandies and spirits from the premium distillery DSM from Berlin (p. 95) or vegan or internationally award-winning chocolates such as Kilian & Close (p. 49). Where does Mutterland track down all this great insider food and how did you develop a nose for what could become a bestseller?
JAN SCHAWE:That has changed drastically in recent years. I used to be like a truffle pig, constantly on the lookout for something new. Before the launch of Mutterland, I spent two years intensively putting together our product range. In the meantime, our purchasing team has grown and we enjoy a good reputation with Mutterland throughout Germany. We were the first delicatessen to specialize only in delicatessen "Made in Germany". We are the experts of regional delicatessen and manufactures and therefore many manufacturers introduce themselves to us on their own. With us you stand in good company and just not next to a soulless industrial toast to polish up the image of the retailer. We do not necessarily select delicatessen according to sales volume, but sometimes also deliberately choose niche products that simply inspire us and of which we are convinced.
04. Despite your exclusivity, one of the company's maxims is to be at eye level with suppliers. What does this look like in your day-to-day business?
The Mutterland is a modern delicatessen. Those who actually wanted to get a salad browse briefly between chocolates and special gin, and those who actually wanted to buy a gift quickly enjoy a flat white with a delicious French roll. Mutterland is a place where you come to enjoy. We sit down with founder and owner Jan Schawe at Mutterland Cölln's and ask him 10 questions...
01. Hi Jan, you opened the first Mutterland in St. Georg in 2007. Was the choice of location a coincidence or deliberate to start such a concept in Hamburg?
JAN SCHAWE: I like lively neighborhoods, and St. Georg and the area around Hamburg's main train station are one of them. There is an exciting mix of many cultures and people here. I like the neighborhood with its hotels, theaters and museums, and we feel right at home here from the start! Because Mutterland is a place where everyone is welcome. After all, everyone treats themselves to good food and a little luxury in between, don't they?
02. With the founding of Mutterland, you wanted to turn your philosophy of life into a profession. Did that work out from your point of view?
JAN SCHAWE: In many areas, yes. It was important to me to bring together my two "felt" contrary lifestyles. As a typical city dweller, when I buy something I want to have fun and a good experience, but of course I also expect good quality. As a person who thinks outside the box, however, I also want to treat my environment fairly, and by that I mean people, animals and nature. In the past, this was often not possible with a hedonistic lifestyle. Either you didn't care how your sneakers were made or you had to become an eco-activist, straining and dogged. I wanted and still want to have fun and be happy without walking through life superficially and blindly. Our western lifestyle should not be built on the back and at the expense of others. With Mutterland, I took a step in the right direction 15 years ago, without having to push this on our customers on a daily basis. After all, no one likes a moral finger - and neither does shopping out of pity.
07. Mutterland is also online and not only offers a lot of useful information on the web, but also an online store. But is and remains the delicatessen not an offline business? Smell, taste, try and the personal advice. What do you say?
08. Is the Mutterland supposed to remain a Hamburg concept or do you want to expand to other cities or even countries?
09. What further development would you like to see for Mutterland in the long term?
06. Mutterland has been instrumental in the clear upward trend and increased awareness of local cuisine and regional products. How do you see upcoming trend developments in the industry?
10. What is Mutterland planning for 2020?
... that Jan Schawe is a communications expert and creates the entire interior, corporate and packaging design of Mutterland with his design agency (welovedesign.net)? Jan loves Hamburg, but also Berlin, Munich and the sea. He appreciates walks with his dog Gustav and he loves being cooked by his mother. Since January 2019, Jan no longer runs Mutterland alone, but has brought a long-time colleague on board: Holger Sturm. The family man has a broad background and is not only the owner of Café Paris, but also a tea wholesaler.
Copyright © 2022 Mutterland Ltd. All rights reserved.