Together with the grandfather of the then 13-year-old produced the first candy.
After a critical look at the display Valentin Wessels submit a mobile phone on the table. Then a second next to it. Next, he takes this with both hands in his metal suitcase and shovels colorful candies. Wessels is the founder of "Sweet Company" and now runs his own company for four years. The "Bild"-Zeitung has already ordered sweets in the form of their company logo on it, a plastic surgeon has had his initials Pour into sugar and the insurance Bayern distributes its sugar confectionery as advertising. In the confectionery trade fair in Cologne, 31 January to the 3rd day February, he has now presented for the first time his new candy collection and hopes to attract even more overseas customers.
How can he ever, the deal with the candy? With no professional experience, for he is just 19 years old. Even the half-semester chemistry at the Technical University of Munich, which he has so far behind, it will not. "You can lead a company without having studied Business Administration. And you can make candy without a chemistry degree," he says.
About sales and production, the young entrepreneur says nothing: "These figures were also not significant. When I finished school, is just one months long been producing less." Right around the business so it runs yet. Starting a company before coming of age brings with it many obstacles, starting with the paperwork to the banks who wanted to give him no credit. So suppliers raised with him an exception and granted him regular respite with the invoices.
After all, his income is now sufficient for a two-room apartment in Munich. He joins at the industry parties and must consider whether he invested his money in Champagne or in marketing his company. "In a crisis, many companies are saving as the first in advertising. As a question arises: What are we here give from 10 000 euro? For candy? – And use the red pencil."
Nearly 80 000 tonnes of sweets, worth 600 million Euro has sold the German Confectionery Industry 2009th Revenue declined year on year by 1.3 percent – a greater decline, to accept as the entire confectionery industry needed. Of total food turnover for the confectionery industry accounted for 7.8 percent, reports the trade association of Germany.
Wessels focuses on unusual shapes in his candy.
Trends of recent years, such as diet and light products lose their potential. This year, candy makers put in Süßwarenmessen primarily on unusual shapes, colors and flavors. Moreover, most sweets are available in organic form. At exactly this horse is also Valentine’s Day Wessels. After tasting of prosecco and red wine its sweets, and they are made without artificial colors.
The next challenge for the new entrepreneur is now studying. He has been specializing in food chemistry. Other areas such as pharmaceuticals and research him a little interest: "The life in a lab, I will not. I am an entrepreneur and a salesman." He has learned a lot in the four years since founding the company, a bit of talent but is one of them, says the grandmother, Johanna Taschowsky: "The seller was always in his blood."
Two part-time employees employed Valentin Wessels now. In fact, however, many more involved in making an idea to the finished candy. The grandparents to help in marketing and now in the confectionery trade fair. There, they make the ideal of the small family business, where tradition and craft are at home. She has also been made with the 13-year-old Valentin for the first time with sugar, honey and cream their own candy. In fact, the grandparents the day to day but are hardly involved in the situation.
If new flavors are in the works, finds a "Luch-round place." Friends come over, it will try screened, improved. Especially in the beginning also in IT, consulting and sales to create the hand of friendship, and in the factory they are packed to the beat of the music on the radio the sweets. "My friends, it was fun to go along well until the early morning hours," says Wessels. Gradually the business, but more serious. For jokes with friends, little time remains to be studied simultaneously and if one wants to run a company.