Germany: Rastal Mourns the Loss of Raymond Sahm-Rastal

Raymond Sahm-Rastal, a key figure and stakeholder of the glass refinement company Rastal, has sadly passed away. Since his entry into the family business in 1991, Sahm-Rastal consistently pursued innovative strategies to propel the company forward. His approach was characterized by restlessness and a commitment to close collaboration with clients in the beverage industry.

The Rastal Group, with a yearly production volume of around 120 million glasses, has a presence in various locations, including Höhr-Grenzhausen (Germany) and Chur (Switzerland), as well as in Castell San Giovanni (Italy), Gleiwitz (Poland), and Sibiu (Romania).

The company Rastal, like its direct competitor Sahm, hails from the small Weterwald village of Höhr-Grenzhausen, half-way inbetween Cologne and Frankfurt/Main.

Both companies were founded in the early 20th century by brothers Emil and Eugen Sahm. Unlike other similar business stories, such as the Dassler brothers, founders of Adidas and Puma, or the Albrecht brothers, founders of Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord, there was no dispute leading to the separation of the companies. Instead, both firms existed independently from the beginning.

At the age of 32, Eugen Sahm ventured into entrepreneurship, laying the foundation for his own company, the present-day Rastal. Initially, he traded in beer mugs and coal. It wasn't until the early 1930s that Eugen Sahm exclusively focused on mug and glass refinement, following his brother Emil, who had already shifted to painting and decorating glasses.

After World War II, both companies expanded their decoration portfolio to include items like ashtrays, lamps, or wall plates. To avoid confusion, the company founded by Eugen Sahm renamed itself to Rastal in 1959, a term derived from the German words "Rastertechnik" and "Kristall."

The actual success story for both companies began in 1964. Rastal developed the first brand-exclusive glass with the Bitburger brewery, designed for the Bit-Pokal. "Clothes make people, glasses make beer" was Rastal's slogan at the time. Gradually, many other beer and beverage brands followed suit, and today, the brand-exclusive glass is a must for every brand manager in the beverage industry.

In 1992, the third generation entered the company with Raymond Sahm, who has been leading the company for 30 years. To avoid confusion with his distant cousin Michael Sahm and his company, Sahm, he adopted the surname Sahm-Rastal, even though his actual name was Raymond Sahm.

Raymond Sahm's era saw the introduction of groundbreaking new technologies in glass refinement, such as UV refinement, the expansion of production at the Höhr-Grenzhausen location, and the relocation of production to foreign branch plants.

Since 2015, he, alongside his son Maximilian Sahm, served as the sole shareholder of the company. Just six weeks ago, Sahm-Rastal appointed Detlef Eßbach, 62, the former Ritzenhoff executive, as the new managing director at Rastal.

Raymond Sahm-Rastal unexpectedly passed away on Sunday at the age of 66.

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