Own boss: a former physicist has opened in Kherson shop for dried tomatoes

The life of Andrew Deripaska, scientist, traveler, and cook—lover, changing the Kherson tomatoes. A graduate of the physics Department were peacefully engaged in science, worked in sales and service of complex equipment, and did not even know that one day hobby will make him a pioneer of the food industry.

“I have travelled a lot and in each new city, each country tried to find an interesting restaurant and is something original out there to try, says gastrointest. Once, 5-6 years ago, I met with sun-dried tomatoes. And so they admired that since then began to look for ways to apply them in my culinary experiments”.

The tomatoes that managed to get in Ukraine was not satisfied with quality or price, and Andrew, connecting knowledge and experience in physics, I decided to try to make the product yourself. Thus began his experiments in the kitchen: at one time, instead of closing home preserving cook worked alone tomatoes, trying to zavalit them as necessary.

“Friends are very praised, he kept asking do I think to produce them. And in the end, these conversations and thought “why not?” led to the appearance of a small tomato plant,” recalls Andrew.

Since then, the production worked for the second summer, increased the turnover by 2.5 times and already got followers and competitors. But the entrepreneur is not afraid of competition: be sure that the tomatoes and the market will be enough for everyone, and plans to produce 10 times more product than it is now.


Unfortunately, in Ukraine, the tomato is a vegetable, seasonal, and train in their drying Andrei could only in the summer. The first season was spent on the experiments, the second to technology improvement, the third — for the manufacture of snacks for their needs, and only next year hands reached industrial production.

“Education was all I needed: I just combined their knowledge of physics with gastronomy intuition, plus the skills to work in the kitchen, — says the businessman. — At the initial stage enough small team: his wife (also a physicist) managed accounts (as of increasing financial tasks given to outsourcing), my former classmate and essential companion for supervising plant in Kherson, and helpers — my cousin with his girlfriend. In the workshop worked two workers. But the procurement time hire a few dozen more staff”. The shop is small but productive, said Andrew, and his run took about 10 thousand dollars. According to Andrew, met in a modest amount only because of constantly optimized the flow of funds, didn’t know how to re-plan spending, spread in time delay. In April 2015, found the shop, bought the equipment, suszarki, autoclaves, tables, utensils, and supplies — jars, lids… And at the end of the summer, after 5 months, has already issued the first batch of the author’s product.

ADVERTISING. This product is better once to try than hundred times to read. So Andrew began actively to present tomatoes on fairs and festivals street food. Handing out materials that were treated were published on specialized sites for crafting manufacturers. “Not without promotion in social networks, through the restaurants: some restaurateurs themselves, the emphasis on the fact that use in your kitchen, Ukrainian exclusive, others we ask you to focus on this account, when to make meals customers,” says Andrew.

Tomatoes are grown in Ukraine as long as in Greece or Italy, and inexcusable that we still do not have the tradition of manufacturing such savory snacks. “To make up for the omission, we came up with some exclusive recipes that do not have imported counterparts and should be seen as authentic Ukrainian product. So, our tomatoes vyalyatsya with garlic, fennel seeds, unrefined sunflower oil. Foreigners really like it!”, — boasts a chef-taught.


“To much I was willing: to undergo hardship, to solve problems, which immediately will pick up the correct answer — and I don’t know whether he did. So all what came across, took for granted. If the companion said, “we Have a problem”, I corrected him: “Not a problem, yet unsolved problem,” explains Deripaski. But doubts very tortured novice businessman: go or no thing worth to do anyway… work to break it was not planned — was going to combine with their work. But when serious differences arose with the Director, had to go at all and stay self-sufficient. “It was a difficult time. Business just appeared to live without a paycheck was, frankly, disturbing. When friends asked, “How was it to be my own boss?”, replied: “I’m a free man now: want — from morning to night work, do not want — from evening to morning” — says the physicist. But it has evolved. In addition to private buyers, the firm were customers of the shops and restaurants, which give the documents for the products. “We can be waiting for months or even years, small businessman financial buffer will be enough for a few weeks. Therefore limited to the minimum necessary permissions, the rest — along the way,” he says.


First of all, radically changed the terms of communication: it became dominant people with completely different values, vision of life and psychology. “When you communicate with a certain contingent of people, develops its own picture of the world. And if the environment changes, culture shock occurs” — describes the experience of the entrepreneur. There are many time for family. “Actually, it’s because wife and I lead all things to the couple. But if I go on a trip (in the Kherson plant in the period of harvesting is necessary for summer to come back several times) — go with children. So something like a joint holiday,” explains Deripaski.


Andrew advises to think thrice before getting involved in a startup. “I used to have free time and money. Now and then, and another takes a growing company, — says the co-founder of the shop. — If things go OK, then you’ll spin that high risk of becoming a hostage to his case. Own business — this is in a sense a fad. But not everyone in it. And maybe you have more chances to build good career than to be successful in Commerce.”


In 2015, when the world saw the first Ukrainian sun-dried tomatoes, Andrew was 33 years old. Its implementation of the project expected for 5 years, and start in less than 5 months, issuing to the sale of immediately about 1400 nominal bottles of product innovations. A year later, in 2016, they have become 2.5 times more. But if the partners managed to find an investor to put in about 4.5 million UAH from — already last summer of cans produced would be not less than 14 000. “I had to increase the volume of their efforts. But the next leap, I think, is the 10, and after — and 100-fold increase”, — Andrey Deripaski plans.

Now the little shop has been cooperating with more than 20 shops and around 80 restaurants, from spring to New years every weekend involved at least one public event — a fair or festival (and there is at least 40 per year). On the absolute income of the companions, that, however, is not reflected. “Everyone can absolutely not count more than 10 thousand UAH per month, — says CEO of the shop. — While every spare penny goes into the development, because the investor is still not found”.