29 September 2022, 14:52 PM
  • Felix Baudenbacher, founder of vegan ice-cream sandwich brand NEED, shares his life motto, last supper and the weirdest thing he's ever eaten
5 minutes with Felix Baudenbacher, NEED

What would you be doing if you weren’t in the food industry?
I was a fine artist for nearly 20 years before I co-founded NEED three and a half years ago, so I’d be doing that again if I weren’t in the food industry.

What was your first job?
During the school holidays I worked as an assistant at an agricultural fair in eastern Switzerland for a company that made and sold whipped cream dispensers.

What inspires you?
Good people and good art.

What’s the worst job you’ve done?
Right after graduating art school I spent a very short time packaging ready-made soup in a factory. I did not enjoy it.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
I love developing new products and everything to do with our branding/packaging. I also love the reactions we often get to our products - I know it’s only a fleeting pleasure but eating something that really satisfies our taste buds makes us really happy and it’s just lovely to see that.

And your least favourite?
All the paperwork - I fully understand that it’s necessary but I’m looking forward to being able to hand a lot of that over to people who love doing that kind of thing and then we can all be happy.

How about the food industry?
It’s full of lovely people but you want to choose your collaborators very carefully.

What would be your last supper?
I’d start with gazpacho, then have vegan sushi as the main and finish with our very own STRAWBERRY & QUEEN (strawberry ice cream & shortbread biscuit) ice cream sandwich for dessert. To drink, I’d have a couple of glasses of prosecco as well as Valserwasser (a Swiss sparkling water) and a few bottles of MOMO Komboucha.

What’s your motto?
Under-promise and over-deliver.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Though I love food I’m not super adventurous in my tastes so usually wouldn’t go for the more out-there dishes. I do remember being offered camel’s milk in Tunisia as a child and I found that challenging - then again, I don’t like the taste of cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk either so maybe it’s just animal milk that’s not for me.

What’s your favourite book?
It’s a long time since I read it but I really loved All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. I think it spoke to my more youthful longings for freedom and meaning and self-determination. I’m not sure how I would respond to it today but I really loved it at the time.

Sweet or savoury?
That’s like making me choose between my mother and my father - I can’t so I won’t.