Marwen Béjaoui is the co-founder of FRAICHI, a natural food and beverages company that produces a range of fresh fruit and vegetable juices. The young brand has already built a loyal fan base and provides 8 jobs in region of Beja.
"The story of FRAICHI begins in 2013 with two of my friends, Ahmed and Chahinaze,” says Marwen. “We all had stable employment at the time. I was a commercial and a warehouse manager in a food marketing company. We saw an opportunity in the growing demand for natural, fresh juices and decided to launch our own brand.”
Marwen studied Agribusiness and also has a master’s degree in natural products. Combining their skills and professional experience, the friends entered a business partnership and gained the support of the local Business Center in Beja to carry out their feasibility study. They were lucky to be selected as co-creators in the program of the Social and Solidarity Enterprise, launched by the Ministry of Employment, which granted them an interest-free loan of 150,000 Tunisian Dinars. Marwen was then put in touch with the regional expert of the Mashrou3i project, organized by UNIDO and funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation and HP Foundation.
“Mashrou3i gave us all the necessary support for a good launch, by offering us, among other things, a training seminar on environmental and energy techniques, as well as a training workshop on sales and marketing techniques,” explains Marwen. “Through Mashrou3i, I also had the opportunity to present FRAICHI and our product range on the regional radio. Before the interview I was coached by a UNIDO expert who helped improve my oral communication and presentation techniques.”
The partners originally planned to sell FRAICHI through supermarkets, but based on the advice of the UNIDO expert, they decided to first focus on penetrating the local market and perfecting their fresh fruit and vegetable juice range.
"Thanks to the support of the project Mashrou3i, we are now working on the registration of the brand and the product certification. FRAICHI is only one-years-old but already enjoys a good reputation with hotels and coffee shops in the region that we have been able to retain through the quality of our products."
"The future is bright for FRAICHI,” says Marwen. “We want to open a shop in Beja where we can sell our juices and also try out new products, like fresh salads, to market throughout the North West region and beyond.”