Vienna – In the Austrian capital of Vienna, just as in Germany, Turkish entrepreneurs have heavily concentrated on the wholesale food and gastronomy sectors of the market. The wholesale food buisness is the first to come to mind in cities where Turks make up a big part of the population. The food wholesale and retail business was born from the need to consume food suited to their own tastes.
An immigrant to Vienna in 1980, Mustafa Demirhan wandered aimlessly for nearly eight months before finally finding a job at a carpentry workshop. He worked in carpentry until 1985. In 1983 he earned a truck-driving license and began working as a truck driver. He independently finished middle school. In addition to his truck-driving license, he also obtained a license to drive taxis. In 1993 he bought a restaurant with a friend and together they entered the world of gastronomy. Ironically, they ended up owning an Italian pizza parlor when they had originally intended to open a Kebab restaurant. In 1998, after running the pizza restaurant for five years, Demirhan became 50 percent partner in Pergast, a company operating in the food wholesale and distribution business.
The company gradually began to outgrow its space. In 2006 they moved to their current location, a 3,200 square meter space in Vienna’s 12th District. Wholesalers and retailers can purchase from the food warehouse where restaurantiers and end customers also shop. Pergast carries over 2,500 varieties of products, which they also export to the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Products made especially for Turkish and Italian cooking are at the forefront of this 23-person company. “What sets us apart,” says Mustafa Demirhan, “is that along with Turkish food products, we are also focused on selling products made especially for Italian and Austrian kitchens.”
PIZZA SAUCE AND CORN
Coming in on top of all the products that Pergast sells are the corn and pizza sauce carrying their name brand. Pergast sells roughly 20 containers of pizza sauce and 12 containers of corn annually. (One container holds 23 thousand kilograms of product on average.) Demirhan says they want to enter the retail business by opening a market in the future and plan to grow by increasing the variety of their products. He underlines the fact that Austria is a tax country with annual growth rates around four to five percent and he stresses that increasing their variety of products for restaurants is an important factor for their growth.
In addition to the Pergast name brand, they also produce meat and meat products under the Ulkem brand which is sold to anywhere from 80 to 120 customers daily. With nearly 1,000 customers, he explains that 300 of them are regular buyers. Originally from Kaman, Kirsehir, Demirhan is the father of two children and one of 12 siblings. Other than one sister, the rest of his family members reside in Turkey.
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07