What are some goose products

Goose nice and clever

BAKUM He is young, committed and knows one hundred percent where his journey is headed: Johann-Michel Claßen from Bakum in the Vechta district raised an unrivaled start-up company when he was just 28 years old.

The course for his success is already anchored in the family business. “My father's goose business has been around for 25 or 30 years,” explains Claßen. He is sitting at the kitchen table in the break room, which is set up in his parents' house in Bakum, wearing a white production smock. In the background, through the locked security door, you can hear it hissing and rattling, while helpers take care of the next batch of sausages in production. Goose sausage mind you. Claßen will soon see that everything is going well and lend a hand, but he still has time to talk about his heart project.

“My father started with about ten geese during parental leave, when he took care of me. Today we have 10,000 free-range animals, ”he explains. Until a few years ago, goose season was only in the run-up to Christmas. Then the animals were slaughtered and marketed, and new goslings were raised in the spring. Thanks to a clever idea, the young entrepreneur now produces and markets goose products all year round.

Johann-Michel Claßen saw farming from an early age and knew early on that he wanted to get involved. After completing his high school years, he initially completed a shortened training course as a farmer and saw other stations in animal husbandry. “It was important for me to get to know the beginnings of food production, also beyond keeping goose,” explains the young man, who you can tell that he knows exactly what he is doing. And for what reasons. After returning to his parents' farm, he decided to take a suitable course of study and began his academic career as an industrial engineer for food production at the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences in 2009. Project work during his studies and his bachelor thesis were the decisive factors for his further career: Claßen asked himself how he could sustainably utilize the goose by-products that had been thrown away so far. Together with his professors, he devised recipes for pure goose products, including sausages, sauce and raw goose sausage. “It was great,” he says happily, “I received support and was able to use the machines on campus. This gradually resulted in recipes that led to really good products. ”The product developments were created in cooperation between the university and the German Institute for Food Technology in Quakenbrück (DIL).

After completing his bachelor thesis, Claßen made a decision: He wanted to continue with the goose products, cut meat and fat and sell the result as a delicacy. On August 1, 2012, he founded the Claßen Wurstmanufaktur, where he has been producing fine goose since the beginning of October 2012.

“In order to run a business, you have to have the appropriate knowledge,” says the planner and doer. The master's specialization in the agricultural and food industry in the corporate management profile was obvious. Claßen continued studying. At the same time he became entrepreneurial. “The place with my parents was there, the geese too, and I bought the necessary machines second-hand. My father supported me financially ”, says Claßen and stirs his coffee. With the support of the family and the good advice of his university mentors and the local butcher, he got his production going. This is how his start-up, the “Goosies” sausage manufacturer, got started. The name is the English word for "geese" and the wording is also the regional dialect for poultry. "So everyone knows what this is about," explains the boss.

Claßen studied, in his spare time he took care of his own production. That required persistence and perseverance. He already increased his sales significantly in 2013. “I made contact with Galeria Kaufhof during a promotion. The department store was impressed by my pure goose products and listed them, ”says Claßen happily. Other of his customers are online retailers such as Gourmondo and delicatessen and delicatessen stores. He does not sell directly to the consumer. “I produce on request,” he says. It is much easier to get dealers involved. Smart and straightforward as he is, Claßen has kept an eye on his financing options. In order to be well positioned in marketing, he applied for various prizes for young entrepreneurs, including the afz's “Förderpreis der Fleischwirtschaft”, which the 2014 expert jury awarded him. With the prize money from the competitions, he financed the Goosies homepage and the design of his label, including the product labels.

And private? Claßen smiles. Private and professional life are one and the same for him. "I like tinkering around, repairing machines and I built my house here on the property myself," he reveals. He has long since got up from the coffee table and fiddles with the label printer. In the meantime, the fax machine has also spat out two new orders, apparently lying on the lazy skin on a sunny Friday afternoon is not an option.

A lot of stress has already been relieved from Classen's shoulders this year: He has completed his studies. Now he wants to concentrate fully on goosies. “My goal is to be able to feed myself and my family on it one day,” he knows. New products are being planned, and new customers abroad could soon expand the existing group. “That's what I enjoy most,” says the newcomer, “developing new products.” It is not so fun to produce large batches, it becomes monotonous at some point. However, the fully picked delivery is all the more beautiful. Like the new batch of goose sausages, which now have to be brewed and then labeled. "Let's go then," grins Johann-Michel Claßen, grabs his hairnet and rubber boots and disappears into the production rooms.