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TruStory 

Cocina Soluciones

Colombian sourced delicious products with a French experience

Cocina Soluciones S.A.S is a company that produces artisan bakery products inspired by French bakeries, using 90% locally sourced Colombian ingredients. Despite being a young company, it has gained recognition in Bogotá for its innovative, high-quality products. The bakery emphasizes the use of mostly organic raw materials, mostly organic, which generate significant social impact across various regions in Colombia.

The entrepreneurs

Founders Dylan Misrachi, Jerôme Di Salvio, and Camila Vélez established their own brand, “Mistral,” which now operates three restaurants/coffee shops in Bogotá. These outlets offer a welcoming experience to customers, supported by a team of highly trained, predominantly young staff.

 

“For a few years, Truvalu has been a great ally for us. They joined us at a crucial moment for our brand’s expansion, providing significant financial and mentoring support from the beginning. Thanks to their investment, we remodeled and expanded our house, and their expertise in financial, marketing, and production has improved many of our processes.” Camila Velez – Co founder Cocina Soluciones Mistral

Social and environmental impact

The three Bogotá shops employ 98 people (53 women), with 71% under 35. Managed by a team of six professionals (50% women), the company adheres to a code of conduct that includes favorable labor conditions (respecting the Colombian requirements). The board consists of 8 people (2 of them are women). In 2023, the company generated 55 metric tonnes of waste and is working on processes to reduce waste, avoid plastic, and use recycled materials for decoration and packaging.

The three Mistral sales points offer a menu with more than 50 options, with a high turnover, making the supply system for production inputs a fundamental component for this company. Cocina Soluciones was born as an enterprise committed to responsible production, providing its customers with high standards in product quality. For this reason, establishing a direct link with suppliers who share the same interest in generating social impact is essential for the company. Thus, it works with suppliers ranging from small farmers to associations and companies that positively impact more than 1,400 small producers involved in the maize (flour), dairy (liquid milk, butter, cheese, cream), coffee, and other supply chains.

Due to the diversity of products, the suppliers are distributed across different regions of Colombia. Notably, there are relationships with Agrosolidaria and the Committee of Cattle Ranchers of Caquetá, both of which have productive roles generating impact in one of the regions most affected by the conflict in Colombia.

Additionally, the company has established connections with other enterprises supported by Truvalu, such as Pomario for the supply of vegetables and edible flowers, and Lácteos Estelar for the supply of cheeses.

To complement this supply logic, Cocina Soluciones promotes the consumption of cage-free eggs and also showcases and sells products in Mistral like chocolates, jams, coffee, among others that come from companies making an impact in their respective value chains.

The product and production

The product

Cocina Soluciones produces deep-frozen, ready-to-bake products, offering a “French experience” through its neighborhood stores in Bogotá. They have 31 types of bread, with the croissant being the star product. Mistral outlets also sell semi-finished bakery products, desserts, and coffee, and prepare main courses like meat, sauces, soups, salted snacks, and side dishes, totaling around 51 references. The company sources from Caqueta, a region known for its milk and cocoa, which replaced illicit crops, benefiting smallholders through the purchase of inputs like Quesos Caqueta and free-range eggs.

Production

The company operates a 300m2 production plant in Bogotá’s industrial zone, with 100m3 dedicated to storing ultra-frozen foods (-10 °C). They blend handcrafted techniques with high technology to maximize production capacity. Their strategy focuses on selecting high-quality, organic raw materials, avoiding health-harming ingredients. The plant employs advanced technology, including the IQF process, to ensure product longevity without chemicals. Expert chefs trained in renowned French culinary schools contribute to the high craftsmanship and quality standards.

Cocina Soluciones strives for excellence through continuous improvement and innovation, aiming for profitable business units that foster growth and well-being for their collaborators, including suppliers and workers, and enhance market dynamics.

The uniqueness of the company

Cocina Soluciones – Mistral exemplifies responsible production and consumption. It emphasizes quality production linked to suppliers who respect the environment and natural cycles, establishing fair trade relations. Their consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of organic products and are willing to pay a premium for quality and producer benefits.

Future plans and scaling opportunities

Mistral aims to expand territorially through new restaurants in Bogotá and other cities, driven by positive market reception. Bogotá, with its large population and high-income consumption, is a key market. Mistral’s strategy indicates potential for 15 stores, prioritizing cities and channels for significant growth in the short-medium term. In April 2023, they opened their third point of sale in a high-income area, boosting turnover by more than 20%.

Co-entrepreneurship

Cocina Soluciones’ support process with Truvalu involves four stages:

  • Support to strategic and commercial management, in which, after analyzing different alternatives, the business model is established through a central production plant and opening of different own points of sale (3 at the moment), reducing sales in supermarkets and other coffee shops.
  • Prepare the company to receive the investment from Truvalu, for which the company’s fixed and variable cost structure had to be adjusted. Truvalu helped to define the priority needs of the plant and point of sale for its readjustment.
  • To generate more impact, Cocina Soluciones was linked  by Truvalu  to supplying impact companies that we supported.
  • Capital investment in exchange for shareholding, coaching through a board seat, building an action plan together, support in the decision-making and financial monitoring of the expansion.