Founder at Vegan4All, Spain
Starting his fifth decade on Earth with a bang – founding his own marketing agency, Essential MK, after years alongside the best in the industry – Albert Solé didn’t necessarily plan to launch two booming vegan brands in the midst of the 2020 lockdown. Yet, what’s meant to be finds its way.
Towards the end of 2019, a friend referred him to a client in the vegan industry, and a candid partnership soon resulted in a co-founder offer. Albert’s expertise appeared to be pivotal to Vegan4All’s success, yet he politely declined. “Here I was, with my own company (one of the big decisions of my life), dedicated to marketing and advertising, and with no interest in starting another project from scratch,” this dad to five children between the ages of 19 to 13 recalls. He even went on to recruit the best co-founder fit. And still, just a couple of months later, in the first lockdown in history, he stood at the notary office as one of three co-founders. What changed?
“The world of the future will either be vegan, or there won’t be any. That was my reason to build this.”
Inspirations, go-to’s and lifehacks:
- Pandemic lifehack that helped you survive 2021: living life in peace (at home)
- Last series/movie that kept you awake: Fauda, on Netflix
- Favorite book / A book everyone should read: not a book, but 2 Scandinavian writers: Camilla Läckberg and Jo Nesbo. I have all their books!
- Favorite food / favorite vegan treat: I really love our YesBut Broccoli wings, but often devour the Garden Gourmet Veggie spinach and cheese patty. Delicious!
“A series of events, including the other two co-founders – the first being the original client, and the second an industry friend and long-term coworker of mine – calling me after our initial meeting, telling me they’ll only go on if I joined.” Albert’s inner compass nodded: “I joined to put a little grain of sand in what I think is a task that affects us all: the future of our children and grandchildren. I would like to help make people in the European environment aware of the need to change the current madness of a system built to meet consumption demand of animal meat, fish, chicken, and so on.
From that moment on, Albert, Juan, and Xavi started a frantic activity: two brands with different positionings, two namings, two different designs and visual identities, several packagings, brand registrations, negotiations with suppliers and future clients, websites to put ilowU (tasty clean food for people with irritable bowel syndrome) and YesBut (refrigerated foods from soy free cheese to pizzas) on people’s radar – and plates, preferably. Apart from developing their own products and brands, they also partnered with Canadian industry leader, Daiya Foods.
“In October 2020, we launched the first YesBut vegan cheeses production, and in June 2021, we launched the first YesBut products: Broccoli Wings (my favorite!) and the Vegenuggets. We closed 2021, our first year in operation, with gross sales of 100,000 EUR from Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian markets – a number we hope to multiply by 6 by the end of 2022.” In 2021, they also expanded their range of frozen foods with excellent pizza, meatballs, and burgers. A YesBut fish alternative is in the works, and so is the expansion to the UK and Germany.
Albert is one of the Food Heroes for 2022. See more inspiring and world-changing stories from Food Heroes here.