They studied together in Würzburg – now Michael Schlegel and Markus Angstmann are managing Schlegel’s father’s stand on Munich’s Viktualienmarkt. In their product range the friends stock fresh fruit and vegetables from the region as well as a selection of spirits that mostly hail from Bavaria. They obtain these products from small distilleries and manufacturers as well as from larger clients. However, they also offer specialties from the Spreewald and some Italian delicacies. That’s because for them it’s “fun to showcase these regions as well”. Both managers agree on their favourite product: the Funtensee gentian – a rarity from Grassl's Gentian Schnapps Distillery in Berchtesgaden.
No one could have predicted that Schlegel, an ambitious amateur chef, and Angstmann, a fashion-conscious and shoe-crazy connoisseur, would some day manage a stand together on the Viktualienmarkt. But as is the way sometimes, it was chance that decided the friends’ futures. During his time as a student, Schlegel was already helping out with his father Fritz’s stand and they managed the business together for a year before Angstmann came on board in 2007. They did have a plan B, though: the friends wanted to “start their own business in the fashion industry.”
The colourful hustle and bustle of locals and tourists at the Viktualienmarkt is reflected in Schlegel and Angstmann’s client base, a “very mixed group made up of all ages and social classes”. In order to increase publicity for their stand, the pair rely on a mixture of word-of-mouth advertising and social media – they are now also represented on Facebook and Instagram and “are trying to cultivate the business there too”. An online shop is not something that Schlegel and Angstmann are considering, because “fresh produce has no business being online; you need to be able to see, smell, touch and taste it”.
Business is going well: but Schlegel and Angstmann are naturally always on the lookout for new products and partners to collaborate with. They decide to cooperate “based on the products themselves and above all on whether we like the business”. Even though they are extremely dependent on the weather when it comes to their stand, both men feel like it’s nothing compared to the advantages on offer, such as the proximity to customers and great public exposure.
Those who want to buy Schlegel’s products can do so from Monday to Saturday between 7am and 8pm – regardless of the weather. The stand has never closed yet. One of the partners can always be found running the business. Nevertheless, they can’t complain about a bad work-life balance: “Thanks to our good business partnership it all works brilliantly – so that neither family nor the partnership loses out.”