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Big fish in the Black Forest

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What started as a hobby has become a booming business. Zordel is synonymous with ten different companies, all of them run by the family and all of them dealing more or less exclusively with fish. “My father was a passionate fisherman,” explains Managing Director Andreas Zordel. “In 1959, he started with a small pond and turned his hobby into a professional business. Over time, we regularly invested and established new companies. In 1986, we acquired an old paper mill. Today, after extensive renovation work, it is a very popular hotel and restaurant. In addition, we established a company concentrating on special vehicle construction for live fish and we run a small snack bar. With six different fish farms and annual sales volumes of 400 t of fish we are among the biggest players in Baden-Wuerttemberg.”

Following this dynamic development Zordel has become a group of ten successful companies: Zordel Fischhandels GmbH focuses on fish farming; Imbiss Waldhexe, Hotel zur Alten Mühle, Hotel and Restaurant Zum Klosterfischer are well-known for their exquisite food offer; Zordel Fahrzeugbau und Fischereibedarf covers the technical part of the business and develops vehicles for live fish transportation.

123 highly qualified employees are Zordel’s backbone; many of them have been trained in-house. “Quality always plays a crucial role,” stresses Mr. Zordel. “We have the all important certifications such as QZBW. Only two farms in Baden-Wuerttemberg have this certification. Quality is also reflected in the fact that we have established sound partnerships with all the relevant authorities, and that we put great effort into creating transparency. Everyone is invited to have a look at what we do at our fish farms.”

Zordel’s concept is extremely successful. The group’s fish farms account for 2.7 million EUR of sales, hotels and restaurants for 2 million EUR. “At the moment, the market is very dynamic,” states Mr. Zordel. “Demand far exceeds supply. Customers – hotels, restaurants and visitors – appreciate our fresh fish, especially boneless fish, and our distinct commitment to service. We see ourselves as service providers – 365 days a year. This is what sets us apart.”

Based on this philosophy, Zordel is keen to further grow – there are plenty more fish in the sea. “Expanding the business could be an option,” says Mr. Zordel. “Everyone is the architect of his own fortune. We always put quality first. In a nutshell, this is our key to success.”

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