Chefs Culinar builds new Berlin-Brandenburg branch in Ludwigsfelde

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Wholesaler Chefs Culinar will be investing more than €70 million to build a new facility at Eichspitze Industrial Park 4.0 in Ludwigsfelde. This was announced by Managing Director Dirk Lütje and Ludwigsfelde Mayor Andreas Igel at a May 25 press conference. Chefs Culinar will create more than 450 new jobs at its new location in Ludwigsfelde south of Berlin and supply the region's hotels, restaurants, and cafeterias in schools, businesses, and hospitals.

"The Ludwigsfelde site is an important step in the strategic orientation of our company," Lütje explained. As a service and logistics center in Berlin/Brandenburg for the company with 16 locations and 25 support centers across Europe, Ludwigsfelde is also much more than just a standard branch operation.

Instead, the company plans to set up production areas on the 15 hectare (37 acre) site to process ultra-fresh products ready for kitchen finishing. Plans include a sous-vide plant and machines to process meat and fish. The commercial kitchen technology division and The Pool, its Berlin-based sales organization, will also be housed at the Ludwigsfelde site.

Chefs Culinar's establishment of a culinary academy of national importance is also unique in Germany. "With this concept, we are focusing on short distances and regionality. On the one hand, we're strengthening our ties to suppliers and partners in the Berlin and Brandenburg region, while, on the other, we are shortening the distances to our customers", explained Lütje. In particular, the new location will allow the integration of regional producers, primarily in the meat, fish, and fresh produce segments to expand and be even better.

Chefs Culinar is currently active in Germany with eight branches and carries more than 30,000 products from the food and non-food segments. With 4,100 employees currently, the company supplies around 33,000 companies in the catering, hotel, cafeteria, and restaurant sectors. Berlin has been an important market for Chefs Culinar for years and the new location with short distances will reinforce this relationship.

Of the more than 450 new employees at the Ludwigsfeld site, about one third will be involved in administrative and sales activities, while about a half will work in production. Chefs Culinar also relies on its own specialist staff in this area and does not use subcontractors.