Markus Deibler, 27, and Luisa Mentele, 29, from north Germany are passionate about ice cream – so much so that Mentele even moved to Bologna to do a degree at the Gelato University. The duo are now gearing up to pitch their ready-mix ice cream such as quirky avocado with raspberry sauce or chocolate-orange ice cream to judges on VOX TV’s “The Lion’s Den” (DHDL) show Tuesday (September 5, 2017). The flavours are already big hits at their two ice cream parlours in Hamburg. Encouraged by baking mixes for cakes and buns, the pair hit on the idea for making fresh ice cream at home and have launched the product on the market meanwhile. Now, the duo hopes to secure EUR 120,000 in return for a 10 per cent share of their company from the lions.
Hamburg News: Markus, what prompted you to apply to DHDL? How have you prepared for the show?
Markus: I have watched every episode of the show and told my girlfriend that “I want to got there too.” Last November, I was sitting at home and spontaneously filled out the application form on the show’s homepage. Then everything took its course. To prepare, we practised three-minute pitches and especially for questions that the lions always ask.
Hamburg News: If one of the lions goes for your product, how will you use the investment?
Markus: We will of course put it towards funding growth and all that goes along with that – pre-financing goods, personnel, office, equipment, sales, marketing etc. Expenditure is fairly easy.
Hamburg News: What other products do you have in your range apart from Luicella’s Eismix?
Markus: In 2015, we began filling tubs with our ice cream at home. Then we added the 135 ml party-sized tub to the 500 ml tub. We soon found caterers and retailers in Hamburg who loved our ice cream. Meanwhile, more than 70 retailers including Edeka and Rewe and over ten cafés in and around Hamburg sell our ice cream. We are constantly striving to improve our product and wish to expand our network of retailers and add those who are just as passionate about products.