Easily one of the best independent deli’s in Berlin, Vom Einfachen Das Gute is a superb destination to pick up high-quality cheeses and exceptional cured & fresh meats alongside some great value bio-dynamic & natural wines too! We love how they source from small suppliers, most of whom they know personally and are clearly passionate about the quality and craft that goes into each product they sell. We popped a few questions to Manuela Rehn to hear a little more about how it came to be…
(c) Ashley Ludaescher
What inspired you to open Vom Einfachen Das Gute? Was this always your passion?
We actually have always been all about food and how it is produced! The inspiration for Vom Einfachen das Gute was really the wish to create a shop in which we would personally love to shop, without compromises, in taste or ethics! And also a shop where we know exactly where every single product comes from!
(c) Manuela Rehn
Finding the best quality produce is your top priority! How do you go about finding these amazing producers and how important is the personal contact with them?
Especially at the beginning we had to do a lot of “quality searching” as in Germany Wurst and Schinken still is a little behind when it comes to real quality – at least in comparison to countries like Spain or Italy.
Nowadays we are lucky as in that the producers and products find us, as they might have heard about the shop and follow the same philosophy as us.
Producers either send us samples or come by personally and then we can try their produce together.
Do you have a product or two you are particularly proud to sell?
Oooh that changes very often and depends whether it’s summer or winter. At the moment I love our freshly ground nut spreads. We have a brandnew nut mill with which you can make amazing spreads from different nuts.
I mean the hazelnut spread in particular, it’s sooo addictive!!!
What were the biggest struggles in setting up Vom Einfachen Das Gute?
The struggles never really end.
Our biggest one – still – is actually finding the right till system that works with our scales. As most of our products come straight from the cold counter we have to weigh them rather than just scan in a code. So far we haven’t found any modern system that works with our “old-school” scales and we’ve tried all systems known in gastronomy…
So maybe if someone works in the industry who’s reading this: please change this!!
(c) Jörg Reuter
With high quality produce comes a higher price than people are used to in supermarkets. Was it a struggle to find your ideal customer base who value the craft and small-producer quality you source, considering you are based next to a big Rewe?
No not really!
We are in the very lucky position that there is a very open-minded audience for good produce. The Rewe next to us really doesn’t bother us, the opposite, it’s actually pretty ideal for us as we get much more foot traffic from people who do their “basic” shop in Rewe and then buy cheese, meats and wine from us.
(c) Caro Hoene
With supermarkets in price wars for food that is increasingly commercially produced on a massive scale to meet ‘cheap’ demand, we don’t know exactly what we’re eating. What do you think are the problems of the way our society buys & eats?
You hit the nail on the head there with the problems.
People need to understand again where their food comes from, who produces it and HOW it is produced! For us that means we need to show them how the animals are kept, who the people behind the farms and companies are and why they do what they do.
In Short: we have to tell the story behind the product and that’s what we do in the shop. We strongly believe that good products have a story, bad products don’t!
Before you opened where you specifically looking to open in that area of Mitte or did you “stumble” across your current location?
We did actually „stumble“ across the location and we are super happy that we have found such a wonderful store.
(c) Manuela Rehn
You also hold some interesting “Culinary Evenings” once a month, what are they exactly and are there any exciting ones planned already for this year?
Our culinary evenings give the opportunity to dive even deeper into the history of the producers. Normally we invite one of our producers or winemakers to tell us a bit more about themselves. We serve several food courses and matching wine with this as well.
You can see a list of our upcoming culinary evenings on our website and buy tickets there too.
What advice would you give to people thinking of setting up their own food deli in Berlin?
Follow your heart and be 100% convinced in what you are doing. That’s the only way to reach people who share the same passion as you.
Where do you like to eat, drink and relax in Berlin?
As the saying goes, „there is no place like home” – for me that’s our shop 😊
“For me, Berlin is…”
… past, present and future all at once. You can feel them all in different places around the city. There aren’t a lot of places in the world where so many cultures meet, which makes it very unique and a great basis for creativity to blossom and ideas to be turned into actions.