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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - KredEx case study: HeyDay (Estonia), Food & Beverage

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“Forget concentrates, pasteurisation, added sugar and additives. HeyDay is clean, natural, organic juice with a large dose of Nordic thinking” explains Janno Veskimäe, CEO of HeyDay.

Anton and Janno were university buddies who hadn’t met for nearly ten years, until they bumped into one another at a petrol station. Soon after, they met up for dinner and a sauna at Anton’s, making fresh juice for themselves and the kids, and a discussion started about how to get the balance right, fully aware that a bit too much ginger or celery could totally ruin the taste, regardless of how healthy it was. One thing led to the next and soon they were talking about a ‘juice revolution’. “We wanted to set up the first organic juice factory in northern Europe, using local organic produce to minimise our carbon footprint and new high-pressure processing (HPP) technology, making it possible to preserve the juice for longer without pasteurising it.”

By January 2015, they had left behind their suits and ties and founded HeyDay, headquartered initially in a make-shift space under the garage stairs of a shipbuilding plant. For Janno, the start-up phase was a challenge: “We didn’t know anything about cold-pressing technology or the regulations. But we dedicated a lot of time to get informed. We went to see a similar company in Italy, we attended fairs all over the world and we visited the German Institute of Food Technologies. Soon we were in a position to open our own juice factory.”

Setting up their own factory meant renovating an old building to make it suitable, respecting all the relevant regulations. This required a significant investment. “At that point, most banks were not willing to give us a loan without guarantees and it was too early to seek an equity investment. We simply had no value created yet.” With the help of a loan secured through Kredex, and guaranteed by the EU under the Investment Plan for Europe, Janno and Anton were able to access the funding they needed. In March 2016 renovation started and by October, HeyDay juices hit the Estonian market.

Today, HeyDay employs 15 people, exporting to Finland and France. Most interestingly, however, the company also has a very human side: “When we created HeyDay, the idea came from the wish to make everyone’s lives a little better, enjoying every day with the healthiest juice. But it also included helping those in need. This is why we give five cents from each bottle sold to those who need it the most – disadvantaged children.” In Estonia, HeyDay supports a local orphanage.

Company: HeyDay (Estonia)

Type of business: bakery

EIF financing: COSME LGF,  EFSI

Financial intermediary: KredEx

For further information abiout EIF intermediaries in Estonia, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/ee

 

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