Tributes have been paid following the sad news that Bernd Linke has passed away.
Bernd started his career with Bayer Chemical in Germany in the 1970s and then was seconded to the UK division, after which he joined Booker Health Foods (part of the Booker Group). He was approached by Healtheries of New Zealand to open and manage its European office, following which he was asked to join McFarlane Laboratories as Marketing Director for Europe, to launch Seatone Green Lipped Mussel Extract.
Subsequently, he formed Dietary Specialities Ltd (DSL) with two colleagues, which they later sold to Guinness.
Bernd was asked by Guinness to continue running the business, during which time he launched the Hanssen Diet (in conjunction with former HFMA Chairman, Maurice Hanssen). Bernd’s entrepreneurial ambitions resulted in him leaving DSL, when he formed Reevecrest Health. Whilst running Reevecrest, Bernd also worked closely with Dame Barbara Cartland and her son, Ian McCorquodale, and was responsible for their Health & Happiness Club.
In recent years, Bernd and his wife Caroline have been running Health-Buzz, a successful direct marketing business specialising in selling natural balms, creams and essential oil-based products.
Paying tribute to Bernd, his friend, Roger Dyer, said: “Bernd was a larger than life character, who liked to live life to the full. Bernd possessed a beautiful mix of naughtiness mixed together with a great sense of humour and the most infectious laugh. I first met Bernd in the early ‘80s, when he was a client of mine at Reevecrest. I then joined him to work for the Guinness owned, DSL and we remained friends ever since. Bernd was extremely influential and supportive in both my personal and business life. His passing will leave a big gap in my life.”
Les Illingworth added: “I first met Bernd when he helped Healtheries from New Zealand launch the Meadowcroft range of vitamins. He was big, infectious and a pleasure to do business with. Our friendship blossomed over time, particularly when he worked with John Ryan at DSL developing the Seatone range. The nights we had out together were memorable, I will never forget the night he introduced me to pudding wine… the hangover is still with me. God bless you Bernd, a man among men.”
Bill Archer continued: “My closest friend for over 30 years, we enjoyed the most amazing times together, creating new natural health direct marketing product concepts and products, many of which are still being successfully marketed to this day. Bernd was an inspiration to me during many challenging times and his love of life earned me many lectures from both our wives, as he always managed to look more innocent than me. But my overriding memory will be of him being a strategic guru, perfect gentleman and a gentle giant.”
Chris Bearman commented: “I look back at meeting Bernd 37 years ago when he persuaded Gordon Hayes and myself to leave New Era Labs and join him at the newly formed DSL. Bernd was so infectious, both in his enthusiasm for business and for enjoying ourselves while doing it. My fondest memory was when Bernd joined me on one of my regular trips to Jersey, where we did the business and laughed for two days! Just one of my many happy memories of Bernd, such a lovely bloke to spend time with and he will be greatly missed.”
Gordon Hayes finished: “When I first met Bernd, I was fascinated by his infectious enthusiasm, wit and his market trader perception of what the public needed. I was hooked, and decided I wanted to be a part of it. What followed was an unforgettable 30-year rollercoaster ride, with exhilarating highs and the occasional low, all accompanied by laughter, fun, adventure, fine dining and the odd bottle (or two!) of wine. He loved life and lived it to the full, taking along all the people around him.”