Originally trained as an architect, Gabriela Alban now runs a business with her mother that makes natural, organic and healthy “sips and treats”. She wanted to do something more meaningful and thought the best way to do this was by starting her own business.
The idea for Capuli Club came from her country of origin, Ecuador. In Ecuador people drink a lot of herbal drinks and eat simple food. She says: “Dehydrated food is a natural way to flavor a drink and it’s something fun, new and different.” Capuli Club’s main product currently is infusion blends – flavor packs of dehydrated fruit that you can combine with water for a drink that has no added sugar and is natural, healthy and beautiful. Once you finish the drink, you can eat the fruit too for a snack! Capuli Club is all about bringing products that are more healthy and transparent to the masses. Gabriela thinks that this is something that’s currently lacking and much needed in the food industry.
This business has been running for about a year and they’re mostly selling online and at farmers markets and pop-up events. For now, Gabriela used her background in architecture to build a small facility on her parents’ property to live and work in. Plans are being made to sell the product in retail stores and eventually Gabriela would like her own store with a tasting room, because once people taste their product she thinks they’ll definitely buy it. A dedicated space will also fulfill the desire to create a community and place for people to share the experience of Capuli Club’s products. But those goals are long term, fist she’s thinking about creating a mobile selling point, like a food truck and designs are already in progress to move forward with retail packaging.
At the moment every process in the production is done by hand, which limits how much can be done. In the future they would like to make some investments to automate some steps of production, such as the bagging and packaging and a couple of machines to help process the food quicker. Producing more product will help Capuli Club meet increasing demand. This is where the relationship with Business Impact NW begins. Gabriela has a lot of help from her mentor, Darren Guyaz. She says it’s great to have someone to talk to about her business from the big picture perspective. She picks up new pieces of information every time they meet and it opens a whole new world when possibilities come to light. One of the biggest challenges was just making the decision to get started and go for it. Having a mentor has helped her overcome insecurities about being a first time business owner and has been a valuable resource for product feedback as well as answering all her questions.
The future’s looking bright for Capuli Club. They recently participated in the Impact Pitch competition as well as Celebrating Dreams Celebrating Success. A partnership with Bomond Vodka is in the works thanks to networking at Celebrating Dreams. They are working on a way to sell their products together so people can buy an all-in-one cocktail package. Not only would this make a delicious product, it will also help increase brand awareness. Gabriela says marketing hasn’t been the focus quite yet, so every opportunity to get their name out there is important. We asked if there was anything else she wanted to mention, and Gabriela was quick to say, “a really big part is that it’s been great to have my mother with me and to build this with her. It’s one of the things that keeps me motivated. Developing this relationship and this friendship has been really great, and I think clients will see the value in that too.” With so many plans for the future and the support to make them happen, we’re sure you’ll be seeing more from Gabriela and her mom soon.
Visit Capuli Club Sips and Treats online: https://www.capuliclub.com/