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Dean Kronsbein, chairman of Ultrafilter, with the UK-manufacturerd Ultramask.jpg

Personal life

Dean married Sabine Bauer in 1994 and has two children. The family lived together happily in Germany for over twenty years, but Dean was always keen to explore a life in Britain.

 

Having been born in England and with an appreciation for the difference in culture compared to Germany, Dean was keen to return to Britain – a country that he always remembered as being hugely proud and patriotic.

 

Since the age of 17, Dean had lived in cities but always embraces his history of growing up on a farm and the freedom and fresh air that offers. In 2017 Dean and his family started to explore the countryside in England, found a house, and relocated to Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire.

in the beginning...

Born on 12 April 1961 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, Dean Kronsbein is the son of Maureen and Dirk Kronsbein. His mother is British and his father German and, following their divorce in 1972 when Dean was just 11 years old, he remained in England with his mother while his father returned to Germany.

Dean attended Matthew Humberstone Secondary School in Cleethorpes and then St James’ Independent School in Grimsby but, once his father had left the family home providing no financial support, it soon became evident that Dean needed to start earning some money to contribute in supporting the household.

 

Dean started looking for employment opportunities and quickly became a glass collector at The Wellow pub in Cleethorpes working every evening collecting and cleaning glasses until closing time.

entrepreneurial spirit

It was during Dean’s school holiday job at a potato farm in Tetney where he realised his entrepreneurial talent. In those days, potato picking was hard, back breaking, manual work. The tractor would drive down a row and there was a fixed period where all the potatoes had to be picked, riddled and bagged before starting the next row. Dean worked relentlessly receiving approximately 11 pounds and a few shillings in a brown bag at the end of every week. One of the bonuses of the job was that anyone who worked on the farm could take home as many potatoes as was required, and it was that employee incentive that gave Dean a ‘lightbulb moment’ that would mark the foundation of his success.

 

Dean was aware from his own mother’s struggles that carrying heavy potatoes back from the supermarket was difficult, so he had the idea of setting up a potato delivery service. He went to the supermarket to find out how potatoes were priced and acquired a secondhand bicycle. He then started cycling home as many potatoes as he could manage from the farm, sorted them into 5lb bags and began knocking on doors, selling them as he went. The desire for freshly picked, delivered on the same day potatoes that were cheaper than the supermarket was strong and his service became popular in the local area. Dean then developed the business further by allowing customers to specify the types of potatoes they wanted and diversified the scope of supply to allow for individual requirements.

 

These early years of commercial success were responsible for the development of Dean’s salesmanship skills where he found that he wasn’t afraid of cold calls, but rather enjoyed them!

 

Like any good businessmen, Dean then invested the profits from his potato enterprise into a new commercial endeavour with the purchase of a mobile DJ system. His ‘Road Runner’ branded music business went from school to school playing his collection of Motown records to boost his already growing income.

 

However, by the age of 17 it became clear that, due to the amount of time Dean was spending on his businesses, his education was suffering. A school report noted that ‘Dean has the ability but is not putting in the effort’, reflecting his preoccupation with his entrepreneurial endeavours to the potential detriment of his academic studies.

 

Dean’s mother became increasingly concerned that he was not concentrating on studying for his O Levels and concluded that he should be sent to live with his father in Germany for a more disciplined education.

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