How did you found Der kleine Gourmet GmbH? And how did the idea occur to you?
Der kleine Gourmet GmbH was founded in April 2017 by Kim and Vero. The idea for their own spice start-up arose from a common hobby and a mutual love of cooking. Back then, we started with 33 different spice blends and set up our own online shop. The idea was to sell mainly online. We now have over 80 dealers in the brick-and-mortar retail trade.
Could you please tell us about yourselves and which responsibilities each of you takes on in the business?
We actually both come from completely different backgrounds. Veronika is a trained event manager and had previously planned trade fairs and events. She did her training in Cologne at the Cologne Trade Fair and then worked in the event sector. After graduating from high school, Kim studied business law in Frankfurt. But it was always clear to both of us that we wanted to do something of our own and be independent. And that’s how our spice start-up came about at the end of 2016. We make a good team because each of us covers different areas in the company. By the way, we are also a couple in private life.
After the Corona pandemic, your industry (as a part of the food service industry) has become more active. Does this mean that business has become easier for companies in this sector? What are some of your typical problems right now? And what is the most difficult thing in your business?
Actually, we don’t see ourselves as part of the food service industry. We see our business in online trading. The Corona crisis was indeed a big challenge because the future was so uncertain. Nobody knew how things were going to develop. The current situation causes us more concern because it is difficult for a start-up to absorb all the price increases and delivery delays. As a start-up, you don’t have the financial reserves or resources to wait out a situation like this indefinitely.
What challenges do small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany face when trying to obtain financing?
Finding financing as a start-up is particularly difficult because banks usually want to see positive figures and business reports. However, especially in first couple of years, it may not be possible to show them. As a business owner or managing director, you usually also have to vouch for the company with your private assets.
What goals does Der kleine Gourmet GmbH currently have? And why these goals? And what goals do you hope to achieve in the near future?
We are already in the middle of planning for our Christmas business. Because we offer individual products for some corporate clients, the Christmas business usually starts as early as June. We also hope that inflation and the war in Ukraine will soon calm down so that the situation on the market can return to normal.