Christoph Rubin first arrived in the Vogtland region five years ago. “I’ve never regretted the move to this day, either professionally or personally,” says the 40-year-old and adds why this is the case. “We weren’t just received as any old investor coming from the West. The reception was and is friendly, even informal; you sense that things will only work properly through cooperation.”
The reason for his visit back then was that the Rubin Mill in Lahr-Hugsweier wanted to set up a new husk removal and flaking mill, the most modern in Europe, at Plauen-Oberlosa. His father Karl-Rainer Rubin and his uncle Rolf Rubin involved Christopher in the 330-year-old family business in 2013, one year earlier than planned. He was to manage the construction of the 30-metre high mill building and enable the plant to start operating. The aim was also to set up a production chain in the region where farmers grow the oats, it is stored in the region, processed in the mill and then used at companies like “Lebensgarten” in Adorf.
“This was really a period of huge challenges,” says Christopher Rubin, describing those few years with a smile. He was not only referring to the construction period that lasted 15 months, but also the first two years required to get the mill grinding.
“The excellent support that we received and still receive from the rural district’s business development department and the highly committed employees” are two of the reasons why everything went so well, according to the young managing director.
The committed workforce includes young specialists who came to the Vogtland region from the Black Forest.“Two of them brought their girlfriends with them,” Rubin reports. Millers also returned to the Vogtland region – and two colleagues, who were already 63 when they started work at the mill, are contributing their specialist knowledge. The first two apprentices are just completing their training too at this time.
“The team needs to work independently and cope with the daily work. It’s the task of management to obtain the raw materials, organise sales and gear the mill for the future so that the jobs are secure,” says Christopher Rubin, describing the company’s philosophy. This also means that nobody in the family should become arrogant.
Christopher Rubin makes use of this down-to-earth attitude in his voluntary position as an ambassador for the Vogtland region.
“The Vogtland area now offers young families a good environment. There are challenging jobs, many social facilities and a great deal of variety in the natural surroundings,” he says, listing the facts that he quotes when advertising the Vogtland region. However, he makes no secret of his impression that this is not exactly a place where there is plenty happening for young people to satisfy them during their wild phase. He feels at home at the town beach in Plauen, near or in the Pöhl reservoir and he enjoys taking visitors to the Göltzsch Valley Bridge with Ketzels Mill and likes going to Bad Elster with its Albert swimming pool and its open-air pool every now and again.
“After all, I come from a culinary paradise, which is also influenced by France nearby – so the Vogtland region has a bit of catching up to do,” he says. Despite this, he uses every opportunity to persuade people to visit the Vogtland area on holiday because of the variety that it offers.
What is important for Christopher Rubin is that people can rely on him and his family business. That is what the Vogtland Rubin Mill stands for. The company has not only created 26 jobs, as planned, but even 40. It is looking for more workers in the production department at the moment.
Vogtland farmers supplied just one hundred tonnes of oats in 2014 – and the figure had already risen to 900 in 2016 – and in 2018 it will be between 3,000 and 4,000 tonnes. The goal is to reach at least 20,000 – 25,000 tonnes. A grain trader has already built new storehouses opposite the mill in Oberlosa. Customers in Eastern Europe have been attracted too. And investments in a larger storehouse for finished products are due at the Rubin Mill too.
Vita Christopher Rubin
- Born in Lahr in the Black Forest in 1977
- Has lived in the Vogtland region, Lahr-Hugsweier and in Switzerland
- Went to school in Lahr, studied economics in Stuttgart and at the Müllerei Technical School in St. Gallen in Switzerland
- Worked for Bühler AG in Switzerland after his studies from 2004 onwards, partly as head of product management and marketing
- He started work at the 330-year-old Rubin milling company in 2013 as the 14th generation to do so
He set up the Rubinmühle Vogtland from 2014 onwards and enabled it to start operating
- Now manages the ongoing strategic development of the long-standing family business with 220 employees
- Has been married to his partner for a year, with whom he has been living for 14 years