Not so long ago we visited Turkey and participated in IGEC — International Green Entrepreneurship Dissemination Summit. During the event, in which participated more than 150 people, experts and project organizers spoke about the project #GEC itself, about the outcomes and also carried out a Green Idea Challenge! Moreover, teams that have shown the greatest results were rewarded with great prizes. One of them — a right for the participation in the international boost camp acceleration program which will be organized by ChangeMakers’ON . So let’s meet the winner team — Snack Haus, a company that uses a freeze drying technology to extend shelf life of food to over 30 years without harming shape or nutrition values.
Before coming to Lithuania, our future ChangeMakers agreed to share their success story.
- So, Snack Haus team, could you tell us a little bit more about your business and your team?
- I’m Hazel Topcu and I am the cofounder and general manager of The Snack Haus. Together with Emrach Uskovski and 4 other friends we established our company in 2017. With our freeze drying technology we extend shelf life of food to over 30 years without harming shape or nutrition values.
We literally imprison all good stuff in food without disrupting its shape while it gets crispy and durable for years. It’s amazing.
- How did you come up with the idea to create this kind of business?
- Our motivation started on a trip to Thailand where we couldn’t find dairy products especially in the morning, because of Asian breakfast culture which is based on noodle (yes even in the morning!) and soya milk… So we started thinking what we could do to get high nutritional dairy products and how to make them last longer.
- What were the main challenges and obstacles during your entrepreneurship journey?
- The main challenge in food industry is to maintain business model that is financially sustainable yet have positive impact on the environment at the same time. 30% of produced food is a waste: it’s insane to see how much food is thrown away while it can be still eaten… Today, fewer and fewer farmers are controlling more and more of the production and the labour.
Appalling hunger, along with outrageous levels of waste and environmental destruction, is a by-product of our current food system and it’s obviously broken. So we’ve come up with a model which tries to solve all those issues.
- Who are helping you throughout your business journey?
Did you participate in some kind of hackathons, incubators or have you been mentored by some experienced entrepreneurs?
- We get resources from local farmers and donations from food companies with resources about to expire. This way everybody wins: farmers don’t lose their production, companies get tax cut because of the donations and we get more affordable resources. Our greatest success and gift for us is seeing smiles on people’s faces after they try our products. This means that you impact their lives and that you are doing the right thing.
- What are your future aims and goals?
- Our plan was to enter global markets in 2019 but we are already meeting with potential customers abroad and we are planning to enter military market where we can develop products for soldiers in hard weather conditions. Turkey is a country full of potential in terms of food: we harvest every kind of fruit and vegetable. But the main issue here is inequality of income, distribution in supply chain, and farmers suffer the most. We need to better educate them in terms of organic food so that they can sell their products to global markets. As the chef Mario Battali says: “We need to go back and put FOOD FOR ALL ahead of commercial interests”.
- What do you expect from the upcoming international boost camp that will be implemented in Lithuania?
- Our main purpose about attending the boost camp is to learn what barriers we need to overcome and the dynamics behind the European market alongside with developping our business model in order to make it easier to help our planet to get better as much as we can.
- Lastly, what are your thoughts about ChangeMakers’ON?
- As we are social minded startup we heard about Changemakers’ON but haven’t thought that one day we would join them!
Thank you very much Snack Haus for sharing your thoughts with our ChangeMakers community! We look forward to see you in Lithuania and to boost social & tech together!
ChangeMakers’ON international boost camp is coming soon. This summer all the startups and entrepreneurs will gather together to brainstorm and develop innovative business models that could contribute to a better and more sustainable world! Stay tuned because soon we will share more information about the upcoming events like #CMON hackathon’19 & #CMON boostcamp’19.
And if you are interested in Snack Haus production and services, check out their official page: https://www.hausfreezedry.com/