‘Our world and our health can only change if we change how we eat. That is why we’re introducing Italian cuisine with healthy, vegan and, above all, delicious ideas into the midst of society.’

Piero Brunetti

Piero from Mondarella

The FOUNDER’S STORY

If you’ve always wondered who’s behind Mondarella, this is the place to find out! We sat down and talked with Piero Brunetti, the founder and soul of Mondarella, and here are his fascinating answers:

‘Piero, what exactly is your vision?’

‘I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can improve feeding the world. And the part I can play in that. If you’ve amassed this much knowledge in just under 20 years of research, then it’s your duty to pass it on to the world. Everyone knows what kind of fuel they put in their car, but only few know what happens when we eat food. My job, and therefore my vision, is to disseminate this knowledge to all those who are interested in it.
That’s why I develop foods that are produced differently, and why I hope to pique the curiosity of our customers so that we can introduce them to a completely new way of eating.
I firmly believe that things will change just like they did with cigarettes: in a few years, it will be quite normal to mainly eat healthy vegetarian food and to only consume a small portion of animal products. This is what I will be helping to make happen by developing the best-tasting products.’

‘How did you come up with the Mondarella brand name?’

‘Looking back, it was all quite logical really: we make almond-based mozzarella with 20% almonds. So, we took the word “Almonds” and combined it with the word “Mozzarella”.’

‘Can you make a vegetarian mozzarella with other raw ingredients?’

‘Of course. That’s something anyone can do that in their own kitchen. All you need are some cashews and a few other high-quality ingredients. Almonds, however, taste the best. Plus, they’re really healthy and simply amazing. Studies show the positive benefits of almonds. They’re a real superfood!’

‘There are also some similar products on the market.’

‘Yes, that’s true. Our Mondarella, however, uses a very high percentage of almonds – 20%. And we only use a few, exclusively natural raw ingredients, and our secret recipe. You can truly taste this all combined together.’

‘If you look at Mondarella’s list of ingredients, it’s surprising to see so few ingredients.’

‘We now know that, the fewer ingredients used, the better they need to be to produce a higher-quality product. No flavour enhancers, dyes, flavouring substances, etc. are required. We don’t use any animal ingredients, palm oil or coconut oil, genetic engineering, or sugar, gluten and soy in our production process.’

‘Where and how do you actually produce Mondarella?’

‘After many years of developing our product in Italy, Spain, England, the USA and Germany and preparing for the market launch, we keep our production on the sales market as local as possible, using as few raw materials as we can. To do this, we set up a production facility just outside Berlin that specialises in vegetarian products. The ‘Mondarella family’ are committed to production with all their expertise and passion. Of course, we have to import a large amount of almonds, so we make sure they’re grown in an environmentally friendly and healthy manner. Maybe in a few years time, Italy will have larger almond plantations that will enable us to meet increasing demand.’

‘Why is Italian cuisine your source of inspiration?’

‘Because it is straightforward, works well and is absolutely scrumptious. A few ingredients – carefully selected with passion – are usually all that’s required. In most cases, it’s the things that are simple that turn out great.’

Mondarella asparagus
‘What were your biggest surprises and challenges?’

‘For one, how unprofessional the food industry is and how often you have to deal with envy and resentment; that was a big shock to me. Above all, how much they are stuck in their ways and not willing to open up to innovation and new things in general.’

‘What was the most difficult thing?’

‘I’d have to say, convincing my partners and investors how important it is not only to develop a good product but to build a high-quality brand with long-term measures, and getting them to understand that these investments must be seen as the core of the business. I’ll give you an example: everyone is focused on developing the product, but communication and marketing are completely underestimated. Sometimes, they’re not even understood or considered to be a necessity because the product is so good.’

‘Is there anything you would do differently today than you did before?’

‘No, because we only understand how to get better by learning. That’s how you grow and get better. Sure, you can always say “I’d do it better” after the fact. But it’s the experience which is important and necessary. So, no, I would do everything exactly the same.’

‘What is still to come from you? Do you have any other plans?’

‘Yes, of course. We’re happy about the positive market response we’re currently experiencing, both here and abroad. We are developing further varieties and completely new ideas – naturally all based on almonds. But there are still many other possibilities. We’ll keep you updated, just take a look at our Instagram and Facebook.’

‘How do you balance work and life? How much time do you have for your family?’

‘That’s a problem sometimes. I spend part of my time in Berlin and the other on Sardinia, and I also regularly have to travel to other locations. I would like to see my little son more often, and of course my family in Italy too. Travel is also very restricted right now with the whole coronavirus pandemic. There is some potential for more… but I’m greatly motivated and balanced by Monderalla’s success and the encouragement I get from kind people.’

Family
‘Are you afraid of anything?’

‘In general, no. The only exception is not being able to be the father that my son needs in order to be prepared for the life that awaits him later.’

‘Do you have a role model?’
‘Do you have any words of advice for anyone considering founding a food tech start-up?’

‘Keep a clear focus and expect bad setbacks. Don’t be naive, prepare and be professional. I accumulated several years of experience working with start-ups before I founded my own business. That helped me tremendously. Most importantly, however, you need to be very passionate and have an unwavering belief in your idea. You’ve got to keep your eye on the prize at all times and stay positive. Every setback is just an experience that helps you get ahead and that propels the idea forward. In other words, it’s just another leap forward.’

Almonds Exclamation mark

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