‘Wismar, the ocean and fish’ – such is the world of Gisela Schadwinkel, managing director of the Seeperle. She had a passion for seafood long before she became an entrepreneur following German Reunification.
At the age of 16, Gisela began an apprenticeship in the Fishing Industry Cooperative (FPG) in what was then the GDR. In this rugged, male-dominated environment, she quickly gained recognition and respect as ‘the lass’ – the affectionate nickname given to her by the fishermen – and was soon in charge of the Sales department at the FPG up until Reunification.
Following the dissolution of the FPG, Gisela Schadwinkel took her fate into her own hands and started her own business, driving across the countryside in a van to sell her home-smoked fish. Ever since that time, she has been known far beyond Wismar’s borders as the ‘fishwife of Wismar’ and is a firm fixture at every major event. No matter whether it’s The Wismar Harbour Festival, Green Week or Hanse Sail, her good reputation precedes her and Gisela Schadwinkel always delivers.
Since her son Frank joined Gisela Schadwinkel as managing director in 2007, the winds of change have been filling the sails of this business. There have been plenty of innovations since then: the small smokehouse at the Alter Holzhafen in Wismar was renamed the Seeperle, and – in addition to the sale of smoked fish, fresh fish and marinades – the company set sail for new horizons.
Together with our 32 employees, we look after our guests each day at our Kombüse bistro, on our cutter, at our food truck and in our ‘Seeperle’ restaurant. With their hands firmly on the tiller, Gisela and Frank guide the Seeperle through stormy seas and more quiet periods. But things are rarely quiet, as there are always jobs to be done. When the pair aren’t ordering, inspecting or sampling fish and seafood, they are organising events such as Hanse Sail, Green Week or the Wismar Harbour Festival, preparing a reception for the chief minister in Schwerin or welcoming guests to the Kombüse bistro and restaurant.
The plans for the new building had been drawn up long before ground was broken; yet it wasn’t until 2009 that construction for the ‘new’ Seeperle began. The little shop had long been bursting at the seams – in July 2009, the time had finally come: from now on, fresh fish, smoked fish, marinades and fish rolls would be sold in the bright, friendly premises of the new Seeperle.
The Seeperle’s range of offerings was expanded with the fish bistro. Here, visitors can enjoy delicious fish dishes, as well as other tasty treats for their breakfast or with their coffee. The team has now grown from 12 to just shy of 30 employees.
However, the undisputed cherry on the icing of the Seeperle is the Oberdeck’ restaurant on the first floor, which opened its doors in October 2009. Head Chef Lars Kohlhagen and his team conjure up delicious dishes in the open-plan show kitchen. The restaurant’s guests can enjoy the view of Wismar’s historic Old Town while they wait for their food.
Sunday - Thursday 8 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday - Saturday 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.