The Herbert family has been familiar with paper for generations.

Justus and Julian Herbert's grandfather founded the retail business for paper and printing goods, which his son Henry, Justus and Julian's father, runs today under the name "Rolls und Paper" in Obertshausen.

From labels to copier and laser paper to packaging, he can offer just about everything that the world of paper goods has to offer.

In the meantime, the Herbert family business, which was founded in 2018 and called Pergano, has specialized in a very special type of paper.

Pergano supplies a natural and at the same time grease-resistant release paper that is placed on the bottom of the pizza box so that cheese and tomatoes do not soil the cardboard.

Because only if there are no grease stains in the box can it be recycled.

The idea for this arose during Justus and Julian Herbert's student days.

The brothers came across these numbers at the time: Around 800 million pizzas were sold in Germany to take away every year, and around 600 million pizza boxes could not be recycled because they were dirty, says Julian Herbert (28).

“These are simply wonderful synergy effects”

It was the right topic for the family, who are already planning to take the business in a more sustainable direction.

Long research and a number of practical tests followed in order to develop the Pergano pizza paper, which is now used by around 2,000 pizzerias throughout Germany under their flatbreads.

It is made from raw materials from sustainably managed forests, the wood fibers are pressed several times using large steam rollers and processed without chemical additives.

So no cheese gets through, but after use, the leaves are fully composted after 10 to 14 days.

Depending on what they want, customers can have their paper delivered in a neutral design or with an individual imprint. A sheet costs around three cents, and more than 30 million sheets have already been sold.

The range now also includes pizza boxes, carrier bags and burger boxes from sustainable production.

So the young company is up and running, and to this day all family members as well as family friend and co-founder Andre Mordhorst are working on it.

Father Henry Herbert is the experienced one.

He was the juniors' key advisor when they asked for bank loans or viewed office space for the company.

"When the two boys want to set up a company, dad is of course a bit behind at first," says Julian Herbert.

Of course, my father's network in the paper industry was also helpful for the new start.

The relationship of trust that connects the various manufacturers and the dealer "Rolls und Paper" also radiates to Pergano.

"These are simply wonderful synergy effects," says Julian Herbert.

Running a business as a family is not always easy

In 2018 he was still working in the television and agency sector, which is one of the reasons why he was responsible for marketing and design, while his brother Justus, who was a year older, took over the management.

Father Henry is predestined for purchasing, and mother Petra Herbert proved to be the right person for PR and supports marketing.

Andre Mordhorst, with whom the brothers became friends while training tennis, is considered the perfect man for the position of sales manager due to his charismatic nature.

Running a business as a family is not always easy.

The family members are very direct with each other, and there are heated discussions, admits Julian Herbert.

But the violent words were quickly forgiven: "One of them gives up, but the next morning it's back to normal." Basically, he sees many advantages in the family business: "Of course you always have someone who is 180 percent passionate about you. “ Families as entrepreneurs neither looked at the clock, nor did they discuss salary or holidays.

But they could afford it now, the start-up pays the salaries of the five founding members and the salaries of nine employees.

It is very important to Julian Herbert that everyone can be satisfied with their tasks and also with their salary: Because in a family business, the company is also the home.