Bela is …
… one of three founders of Just Spices. I studied International Management in Dortmund with my cofounders Ole and Falko where the idea of Just Spices was also created. Before concentrating in our “heart project” Just Spices I was CEO of Saladmixxer.
QX: Bela, “Just Spices”, what’s the vision behind it?
Bela: The vision of Just Spices is clear: to convince more and more people of the thrilling, passionate story every spice tells in its very own way. The whole Just Spices team has one dream: to revolutionize the spice market and to bring fun and delightful cooking experience into the kitchen of our customers.
QX: What’s your strategy to realize that vision?
Bela: I think the most important part is that we are all working with heart and passion. When we started our vision, our ultimate dream was to find the best and most extraordinary spices on our own – without relying on references and established beliefs of others. In search of exotic flavors and inspiring spice blends, we went on an adventurous “spice journey” in 2014. Three continents and four weeks later, we brought a bag full of amazing memories and new recipes back home. Investing this much effort, love and time is what makes us an authentic and reliable point of reference in terms of spices – an attribute that is not for sale. Moreover, what is very important to realize our vision is our team. We are like one big family, we all love what we do and work for one vision: to revolutionize the spice market!
QX: If you had to choose: What’s your current favorite Just Spices product?
Bela: I love spicy food and I am a big fan of the Asian cuisine. So, if I have to, I would probably choose our “Turbo Scharf Gewürz” with Habaneros and Jalapenos which fits to almost every dish. But I am a passionate cook and I have almost every of our spice blends collection since I love to experiment with different ingredients.
QX: Florian Falk and Ole Strohschnieder are the other two “Spice Boys”, the three of you were fellow students before starting the company. What was your greatest challenge while founding Just Spices?
Bela: In the beginning, no one had a deeper knowledge of spices which was tough of course. But through typical “learning by doing” and “trial by error” we could develop our vision more and more and we all learned a lot. However, in general, challenges are there to master them and crisis are taken with humor. We still learn every day and try to do it better next time.
QX: Your greatest challenge today?
Bela: My greatest challenge every day is to cope with the continuous growth of Just Spices.
QX: Next to your role as an entrepreneur, you also invest in start-ups. Combining both perspectives, what is the single most essential characteristic a successful founder must possess?
Bela: Oh, there are many, but I think it is most important to believe in and to love what you do. Of course, you should be open minded, venturesome and have the ability to pick oneself up after a failure.
QX: As a company matures it becomes increasingly difficult to stay innovative. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Bela: Many of our spices do have a special background indeed as we brought them home of our “Spice journey” in 2014. So, today our customers can buy the Cajun-mix from Louisiana, through spicy Indian Curry blends up to the secret recipes of “Pasta Lucia”, from all over the world and cook them at home.
Moreover, it is important to keep yourself open minded and to think forward. Our product development team is constantly creating new spice blends in our office in Dusseldorf. For that we always think of current nutrition trends and we are inspired by our community as well. But also, our other team members are full of creativity and we do have an inspiration board in our office with more than 100 new product ideas. So, we will not run out of innovative ideas this quickly :)
QX: Your life philosophy?
Bela: Always stand up once more than you fall down.
QX: Last but not least, what is your personal Vanity?
Bela: I am a very ambitious person which always challenges me to achieve high goals both in private and professionally. In private I would really love to climb the Kilimanjaro once a day ;) Besides, my everyday goal is to create a work place for my employees, where working means fun and work life balance is good. It is always important to set yourself big goals. Otherwise Just Spices would not be what it is today!
Thank you for the talk!