Meet Jack on COVID-19
During the webinar, Kaline and Marjolein emphasised that launching a startup has not all been plain sailing. There have been plenty of challenges along the way – not least, the coronavirus pandemic.
Kaline: COVID hit us really badly because we were moving to get a piece of the pie from the food-service sector, and were not yet looking at retail. Prior to the emergence of the coronavirus, people had been ordering hundreds of kilos of our products for events and festivals, and restaurants were calling us every day. February was our most successful month since we started our company, and, then in March, we shut down. No clients, no phone calls, nothing. After two years of working on Meet Jack, Marjolein and I took our first salary in February, and, in March, we felt like it was all over.
Meet Jack food truck at a festival
Kaline: For two weeks, we thought, what do we do now? We just had to jump back on the horse – it was either eat or be eaten. So we decided to move into retail. This was also around the time that we got accepted to the ProVeg Incubator. That really helped us to move into retail at a faster pace. We developed new products and started knocking on doors. Now, in autumn, retailers are getting interested and we’re in talks with them.
“We just had to jump back on the horse. It was either eat or be eaten”
Marjolein: COVID was a new starting point for us and now we think we can be successful in the retail market. Although we were growing very fast in the food-service sector, behind the scenes, we were not ready for that growth. This COVID-19 period gave us an opportunity to better organise and structure ourselves. We hired two people to work on marketing and operations and we closed a partnership deal with a logistics company. COVID-19 may have set us back from a financial perspective in 2020, but, in the long term, this has been a beneficial time for us.
We’ll be posting part 2 of this blog post next week, focusing on female entrepreneurship and advice for fellow founders. In the meantime, check out this previous Q+A we did with Kaline and Marjolein while they were taking part in the ProVeg Incubator programme.