The passion for food can bring on different roads, included the webpreneurial one. Daniele Biffoli, born in 1983 in Florence, graduated in Bocconi University in Milan, gave up with a career in company Menarini pharmaceutical to carry out his personal business project, Gourmant. Food enthusiast, always loves to cook for his friends, and now he is proving to have the right recipe for an ecommerce of food. In a year of activity, Gourmant has involved 30 thousand customers and pointed out over 300 products of excellence, generating up to 50k euros per months of revenues. Next step will be try to scale on foreign markets such as UK and Germany. The company, incubated by Nana Bianca (a well known Italian incubator in Florence), backed by P101 and Club Italia Investmenti 2, has currently a team of 14 people (including the two founder Daniele Biffoli and Giovanni Brandini). Daniel told us about how the project came about.
Gourmant was born a year ago almost by chance.
I had the idea to sell gastronomic products of the excellence of made in Italy online in 2012 and I wanted to do an artigianal experiment to realize if the project could have a positive reply from the market: I put on sale a pack of particular salts (there was a blue salt from Persia, a pink salt from Himalaya, I remember it) made from a company of Mantova, and I did it from my bed room! Immediately I received an email from a lady from Perugia who wanted to buy the pack and for 20 days had arrive other requests.
The test worked out so I decided to make up an e-commerce for the traditional Italian gastronomic products.
I wanted to share my project with my best friend, Giovanni Brandini, who immediately was enthusiastic at the idea of being part of it, so we started to work at what could possibly be Gourmant. The bureaucratic aspect was not simple, from opening the VAT to obtain the attestation Haccp, I spent months going around offices and compile documents.
The bureaucracy that loads Italy is a obstruction to the entrepreneurs newbies, maybe young, that have a good idea in their hands but they risk to lose it for the complications of the administrative procedures; I didn’t give up, but a lot of people do.
The turning point arrived when we entered in Nana Bianca, an accelleretor of business that finances and substains the potential for success start up. At that point Gourmant became reality!
In the begin mostly of the job, and the most important, was the selection of the producers, that I did with Giovanni: we were looking for something special to offer, made with passion and the accuracy that characterizes the small producers. They are all small and local, that can’t afford an e-commerce and that, thanks to Gourmant, can extend their clients and let them be known to more people.
Until today more than 300 producers have chosen us for their specialties, and I’m very proud of these numbers, but mostly for the quality of those who choose to sell trough our website: the products are always excellent.
Gourmant, from 2013, has grown up and it is still growing a lot.
We work many hours a day, often it happens that I have to stay in office late or to work during the week-end also, but the satisfactions that I have doing the job that I love pay me back of all the time that I dedicate to Gourmant.
Not many years have passed from when I refused a permanent contract or the months that I worked at Menarini, with perspective of a safe career; but, I do not regret the choice that I made and the risks that I have faced.
The passion for quality food was trasmitted to me from my family, and even now supports me and they help in the management of Gourmant, in the choice of products, in the selections of producers. Using this passion for building a real business project, that now collects appreciation from clients and from experts of the area, was for me an important personal success and a goal that I didn’t think I could achieve this early.
Contributor: Daniele Biffoli, co-founder Gourmant