Some courage is needed for two successful business consultants to leave their well-paid jobs and start the adventure of being an entrepreneur. Even more courage is necessary to move to another country and produce something they only knew as consumers. Today, more than three years after opening their ice cream parlour Iceberg in Palma, Christoph Ziegler and Carlos Enriquez Sanchez can talk in a relaxed manner about their short but already successful career as entrepreneurs.
English, Spanish & German
It all began when, with thirty-something, they started to identify the downside of lucrative positions as business consultants: downsizing workforces was not what they wanted to spend their lives with. The decision was made in the summer of 2003, at a breakfast with a bottle of Chardonnay in Budapest: „We’ll quit our jobs and produce ice-cream,” they agreed. This decision was followed suit by facts.
They handed in their notice at the end of the year and planned their move with economic precision. The product was to be ice-cream, thus the corresponding knowledge had to be gained. A friend running an ice-cream parlour in Erlangen taught them how to produce ice-cream, on condition that their ice-cream parlour would be far away from his. And they had not planned on setting it up in Erlangen: the new ice-cream factory would be established somewhere with lots of months of sunshine, at a place with lots of locals and international tourists.
They chose Palma, which provided some kind of home field advantage for Carlos, a native Spaniard. With some luck they found the ideal place just next to the town hall. From January 2004 the new entrepreneurs rolled up their sleeves and got to work. At this point at the very latest, many others would have dropped out of the project, for the bureaucracy and the old building, formerly just an ordinary shop, demanded total commitment.
There was no time for friends and family. And there was no high-voltage current, which was necessary for the ice-cream machines. They only managed to get this sorted two days before the opening. However, the opening day, Holy Thursday 2004, was so successful that the ice-cream parlour had to close again the next day. There was simply no ice-cream left.
Still today, they only produce when and as required. Stock keeping is non-existent. The two ice-cream makers have high demands for their quality; everything has to be fresh, even the milk, which is delivered from the dairy in Porreres. The result is this heavenly creamy ice-cream. Artificial colours and preservatives are a taboo. The concept is clear: ice-cream to go. It is sold over the spic and span counter to the street. Just ice-cream, but in every variant imaginable.
And many, which you would never have imagined. Or have you ever eaten toffee ice-cream with pretzel sticks or rosemary sorbet. Everyone who tries them tells their friends about the »funny» ice-cream, and they in turn want to see the ice-cream parlour, where, of course, you will also find all the classic flavours. The creators are open to innovation, and their customers from the best restaurants support them.
The chefs help them create new recipes, at the moment they already have a portfolio of more than 200.
The customers from the gastronomy sector are an important pillar, and it is being further developed. Other plans for the future are the outsourcing of the production and the extension of the business with new ice-cream parlours. After all, the realization of the ice-cream dream is based on economic calculations, part of which is the advertising agency for the design of the logo and packaging, as well as the canny media presence, which especially attracts German tourists to the small ice-cream parlour.