Status: 02.10.2023, 04:45 a.m.
By: Frederic Rist
For almost eight decades, the Schatz butcher's shop in Ebermannstadt provided fresh meat and sausage specialities. But now Alexander Schatz is calling it a day.
Ebermannstadt – In 2005, owner Alexander Schatz took over the butcher's shop in the fourth generation after the death of his father. He was just 20 years old at the time. For many years, together with his grandfather, grandmother, mother, sister and a dedicated team, he formed the heart of the butcher's shop.
Together, they provided their customers with freshly prepared grilled specialties, delicious meat dishes and the homemade treasure bratwurst known in the region. On 30 September, the long-standing butcher's shop will have to close after 77 years in the family business.
Owner Alexander Schatz took over the family business in the fourth generation at the age of 20. Now the butcher's shop has to give up because of the enormous workload. © Butcher's shop Schatz
80 hours of work six or seven days a week: butcher's shop owner Schatz doesn't want to go on like this
"We used to have a workforce of 18 employees. But in recent years there have been fewer and fewer, until finally there were only five of us," says Alexander Schatz in retrospect. In the difficult times after the loss of his father, many family members actively lent a hand. "We worked 12 to 14 hours a day and didn't complain because there was no other way. Overtime was normal," Schatz continued.
The last few years have not been easy for him either. Due to the acute shortage of staff, he had to work up to 80 hours, six or seven days a week. But he doesn't want to go on like this. His father died at the age of 47, his mother at 61. If I'm not careful, I'm no different. It's just not fun anymore," says the master butcher. Just recently, a Dachau innkeeper tested an idea against the shortage of skilled workers in order to avoid closure.
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150,000 euros of new investment necessary: Financial outlay for owner Schatz not sustainable
It was not only the shortage of skilled workers that recently worried the family business. Rising energy and raw material costs as well as numerous necessary new investments also posed major financial challenges for the butcher's shop. "I would have had to invest in a new refrigeration system, a new evaporator and a smokehouse. That would have cost me around 150,000 euros," says Schatz. In addition, food culture has changed significantly over the past three years, resulting in a noticeable drop in demand. "All of this would have made the financial burden unbearable," says the father of two.
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In the future, he will continue to work in a large family butcher's shop with eight branches – but only as an employee. 40 hours instead of 80, and maybe you'll finally go on holiday with the family again. "I can continue to offer my party service and sell my homemade sweetheart bratwurst," says the 40-year-old. A new tenant for the butcher's shop in Ebermannstadt is still being sought.
After 77 years of family business: Metzgerei Schatz draws a line under it
But even after all these challenging years, Alexander Schatz has fond memories of his time in our family business. In recent weeks, numerous regular customers have once again shopped in the butcher's shop. "Above all, my treasure bratwurst, which is well-known in the region, was in great demand among the people, they literally hoarded it to stock up," he says. Of course, the decision to close the company was not easy for him. But in view of his health and the well-being of his family, it was the right one. (fr)