Product Guru Supplier Focus | Into the world of truffle & our friends
At Product Guru we're proud to support a growing community of independent suppliers. We list products across all FMCG and gifts categories and we love to share the stories behind them.
For our latest Supplier Focus, we spoke to Lina Gilbe, Co-Founder of truffle & our friends, who told us more about the business.
Tell us a bit about your company and its background?
Back in 2017, one time when we were visiting my sister-in-law in Belgrade, we went to one of our favourite
restaurants where we had the pleasure to make friends with the manager. On this occasion, a man known only as Maestro, was there to sell the manager a dog. We found out Maestro was a truffle dog breeder as well as an
excellent truffle hunter, and also a truffle product producer, something he had inherited from a long line of ancestors, originally dating back to the 1800s in Italy. The manager invited us to their table, and as we sat down, Maestro poured some of his truffle oil for us to taste, (the same kind of truffle oil that his grandmother had made).
We were fascinated with him and the beautiful story about his legacy. This particular truffle oil was like no other truffle we'd ever tasted since it all was made from natural truffles, blended with an exquisite cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. When we arrived back home in Copenhagen, we couldn't stop thinking about this amazing all-natural truffle oil.
Later that year, we then decided that this was something to further build onto. The brand truffle & our friends was born in the autumn of 2018 as we launched the first bottle of Mother Earth signature blend, organic white truffle oil in Sweden, where we currently live.
We produce classics, or, as we call it due to Maestro having shared his ancestors' recipes, "archive collection" with products such as organic white truffle risotto and organic honey with white truffle, but have also launched innovative products in our "contemporary collection" such as the brand new white truffle salt spray.
How many people work for the business?
We are a team of 6-7 friends directly involved in creating this fine truffle collection, and many more friends indirectly as we only source our raw material from friends or friends of a friend - always to keep our top sourcing quality and be as transparent as possible.
Who do you sell your products to?
We find friends everywhere we go! When we have tastings, kids come up to our table. They can't get enough of
our samples of home-made truffle popcorn (made from Mother Earth Signature Blend and 6% black truffle sea snow and organic corn), all the way to the famous truffle-loving chefs who are over the moon to have found our Mother Earth Signature Blend because it's all-natural.
We've learned that our collection sells because it's all about the real thing and customers, who we see as our friends, re-purchase once they've first tried it. One of the most iconic food halls in Scandinavia told us truffle & our friends not only sold because of the organic and natural content and how excellent it tastes, but also because our collection was so Instagram friendly!
Is there a specific product you are particularly proud of and why?
We're very proud of our Mother Earth signature blend organic white truffle oil. Because its origins are from an ancient recipe, and we've worked a for a long time to get it right for the 21st century. We wanted to create something all our loved ones can enjoy. We've also chosen to bottle our Mother Earth signature blend organic white truffle oil in a UV-protective glass bottle which sustains the bio-energy and protects the delicate white truffle. This bottle will not only look fantastic in your kitchen or at the dining table, but it will keep all the flavours intact.
What do you most enjoy about running your business and what are your ambitions for your company?
When we meet new friends, the creation of new organic truffle products suddenly just can happen because of the inspiration from these newly-met friends. Also, the process of the journey from when we first started and how our company has grown. We've learned a lot along the way, and we're very humbled by the beautiful and exciting experiences truffle & our friends has given us.
When we first started truffle & our friends, we'd seen during our many travels that there was a gap in the market for organic fine food. You could find organic food but not so many organic truffle products. You could discover fine food that had incredibly high quality in its products, but then often the packaging was outdated. Or, you'd find incredibly cool designed products but the flavours weren't as good at all. This was something we wanted to change. So our ambition was to build an international organic fine food company - delivered in contemporary design and packing that you were able to either re-use because they are so pretty or easily recycle.
What do you enjoy doing during your spare time?
Like many others, I stress a lot trying to keep up with the ever-busy days running my own brand! So whenever I have time off, I just want to spend it with my family. We are fortunate to live close to the beach and have divine nature all around us. There I relax and find new energy and inspiration.
What do you think of the Product Guru platform and what encouraged you to use us?
I got introduced to the platform via Simon the founder and CEO of Product Guru. He presented, very well for me, how buyers can log in and get inspired and also search for products. During Covid-19, I finally took the time to register truffle & our friends. This platform will be even more critical for retailers and us producers in the future to save not only the environment but also time for buyers since the platform contains all the necessary information that they need.
Product Guru facilitates the introduction and the product discovery process by placing products in front of vetted buyers. Like truffle & our friends, you can sign up to Product Guru for free today and start showcasing your own products on our platform.
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