This marketplace of products for intolerant foodies and vegans received CHF 25,000 from some 180 voluntary contributors and is now online
Since this October, Swiss customers with all common food intolerances can find everything they need for tasty and healthy meals in one place: www.eldino.ch. This young online shop has put together a wide range of local and international products – gluten-free, lactose-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan – to meet specific food needs in a simple, interactive and entertaining way.
“I wanted to finally make it easy for people with food intolerances to get all the products they need,” said Eldino founder Justine Gilliot.
With the aim of bringing fun to cooking for those with food intolerances, Eldino offers discovery boxes, shares interesting recipes and engages its customers through an original loyalty system inspired by video games. By completing missions on the website, users can collect digital points that unlock additional benefits.
The platform is easy to navigate, is available in German, English and French and delivers orders throughout Switzerland.
“I wanted to finally make it easy for people with food intolerances to get all the products they need,” said Eldino founder Justine Gilliot. “The motivation came from my personal experience. I am lactose intolerant, my brother is allergic to dairy products, and my mother has to eat gluten-free. The search for ingredients for family meals has always been a challenge. There are many gluten-free offerings in the USA, plenty of vegan products in the UK and a great choice of cheese alternatives in France. But if you wanted to get all of these in Switzerland, you have to order them from abroad, wait, pay delivery and taxes. That is ridiculous. So I decided it was time to do something about it.”
About 20% of the Swiss population suffer from food allergies or intolerances, and this number is constantly increasing. Although regular retail chains meet some of these customers’ needs, the variety and range of products is not always impressive. “With Eldino, food intolerance is no longer a reason to eat tasteless food or pay huge delivery fees,” said Justine about the idea behind her online store.
It seems that Justine is not the only one who is tired of searching for suitable ingredients. Almost 180 people have found the project to be such a great idea that they contributed to raising initial capital to launch the website. “I was surprised how many people supported me! I am forever grateful for each and every one of them,” Justine said.
After a successful crowdfunding effort, the young start-up has surrounded itself with partners who share the same values. Today Eldino helps others in need by donating its discounted packs to the Partage association.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Justine Gilliot is a marketing and advertising expert, born in Belgium, raised in Asia and currently living in Geneva. She is developing her online store Eldino parallel to a full-time job at a marketing strategy agency. While juggling these two professional roles, she also finds time to cook, write and travel.
It was international experience that gave Justine the idea to finance the launch of Eldino through crowdfunding. “Some of my friends from France and Belgium have started their businesses in the last few years and crowdfunding has helped them a lot. I thought that the concept could also work in Switzerland,” explains Justine. “It was a fantastic experience. I received numerous messages encouraging me to go ahead with the project. Actually receiving the entire necessary budget was amazing. It was also a blend of excitement and fear; now there was no turning back. However, it’s this combination of thrill and gratitude for all the support that motivates me immensely every day.”