A crisis doesn't only cause concern; it creates opportunities too. Tim Struckman was of that same mind. He decided to start his own business. This Dutch company focuses on importing exotic fruit and vegetables. And, so, at the beginning of August, Exotic Roots was launched.
Tim Struckman of Exotic Roots
Exotics in the spotlight
Even the challenges facing airfreight didn't discourage Tim. "I've always been passionate about the fruit and vegetable trade. I'd prefer to do that with my own company. And focusing on exotic fruit and vegetables. I think these products still aren't well-represented in the market. We also want to bring these exotic products to the public's attention. For example, we noticed a lot of demand for citrus in recent months. These contain a lot of vitamin C. But fruits like guavas have even more vitamin C than most oranges."
Tim has spent the last few months getting contacts, partners, and materials. These were needed to start his business. He has now been trading for about three weeks. "It's great," says Tim enthusiastically. "Via our partners, we import directly from growers, using airfreight. Most of our goods still come from India for now. But, we want to expand to other production countries in the future. It's wonderful that our clients receive their products within only three days of it being harvested."
"We don't only specialize in expediency and exotic products. We're also client-orientated. So, we don't only directly import good products, hence the name, Exotic Roots. We can also adjust to and move with our clients' wishes. Our target group is mostly retailers and wholesalers. In the future, we want to grow to include other European areas like Germany and Scandinavia."
Okra, guava, and drumsticks
Exotic Roots' top sellers aren't the usual bulk tomatoes or bell peppers, but exotic products. "Currently, okra, guava, and pomegranates are selling well," explains Struckman. "Soon, we'll add other products, including Dutch ones. Think of lemon basil and orange mint. We are also busy setting up our own brand."
When asked which is his favorite, Tim has to think carefully. "It's hard to choose. But I think it's drumstick beans. These are very healthy but not well-known at all. But we, as Exotic Roots, are going to change that," Tim concludes.