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On the way to market leadership in poultry sausage

In 1924 the four brothers Heinrich, Gustav, Oskar and Otto Nölke found the enterprise Heinrich Nölke & Co in Versmold/Westphalia. Their start-up capital was three pigs - a present from their father Fritz Nölke, who worked as a master for the sausage and meat manufacturer Menzefricke in Versmold. With the help of the father’s experience and the will to be successful, the new sausage factory grew in the following decades and has become one of the leading enterprises of the company.

In 1927, due to the great success of the “Westphalian Salami”, there were already 40 employees working for the enterprise.

In 1932 Nölke purchases “Gut Friedrichsruh” in Steinhagen/Westphalia, where first pigs are fattened.

In the fifties the business flourishes and at times the demand exceeds the production capacities. By the end of the fifties, Dieter, Fritz, Udo and Ulrich Nölke enter the enterprise and lead it together with their fathers. In the early sixties Nölke is pioneer for meat products and sausages in self-service packing. They change the distribution system and found their own sales offices.

In 1968 Nölke introduces Poultry Sausage in Germany and conquers the market with Gutfried. The brand name is derived from Gut Friedrichsruh, which now concentrates on poultry rearing and processing.

In 1971 Nölke takes over the enterprise “Schloss Stetten GmbH & Co.” in Baden-Wurttemberg, which supplies the Gutfried production and sells fresh turkey meat.

In 1975 Nölke purchases the majority share in the “Friedrich Menzefricke GmbH & Co. KG Westfälische Dauerwurst- und Fleischwarenfabrik” in Versmold.

From 1981 the sales offices are converted into legally independent sales organizations. They are the basis for the enterprise branch Frischdienst Union GmbH.

In 1983 the Nölke pioneer spirit wakes again: As the first enterprise in Germany, they introduce sausages packed under controlled atmosphere.

Since the nineties Frank, Michael, Petra and Stefan bear as partners and members of the advisory council the responsibility for the family enterprise in the third Nölke generation.

In 1991 the enterprises Menzefricke and „Fleischwarenfabrik Heinrich Nölke GmbH & Co.“ merge. The enterprise expands and purchases the „Müritzer Fleischwarenfabrik GmbH“ in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the „Mutzschen Truthahn GmbH“ in Sachsen and the „Märkische Truthahnspezialitäten GmbH“ in Brandenburg. The Frischdienst Union opens sales sites in the new federal states.

In 1997 Nölke builds one of the most modern factories for cooked meat products and modernizes the Salami factory Menzefricke.

In 1999 Nölke introduces as the first enterprise of the branch the Integrated Management System, after successful environment-certification. By a majority share in a company for meat products in Cracow, Poland, Nölke taps new markets in Eastern Europe.

In 2003 Nölke purchases the majority share in the just founded ”Velisco Geflügel GmbH & Co. KG” and brings its enterprise branch „Gut Stetten“ with the production sites Schloss Stetten and Mutzschen Truthahn into the company.

In 2015 Nölke was integrated in the „zur Mühlen Group“, Germany´s No. 1 in sausages.