How did the idea start?
We discovered water lily pops on one of our travels in 2018. Our friendship started when we collaborated on a plastic recycling project earlier that year and were looking for a new challenge to continue our start-up journey. We had heard tales of the mysterious water lily seeds and decided to set out on an adventure in search of the prickly water lily flowers. After a long 48hr travel by plane, bus and train we finally found the source close to the himalayan foothills. Standing in front of the large natural ponds, we decided to start ZENKO.
We saw an opportunity to improve the supply chain by innovating the manual process and improving the product quality to make it export-ready. Doing something with agriculture was very natural because it’s what we know best, having both grown up on the farmlands of Belgium. Trained as a Bio-engineer in tropical crops, Jochim moved to India and set up our production facility where he continues to share his knowledge with our local team. In the meantime, Wouter has navigated the Covid situation that struck right after our launch and managed to list Zenko in more than 150 stores in Singapore in preparation to bring our products overseas.
Why are we doing this?
There’s no greater adventure than building something that no one has tried before. We have the freedom to choose what we want to focus on, to prioritize sustainable practices and long term impact over short term profits and create a story that we can be proud of. This is the beginning of a story that we want to read to our children, and we want to tell it our way.
Our possibilities are endless as the world has so many superfoods that have yet to be discovered. Every day our customer base grows as more people choose to live a healthier lifestyle and value the importance of sustainable production that creates positive impact. We hope you join us on this amazing adventure and explore your dreams!
What is the future we dream of?
We want to continue to explore the world and discover more superfoods. With every place we learn new ways to improve outdated supply chains, involve local communities and build sustainable economies. By going superlocal and working from seed to snack, we can replicate a sustainable model that focuses on local products and set them up for the global stage as premium healthy ingredients. We want to educate consumers about where products come from, what they are made of and who is responsible for making them. Together we hope to create a world that is more connected and conscious.
Wouter & Jochim