“Making a childhood dream come true”

Michael C. Wisser is Chief Executive Officer of WISAG, one of the leading service providers in Germany. The family business was founded in 1965 by his father Claus Wisser, who started off as a one-man business, equipped with a bucket, a brush and a typewriter. It takes a good deal of innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to turn that into a company with more than 50,000 employees. And it takes creative ideas and courage to break new ground. We had a conversation with Michael C. Wisser about streusel crumble, childhood memories and a unique catering concept.

Mr. Wisser, from now on, no one has to steal the crumble from their granny’s cake. You are putting it straight into people’s hands, or rather offering it in bags. How did you get this idea?
As a child I loved the sweet smell that filled the house when my mum baked a streusel tart – with cherries or plums or even without fruit. Then I would lie in wait. My room was right next to the kitchen. And when I thought the finished cake was not being watched, I would sneak into the kitchen and secretly steal some of the crumble. I always thought nobody could tell! But, of course, my mom would notice and scold me. There was also trouble when I ate the raw crumble. I often wondered how I could satisfy my craving for crumble without risking trouble. I still enjoy eating crumble today – and so the idea of turning a childhood memory into an innovative gastronomic concept was born: The Streusel Bar. In a way I have made my own childhood dream come true. And I am sure that our Streusel Bar fulfils more than one childhood dream …

Crumble nibblers – have you defined your target group?
This is for all those who, like me, want to avoid getting caught by their mums. For those who want to go back to their childhood for a moment and nibble the tastiest crumble from a fresh cake. Our target group is young – or at least young at heart – but appreciates cherished traditions that they would like to revive here and now.

Where can one enjoy your crumble in Germany?
After a successful roadshow with our streusel truck, we are currently working at full speed to set up our first store in Frankfurt. It will open it in December 2019, in the Fressgass street. After that, we will be heading quickly towards Berlin, where we want to open our second store in spring 2020.

It used to be mothers who did the baking. Who bakes the crumble for you and your customers today?
Luckily, we have found an experienced baker who has the same affinity for high-quality ingredients and convincing products as we do. And who is just as passionate when it comes to making good homemade crumble. No additives, no preservatives – but with really good butter. Only butter makes crumble that melts your heart.

Acting sustainably and protecting the environment has been part of WISAG’s identity for many years. How does the Streusel Bar approach this issue?
The Streusel Bar is a to-go concept, so packaging plays a central role. As much as necessary, as little as possible – that is the basic motto. We have invested a lot of time in the search for environmentally friendly packaging; it has to be of high quality and as easily degradable as possible. In addition, we offer returnable cups for drinks, with a deposit system. From an environmental point of view, this is certainly not the end of the story. We will use the experience gained from the first stores and the close cooperation with other retailers to reduce the environmental impact step by step.

Is it correct that you cannot pay in cash at the Streusel Bar?
That’s right. We use the so-called “tap” method, which makes the payment process very simple and fast. You simply hold your EC card, credit card or smartphone up to the terminal at the cash desk and you have paid in seconds. No PINs or signatures needed – and it is still secure. It saves time so our customers can enjoy their crumble and coffee warm. And we save ourselves having to organise cash and lots of back-office processes.

As well as delicious crumble, customers can also enjoy a WISAG-brand coffee.
Correct. And with that they are not only doing themselves some good, but also the coffee farmers in Honduras. Because, for our own Doña Victoria coffee brand, we purchase coffee beans directly from local families – in advance and at a price far above the world market level. This gives the families planning security and promotes their independence. For us, it is also sustainable business. Doña Victoria coffee will be available at all Streusel Bar locations. Recently, we even opened a café where you can enjoy Doña Victoria coffees with delicious sweet and savoury snacks. You can find the café in Frankfurt at Carl-von-Noorden-Platz 5.