In 2016, José Cano and Bernard Hours decided to leave their positions of high responsibility at Danone to start their entrepreneurial adventure together with Rafael Esteve, founder of Vinizius and head of the marketing consultancy Young in Spain.
The three managers wanted to leave the culture of a large corporation to get involved in launching innovative products in the food sector, where they already had experience and contacts. They founded the Chef Sam company with the idea of accelerating the growth of disruptive brands in the local and international markets. Since then, they have achieved 40 clients such as the companies Oatly, Tony's Chocolonely, Heura, Pastoret or Coliflow.
In 2022, the firm entered around 40 million euros compared to 30 million the previous year. The income comes from consulting services as well as from the distribution of products in those cases where its clients do not have logistics infrastructure. Chef Sam has subcontracted warehouses in Madrid and its operational headquarters in Barcelona, which employs a total of 80 people. The company not only operates in the Spanish market but has expanded to France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and Eastern European countries.
The 33% growth registered in the last year is explained by the entry of the investment fund Nexxus Iberia, of Mexican origin, which last year took a relevant stake in the company –although less than 50%– in exchange for a capital increase the amount of which was not disclosed. The objective of the fund is to provide Chef Sam with resources to accelerate its growth in the international market.
In the growth plan, the company also contemplates the creation of its own brands. Among the most recent projects, Family Love, focused on pet food, stands out. Chef Sam launched the brand a couple of months ago and assures that it is already present in supermarkets such as Carrefour or Eroski. The objective of the brand is to conquer consumers concerned about the healthy diet of their pets. For this reason, it has designed a catalog of fresh products with natural ingredients. "The idea is to introduce the category of real food for animals," says Adrià Galdeano, responsible for the initiative after leaving the management of Mascoteros (the company closed at the end of 2022). Galdeano adds that Family Love soon intends to expand its catalog with the launch of a line of toys and hygiene products.