Our story

The story of REX ketchup

The younger brother of my grandpa ALBIN REITER was born in 1907. He spent his young years at Arad at the bank of the Maros river, still a part of Hungary in those times. The family sent him to learn how to be a shop attendant, but he showed great abilities in all kinds of sports, fast thinking and learning, music and card games. He was loved by everyone for his huge voice and nose and his stories were always putting him in the centre of the company. For instance, he learnt to play the piano in three weeks just by himself. After this, he was able to play all the top hits coming out weekly from new movies at the parties of his friends. It was a common practice in his village that in the middle of the party they put him with his piano onto a cart and the horses took him to another party while he was still playing continuously for everybody’s enjoyment.
All this happened in the Hungarian countryside during the 30’s. He married Justika a German girl in 1937 and bought a house in the middle of Hungary in Örkény where he lived with her, in love, for more than 50 years.
I also loved Albin as did everybody else. When I finished university as a food mechanical engineer in 1980 he thought it is time to give me the forgotten recipe of REX ketchup. “You may start it up again!” he said. I was a food technology design engineer for 10 years and later the first managing director of Pizza Hut Hungary and CEO for British and American restaurant companies with 5-600 employees, so I had no time for it. I even lost the recipe! All I remember was that I have put it in a book somewhere. When I got older and not a CEO anymore I become an adviser and a part time teacher in a school for food technicians. The school had a pilot plant and I thought we should find the recipe and try the 70 years old; once so successful, ketchup again! I asked my Mother (Éva Reiter) and she searched the library, eventually finding the old secret recipe! I prepared everything by the recipe and made a pilot batch of REX ketchup. I was not the only one who loved it, so did all the students, whilst the teachers helping me were crazy about it. Everybody licked the last drops of my ketchup. I gave it to my friends and all of them said: “Just do it András!” After some years now we are present in delicatessen stores, paleo and healthy food stores, good hamburger restaurants, wholesalers and web shops while working on going back to old and new export markets!
Finally I would like to copy here the last sentence of Albin’s memoir:
“We have no enemies, never even had one. I am sure that we remain a good memory in the minds of people after we have gone…”

Albin Reiter

I certainly will be among them!
24 of October 2014, Budapest
András Dobóczky nephew