Dutchies love their peanut butter, licorice and ‘hagelslag’. So when we go on holiday we will make sure we bring our own Dutch goodies with us. Sounds familiar?
The same happened to Vincentas and Vilius, two UvA students’ economics and business, from Lithuania. They could not believe that a cheese loving country like Holland did not sell the cheesecake bars they eat every day at home in Lithuania. So they decided to import the cake to Holland and sell them at the UvA locations.
A golden opportunity?
Vincentas and Vilius, both have an entrepreneurial spirit and started their own businesses at a young age. “We see opportunities all the time and selling these cheesecakes in Holland was one of them. We started doing some research and asked students what they thought of the idea of selling the cheesecakes in Holland. They loved the idea, so after some investigation we got in touch with enjoytoday.amsterdam. They introducted us to Cormet, who is responsible for all the restaurants and coffee corners at UvA and HvA. We started the process at the end of 2016 and are very pleased that all our hard work is paying off! The first weeks we sold the bars at the Roeterseiland campus, where we study. We sold way more than we had expected!”
You named your company Thesürel, what does this mean?
Vilius: “Surel is Lithuanian for cheese, so it is a play on words. The bars are made from fresh curd*, wrapped with a thin layer of chocolate. The Magija bars are produced by Zpienas, a dairy company based in Lithuania.
* Curd is a dairy product obtained by coagulating milk in a process called curdling
How can you further improve sales?
“Millennials love trying new products, so this is a great target market to start with. Our goal is to sell our bars to Albert Heijn and other supermarkets in the Netherlands, but first we will focus on universities and on the fine-tuning of a number of things. One of them is the communication of the product. Students think it is an ice-cream, because we display the bars on ice. We are also planning to sell different varieties, like bars with poppies or raspberries!”
How do you combine the startup of your company with your study?
“It is quite a challenge to combine it, especially in the weeks before our exams. We have divided the tasks between us, so one is focused on the logistics and the other on the marketing and expanding the business.”
Have you not tried the cheesecake bars yet, you still can!
This week Vilius and Vincentas are selling their cakes at Science Park.