Last year, Claudio Pekrun, German, graduated from IUM with a MSc in Luxury Goods and Services. He could have worked in the luxury field for prestigious luxury companies such as Vuitton or Chanel but instead he has decided to…sell burgers! But WHY?
“The initial question I asked myself was if I wanted to be employed or become an entrepreneur. As I had worked not only for a venture capitalist (Morten Sondergaard) but also for a startup company setting up applications in mobile technologies I gained a pretty good overview of what it takes to be self-employed. At this point, I decided to set up my own business.
With all the knowledge I gained throughout my studies at IUM (especially in Marketing) I knew, I wanted to set up a business in the luxury segment – and that is exactly what The Big Balmy is all about. We run a food truck business, selling gourmet burgers to a very specific niche with a very specific type of clients. We are not trying to compete with the global players on the market as we have a higher price and a totally different clientele. Everything learnt in class at the International University of Monaco is applicable to the field and brought me a competitive advantage of how potential consumers think and what you have to do to convince them to pay a higher price even though there is such a wide offering on the market.”
The idea of food truck arrived several years ago from the U.S. to Germany. Even European cities like Paris and London have embraced on the food truck trend. Claudio and his partner, Nikolaj de Lousanoff have been inspired there. “In Paris, we discovered the truck Cantine California: Incredibly tasty burgers and Quality we wanted to bring to Germany,” said Claudio. That’s how “The Big Balmy” story started. To insure quality, they purchase their meat from local farm outside of Hamburg, which has its own slaughterhouse. The animals are roaming outside, and are thus free country cattle.
Their clients know where and when the burger truck stands thanks to Facebook and the homepage of The Big Balmy. “Social media is one of the reasons why our approach works so well: they are mobile, so are we,” said Claudio.
In the future, Claudio wants to become an entrepreneur in the luxury field, investing in a diverse portfolio of startups and mature companies in the segment. The Big Balmy will be one of them. He and his associate plan to build up The Big Balmy nationwide and expand the business via franchise even further (internationally). The Big Balmy it also an investment opportunity for family offices and other wealthy individuals. “As we plan on growing quickly we want to structure our expansion also with new funding rounds.”