The Birth of Gerstaecker
The idea was actually launched a few years earlier by his Father Johannes Gerstaecker who specialized in making and selling educational games designed to develop the children’s creativity, and he went from school to school to present his products and ideas. Those toys were mostly addressed to primary school students. When these proved a hit, Johannes Gerstaecker had to develop a real company structure and the very first catalogue and mail order system in order to satisfy the demands.
The Gerstaecker Company was founded in 1953 and the first range of products was launched in 1959. The first warehouse originated at the beginning of the 60s with a range of 4000 products. These already included well-known products such as artists’ painting colours, ceramic materials and of course soapstone. Boosted by his initial success, Michael Gerstaecker had to establish a second warehouse in 1979 in the middle of an Industrial estate in Eitorf, a town near Bonn which remains today the birthplace and home of the company and warehouse.
In 1982 Michael Gerstaecker had the idea of a specialized catalogue and an important mail order system to allow the numerous artists and teachers to choose the materials they wanted at their leisure and have them delivered at home. It was very popular and the Gerstaecker catalogue became a real success among artists but also in schools and therapy centres.
In 1991 the company had to extend its premises yet again. The demanding round-trips and the constant alternation between the two storehouses had become difficult to deal with because of the high demand and large number of orders. That is when Michael Gerstaecker decided to work together with his brother Christian to found a 5.000 m² site, including a 3.500 m² stocking space for the 10.000 products from the catalogue – paper, paints, brushes, tools and soapstone among other things – and a 700 m² “nerve centre” to handle the orders. The steady growth of the demand and the product range lead to several further expansions of the Eitorf site, and now this main branch, where all of the orders placed within the Gerstaecker company are processed, houses more than 45,000 products on a 7.200 m² surface, and the 6 chains of preparation and packaging of the orders see over 150.000 articles pass by everyday, serving 500,000 customers throughout Europe!
Today, artists from every walk of life benefit from the Gerstaecker specialist ability to source and supply the finest art materials currently available. Still very much a family business, Gerstaecker prides itself on the experience and expertise of its managers and staff whose specialist knowledge of the art supplies industry helps to ensure the efficient operation of Europe’s most comprehensive and competitive one-stop shop for quality art materials.