22 Apr, 2024 @ 16:19
1 min read

Two teens from Malaga create a vegan, gluten-free and edible cutlery business: Six cafes have already stocked their vanilla-flavoured coffee stirrers

TWO young entrepreneurs have won praise across Spain for their edible cutlery business.

Malaga-based Ivan Marmolejo, 19, and best friend Jose Robles, now 20, are the founders of Plash, a company which makes 100% edible, vegan and gluten-free coffee stirrers.

The lads have known each other since high school and have spent years trying to bring their product to market.

Ivan told El Español: “At school we started doing our first tests, and we opened a few online stores that didn’t go very well.”

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Ivan and Jose during their research trip to Costa Rica

They both decided to study a degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation at the University of Mondragon – during which they enjoyed a tip to the University of Costa Rica, where they fell in love with coffee.

Ivan added: “In Costa Rica we researched and learned a lot about coffee, we became complete geeks, and we decided that we wanted to start in this sector…

“We already knew the topic of edible cutlery, which was popular in Latin America and Europe, and we decided to make stirrers edible for coffee, which are like wooden sticks that are thrown away, but that can be eaten.”

Currently, the coffee stirrers by Plash taste like vanilla, but more flavours are in the works.

They planned their business during their trip to Costa Rica and by the time they returned to Malaga they were receiving samples from suppliers.

In March they began flogging their stirrers to cafes and bars across Malaga, with at least six now stocking them.

Malaga-based Ivan Marmolejo, 19, and best friend Jose Robles, now 20, are the founders of Plash, a company which makes 100% edible, vegan and gluten-free coffee stirrers

They include Grazia coffee & bar, in Fuengirola; Prados Cafeteria, in Benalmadena; Bootes Cafas to go!, in Marbella; and Pura Vida Cafe Bar, ROU Mate Cafe Bar and Caramello Salato Cafe, in Malaga city.

The lads next want to expand to hotels, resorts and catering events such as weddings of baptisms.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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