Experience and innovation in one place.
Our history.

Much has changed here since Heinrich Kühlmann first opened his farm trade business in East Westphalia in 1912. A century later, we are still family-run and Heinrich Kühlmann GmbH & Co. KG is one of the most important delicatessen manufacturers in Germany. More than 600 employees guarantee the highest quality products. Over a million portions of the finest foods are produced here every day. And we are proud of this.

History

51°, 48’ and 54” North, 8°, 29’ and 20” East, 1912.

Heinrich Kühlmann, grandfather of the current company owner, was in the right place at the right time when he first opened a farm business and then started a family in Rietberg-Westerwiehe in the early 20th century.

The first generation: Founder Heinrich Kühlmann Sr.

Hay and straw from East Westphalia.

As a farmer gifted with business skills, he capitalized on the proximity of his farm to railway tracks and freight yards and sent hay and straw from East Westphalia to slaughterhouses in the Ruhr region. With his wife Elisabeth, he expanded the trade in agricultural products over the following years and converted his farm, followed by the construction of his own mill. Grain from the region was bought up, refined and resold. Large quantities of potatoes joined the mix.

Ewald Kühlmann, Heinrich and Elisabeth’s son, took over his parents’ company in the 1950s. He discovered in Antonia Borgmeier a bold and energetic wife who came not only from the immediate vicinity, but also from the food industry. From the beginning, Ewald and Antonia Kühlmann shared a love for the region, nature and agriculture. By the late 1960s, they also started producing French fries. The variety of potato products was limited to coarse and fine cuts, but their success, on the other hand, was nothing but limited. The business grew, as did the couple’s four children. Specialist wholesalers throughout Germany became their customers, and eventually in 1988, the production of delicatessen salads began.

The second generation: Ewald Kühlmann

Kühlmann expands.

The second generation: Ewald Kühlmann

Kühlmann expands.

Ewald Kühlmann, Heinrich and Elisabeth’s son, took over his parents’ company in the 1950s. He discovered in Antonia Borgmeier a bold and energetic wife who came not only from the immediate vicinity, but also from the food industry. From the beginning, Ewald and Antonia Kühlmann shared a love for the region, nature and agriculture. By the late 1960s, they also started producing French fries. The variety of potato products was limited to coarse and fine cuts, but their success, on the other hand, was nothing but limited. The business grew, as did the couple’s four children. Specialist wholesalers throughout Germany became their customers, and eventually in 1988, the production of delicatessen salads began.

The third generation: Heinrich Kühlmann

A fresh new approach to fresh foods.

Heinrich Kühlmann expanded the family business in 1979 and set a new course for the company. The production of French fries was discontinued over the years and delicatessen production was expanded, as were production facilities. In 1990 Andrea Kühlmann, Heinrich Kühlmann’s wife, joined the company’s management. Together they conceived and developed additional concepts for the specialist trade, delicatessen recipes and the “little bucket”, an unusual delicatessen packaging for the retail trade that has proven itself to be a genuine guarantee of success for many years. In addition, the original and loving decoration of many retail products by hand was a big step in the right direction for the company’s success.

The present

A team ready to handle anything –
it’s full steam ahead when it comes to innovation.

Today, Heinrich Kühlmann GmbH & Co. KG is run by a team of four – with Stephan Bähr as the Chairman of the Board and responsible for sales & marketing, Andrea Kühlmann for primary corporate interests, Antonius Borgmeier for production & logistics, and Hendrik Kühlmann for product development & innovations.
Hendrik Kühlmann, together with his sister Senta Kühlmann, who also works at the company and is responsible for financial controlling, represents the fourth generation.

We are proud to be one of Germany’s leading delicatessen producers today. In addition to our core business of classic delicatessen salads and antipasti, we are constantly developing new and delicious creations in the categories of modern superfood and bulgur salads, innovative convenience products and comprehensive specialist retail and wholesale product ranges. We are also reliable partners to our customers in our many years of experience in offering license brand services (such as Weight Watchers).

But better still, see it for yourself
and discover some of our tasty products:

In constant pursuit of new goals, spurred forward by our history!

It’s a certainty that our success will also continue to be guided by our family in the future. Ultimately we think in generations, not in financial quarters.

“Don’t just take the easy path. Take paths no one has ever set foot on before, so you will leave tracks behind, and not just dust.”

We view ourselves, in line with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s motto, as enjoyment pioneers, and we will continue to take these journeys of discovery.