Depanneur’s beverages have been a mainstay every time our community had a reason to raise a glass. The current reality sent their team on the road and offered speed validation of a new market.
Entrepreneurship comes with a high frequency of firsts, especially in the early stages of a company’s life. First paying customer – cheers! First team member hired by the co-founders – great to have you with us! First we-can-go-anywhere funding round – OMG! Within our community, many of those occasions to celebrate have happened with something to drink provided by Depanneur. Nothing says thank you for a busy week like opening a bottle of their white, and we felt like they were thinking of our own born-in-Italy company, when they introduced their soft drinks with offbeat, Italian lingo on the labels: You had us at “Sportivo”. In fact, the soda names come from more than a desire to succeed with wrapping. The Depanneur team decided to run the production in Sicily, because the local plantations offered what they needed. The taste of fruits from the myrtle-leaved orange tree will transport you out of a rainy Copenhagen afternoon, just like that.
But during this Spring’s homework season, Depanneur has supported a different flight of the taste buds. As they ventured into doorstep delivery in March, you would receive a brown paper package, and now the wine would not only taste like wine, but like a certain summer party at our past Pier47 location. Or the orange soda would taste like a “don’t beat yourself up, you’re a rockstar” from a comforting team member at our Talent Garden Rainmaking campus, after a less than great presentation. While we are reopening the campus – and toying around with plans of proper social distancing + proper drinks – we thought it was about time to give Depanneur a call. To say thank you for serving us through the crisis and to touch base on how their business is doing. Co-founder Mads Henriksen answered.
Hi Mads. That was a big success with those home packages, huh?
“Yeah, it was a simple idea really. We thought about how we could sweeten the lives for those sitting at home. Also, we are a company with the majority of our business tied to wholesale to other companies that closed their physical offices. We are not available in the supermarket. So in February, when we saw COVID-19 coming, we started talking about alternative ways to go. We had already been considering a web shop, and in March, as the government restrictions hit, we got an additional driver to set it up. Users were really fast to respond to the packages on Instagram and we experienced a high number of incoming orders around Easter. Then it slowed down a bit. But to look at the positive in a challenging situation: These extreme circumstances made us focus all our forces on testing and validating our B2C market.”
How have you managed on the internal resource side?
“To reduce costs we have sent home our employees and operated with a four-person team that works without a salary these months. We have been on the road delivering goods. My parents chipped in too and drove a package from Herning, where we have our main storage, to Esbjerg. It’s been nice to sense the support from the customers. Sometimes one order also created another, like a woman in Lyngby getting a delivery for herself, and ending up ordering care packages for the employees in the company where she works.”
What is your gameplan for the near future?
“We are going to add a subscription opportunity, when it comes to our private deliveries, and we are looking into expanding that market with the Stockholm region. But the big hope for us is the general move towards companies opening up their office locations, so we can get our wholesale going. Right now we got 12 employees that we would like to put back to work and pay a salary. I am also looking forward to reopening our physical shop in Griffenfeldsgade in a way that makes our customers feel safe.”
You can order Depanneur’s packages right here.
PS: Keep an eye on Rantzausgade in Copenhagen, where they are working on a new store due to open in September.