It all started with Willi Pfannenschwarz who as a young man, was a miller’s son, and a musical artist. Willi grew up in Waldenbuch Germany and carries two innate passions: First being milling production and the machines that make milling possible. Second, a lifelong comprehensive, passion for all things rock n’roll. Willi holds the technique encompassed in his production for both milling, and the music he creates, to the highest regard.
Having worked in a mill his entire life, Willi absorbed every little detail about the trade, and quickly began to come up with his own ideas for grain production. He did not like that the nutritious outer layer of grain was separated during the graining process, and was used only to feed animals. The small change to utilize grain in its entirety, creating a “whole grain” production process, was the idea that laid the foundation for Seitenbacher.
Natural nutrition derived from raw natural materials is at the heart of the “natural food” movement that lives at the core of Seitenbacher.
“We want our customers to be healthy and live to 100 years old.” Willi’s philosophy is his driving force behind the ingredients he chooses for each product.
While testing different manufacturing techniques and experimenting to enhance machinery used for production. Willi met Marion who believed in him and helped with the business. Willi quickly realized that Marion was who he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. She decided to leave her job to grow Seitenbacher, and work with Willi full time. The current warehouse soon could not keep up with their success.
Finally there was one main question Willi wanted to answer:
“How do I get people to voluntarily eat whole grains?”
The first attempt with “whole-grain-Spätzledough-flour” failed completely. The population declared whole grain flour to be used as pig feed. They thought it was inconceivable to use whole grain instead of white flour for the Swabian dining. Willi intended to change this perception of whole grain flour. Willi milled the grain into nice large flakes and added nuts, dried fruit, and seeds to produce a colorful mixture with a great taste. Seitenbacher müsli was born. A lot of testing occurred in the early stages of development, of various manufacturing techniques. The first müsli was mixed using a customized concrete mixer.
There was no option of adding to the existing mill in the “Seven Mill Valley” in Waldenbuch Schönbusch Germany. During the search for a new property, they discovered “Buchen in the Odenwald,” a small town in the “Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis,” where Marion and Willi immediately felt comfortable. Willi thanked the town for it’s hospitality. “I want to thank and name Mr. Major Josef Frank for all the great people, who had welcomed us. We owe the town a lot. Especially because we had practically nothing when we started.”
With a larger production came more buildings, more employees, more natural products, and bigger ideas. Willi and Marion started a family of their own.
Willi made sure to have a recording studio in his basement, so he could develop radio advertising for Seitenbacher utilizing his inherent musical talent. The ads become incredibly popular in Germany, quickly becoming a German phenomenon in popular culture.
“This is great, I can be with my family in the evenings and can work on my music at night,” with self-made music incorporated in the Seitenbacher commercials, the Seitenbacher brand has achieved cult status in Germany. Willi is proud of creating self-made advertising that has become memorable and unforgettable within German society.
Today the company is a completely family run business, producing baking mixtures, muesli cereals, vegetarian fruit snacks, and fitness foods. “In particular we are pleased that now our children are in the business.”
In 2010 a lifelong dream came true for Willi when he purchased his own oil mill. Seitenbacher currently offers a wide range of organic, cold-pressed, supplement and cooking oils.
Converted and renovated with much love and patience according to Willi’s concepts. The mill’s natural food purpose was expanded to oils. “The central idea of virgin oils is very close to whole grain products. This is about producing products with a huge amount of nutritional benefit. For example, by not heating the oil, where vitamins would be lost, virgin oil is produce by cold-pressing the seeds.
Today Seitenbacher distributes products worldwide and can be found internationally in grocery and natural food retail locations. Seitenbacher America is located in the Tampa area and strives to bring American customers the best natural and organic foods available today.