Businessman Angel Jubete He is about to put the finishing touch on a three-year journey to revive one of the companies of his dreams. Virginias, the nougat and chocolate producer that it bought on the verge of bankruptcy, will enter profits this year (it does not specify how many) and will end the year with a turnover of 4 million.
Jubete had been obsessed for years with returning Catalonia to its position as a key area for the nougat industry. That is why he did not think too much about it when he learned of Virginias’ delicate situation: he decided to buy the company, create the group Acrimont Foods to manage it and combine manufacturing in Reus with a workshop in Agramunt (Urgell). This municipality, his town, had to be, in his opinion, the epicenter of the Catalan nougat industry. Now – he defends – between Virginias and Turrons Vicens, the town “already has two companies that are competing at the Spanish level.”
The key to Virginias taking off, achieved despite the pandemic, has been 5 million euros invested in betting much more on chocolate and product innovation. The most recent example is the launch of ‘pa amb tomaquet’ and ratafía nougats. Or your intention to enter the sports market by manufacturing energy bars.
The third major leg of its growth plan has been the opening of its own stores. And in fact, this last strategy is now expanded with its entry into the world of franchises.
“All the chocolate was linked to the nougat, but from now on we are relaunching the product and this will be a separate line,” explains Jubete. “The other point that we are promoting in the company is our own stores [tienen cuatro en total], which are working very well because they help us to seasonally adjust the product, and now we are entering the franchise world, “he adds. Specifically, the company started opening Virginias chocolate shops a month ago.
The goal is for its business volume to grow to 6 million euros in two or three years and to rise to 10 million in five years.
No supply crisis
The company’s prospects are so promising, explains Jubete, that they consider the problems caused by the pandemic to be resolved. Last year, “people could not have family reunions, so where before 10 nougat tablets were taken, they took two or three,” laments the head of Virginias. To this was added the little traffic in large stores. But “until today we can say that consumption has grown,” says Jubete. And that sales will surely grow more than in 2019.
In fact, they are not even excessively concerned about the supply crisis: in the nougat market, this expert contextualizes, the vast majority of raw materials are sold between February and March. As for next year “we are already talking about it and we do not think we have much problem,” he exposes. In particular, he confesses, because the company deals above all with local and national producers.