The borough of Vaihingen in the south of Stuttgart is not known as a place where you might find truly hip restaurants and clubs. Almost every house there has a big, green garden with a proper fence around it. In short: Life in this area is slow and unhurried. That is why the citizens of Vaihingen were really surprised when at the beginning of 2018 the hoarding in front of Knoll’s butcher’s shop was finally removed. The traditional butcher’s shop, which had been supplying the borough with salami, ham and fillet since 1940, had been superseded by the Eat & Meat: light-coloured wood, designer wallpaper from Paris, lemons dangling from the ceiling and all kinds of specialities and local souvenirs on offer. When the young and the old work together under one roof and act in concert, “carrying on as usual” is not always the best solution. It was the junior manager Max Knoll and his sister Ann-Katrin Knoll who came up with the idea to convert the old shop. For the siblings, it was not just a question of giving it a more beautiful appearance. Rather, they wanted to make sure that their customers could see even from the outside that the family butchery is no run-of-the-mill franchise business, but that the focus here is on regional origin and sustainability.
Max Knoll completed his apprenticeship as a butcher in the business of his parents ten years ago and is progressively taking over the family butchery now. His sister is in the family business, too. Together with Max she is running the recently opened bistro which is only 700 metres away. “We sit around the dinner table as a family and discuss where we want to go in the next few years. Of course, the different generations in our home tend to clash at times,” explains the junior manager. This also includes making mistakes – after all, to err is human. Even though the parents are sceptical at times, they support their children in trying out things for themselves. “After all, you have to make some mistakes yourself,” Max explains with a smile. Nevertheless, the siblings would not want to miss their parents’ advice and wealth of experience for anything.
For Knoll senior with his strong and skilled hands, which are able to fillet a piece of beef at considerable speed, excellent meat quality is a top priority. After all, people in the butcher’s trade set great store by ensuring that meats and meat products are no anonymous manufactured goods, but that appreciation is shown for both the animals and the products. “The approach I believe in is a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle,” says his son Max. “Therefore, the customers I want do not have to eat meat on a daily basis; once a week is sufficient, but the meat should be of a high quality and be consumed with a great deal of enjoyment.” The young butcher believes that neither the veganism movement nor cheap meat can harm the family’s business. After all, it is better for the animal and the environment if you do not angle for the cheapest offer in the refrigerated display case every day. Instead, Max relies on insightful consumers who eat meat consciously and for whom enjoyment, quality and regional origin rank first. And his success speaks for itself as the family butchery’s event and party catering service receives between five and ten orders every day. Whether beef rolls or vegetarian tortellini – the Knolls simply know how to make their customers feel full and happy.
The approach I believe in is a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle.
In addition to the sophisticated design, Max and his sister have introduced further innovations: besides salami and ham, you can also get a red wine pasta from the region, a spread with rhubarb-vanilla flavour, a genuine Stuttgart gin or cookery books. In this way, Eat & Meat brings together all kinds of regional specialities and culinary insiders’ tips. Even though the Knolls generally like trying new things, as far as the origin of their meat is concerned, they rely on a long-standing partner. They source their beef and pork mostly from the Biolandhof Bodemer in Ehningen. The cows, Angus cattle and pigs who live there have lots of space to move around freely, resting areas, and toys as a pastime. With their delivery van, a Mercedes Benz Vito refrigerated lorry, the Knolls pay regular visits to the farm and can therefore be sure that premium-quality meat and animal welfare go hand in hand. Thus, they are able to respond to all customer queries with a clear conscience. In addition to the strong family ties, genuine advice and solid specialist knowledge about the origin, breeding and processing of the animals are the pillars that the butchery of the Knolls rests on. Whether in the founding year 1940, nowadays in 2018 or in the future – it is the taste that counts.