In Berlin, Cast Iron Skillets and QR Codes Keep Kitchenware Store Thriving

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Shoppers looking for silicone baking molds and plastic cooking utensils at Küchenliebe¸ a home and kitchen supply store in Berlin, have come to the wrong place. The store’s owner, Ellen Teschendorf, focuses on carrying sustainable and durable products meant to last lifetimes.  

"It’s all about going back to basics," said Ellen. "For a long time, a pan with a non-stick surface was a must-have in any kitchen. But now, more people want to own a traditional cast iron pan again. Over time, these types of pans develop a non-stick surface through frequent cooking and frying and are very durable." 

Ellen attributed the current demand for sustainable and long-lasting kitchen equipment to the growing concern around the environmental impact of disposable items. "People want to get away from plastic products and instead go back to natural manufacturing materials – including in the kitchen," she said. 

Küchenliebe was born out of Ellen’s passions. "I love to cook and eat good food. That is also why I knew I wanted to open a store specializing in unique and traditional kitchen accessories,” she said. “Selecting the assortment and setting up the first store was incredibly fun for me." 

Ellen Teschendorf
With PayPal QR Codes, customers can purchase from Küchenliebe safely, quickly and securely.

Business was going well, but the pandemic and the lockdowns that followed posed serious challenges. "I had to close all five stores," she recounted. “But then I decided pretty quickly to continue to be available to my customers."  

Ellen introduced new products on Instagram, and interacted with customers via email, messenger apps, and hosted private shopping events. She delivered orders herself by bicycle to customers in the area. "It was important to me that products were delivered faster than common parcel services, on the same day or the next day," she said.  

Despite her persistence and creativity, her businesses continued to lose money. She scrutinized her expenses more closely, and what she found surprised her. "When I was analyzing the ancillary expenses for all transactions, I almost couldn’t believe it, because the fees were so high," she said. "Then, the next day I found a pamphlet from PayPal in my mailbox explaining the PayPal QR Codes.” 

With her PayPal account and app, she was able to set up a unique code and display it in-store. Customers are now able to scan the code using the PayPal app and pay with their accounts, without having to handle credit cards or card readers. And the kicker? The transaction fees for paying via PayPal QR Codes are more affordable for her.  

"Many of my customers are tech-savvy and enjoy paying via QR code," said Ellen. "Some have also praised us for being so progressive!” 

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