5 minutes with Zsolt Stefkovics, Fellow Creatures

26 August 2022, 07:52 AM
  • Zsolt Stefkovics, founder of vegan chocolate start-up Fellow Creatures, shares an inspiring Winston Churchill quote, his last supper plans, and the weirdest thing he's ever eaten
5 minutes with Zsolt Stefkovics, Fellow Creatures

What would you be doing if you weren’t in the food industry? 
I studied Film & Media so I would be working as a part of a large crew producing for screen or TV. Although this may sound glamorous it’s nowhere as exciting as working as an FMCG founder. 

What was your first job? 
I did an internship for the national evening news in Hungary where I’m originally from. It was immensely exciting to get to work in such a crazy and fast-paced environment - this really helped raise my stress threshold. 

What inspires you? 
Positive news inspires me. I remember, as a kid, the ozone hole was rapidly expanding due to harmful gases used in aerosol cans. Once manufacturers stopped synthesising these gases the ozone hole started to shrink. I find it endlessly inspiring that we actually solved an environmental crisis of a massive scale and it fills me with hope for the future of humankind. 

What’s your favourite part of the job? 
Running a start-up perfectly suits me as my brain needs constant stimulation from various angles. I really enjoy having to wear various hats all in the same day from product development through logistics or management. My favourite part is new product development. It’s very rewarding witnessing thoughts becoming tangible objects that people consume and love. 

And your least favourite? 
Early on in my start-up journey, I found it difficult dealing with rejection from buyers - of course, as a founder, I’m naturally biassed. As the market for indulgent vegan chocolate grows and consumer taste buds evolve, Fellow Creatures is seeing a massive growth in online sales and through the independent channel. This year to date, our range became available via various wholesalers such as CLF, Suma, Epicurium, Tree of Life and Diverse Fine Foods unlocking more than 200+ independent health stores nationally. We’re very excited to see this trend continue. 

What would be your last supper? 
A bottomless vegan sushi platter with limitless amounts of ginger kombucha. For pudding, I’d go for a sorbet and fruit salad drizzled with our Wowza Choc Hazelnut Spread. It’s not just a shameless plug; it’s actually incredible! 😉 

What’s your motto? 
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” This is actually a Winston Churchill quote that really encapsulates the essence of being an entrepreneur. 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 
There’s a tropical plant called Monstera Deliciosa, which has become really popular as a houseplant. The plant bears an alien-looking banana-like fruit in the wild that’s actually edible. Although the fruit looks horrifying, it has incredible flavours of pineapple, strawberries and banana. 

Sweet or savoury? 
I’d have to say both! Our Salted Caramel Choc is the perfect harmony of sweet and savoury and I often add a couple of bits of it to my porridge for breakfast.

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