20 July 2017

In the spotlight: Petozzi

Inge Muijshondt
Marketing | MyOnlineStore

It may sound like some fancy Italian brand or a little-known local Dutch dish, but in reality it’s a hip kids’ store based in Brabant. Petozzi was launched in 2014. What started as a spontaneous fun idea has meanwhile grown into a successful online and physical store. We paid Petozzi a visit and had a chat with the owners, cousins Geertje and Anoek.

What’s the story behind Petozzi?

Anoek: I had discovered a fun English brand that was unavailable in the Netherlands, so I thought to myself, “Why not sell it here?”. We then set out to find other cool brands and we looked into launching an online store. We spent a few months preparing and setting up – from August 2014 to January 2015 to be precise – and in late January petozzi.com went live.

Left: Geertje, Right: Anoek

To be honest, we don’t really know. ‘Petozzi’ is basically mixed mashed vegetables with bacon, but in Dutch, it also means ‘a bit of everything’ – and that’s also what our store offers. We buy a variety of brands, a bit of everything, so there you go. We also liked the word ‘petozzi’ aesthetically, because of the double ‘z’. Many people think it’s Italian, but nope, it’s Dutch to the core, from our very own region, Brabant ;)

Geertje: We often sold our products on Swan Market, an online platform, and at pop-up stores. It was such a huge success that we decided to open an actual physical store. We are both from Berlicum, so while looking for a space in Den Bosch, Anoek happened to find this building. I immediately told her we should email the real-estate agent, but she had actually already done that, haha! We fell in love with it straight away. It’s a nice little store in a good location and the surrounding alleys are filled with more fun stores. Shoppers who like these stores will most probably stop by ours too.

It’s going great! At the moment, our physical store is even busier than our online store. People from across the Netherlands come and visit. Most of the brands we sell were only available in the Randstad region, not in the cities.

Anoek: I used to work at Sligro, a cafeteria, and at OAK, so I had no experience whatsoever in ecommerce. Geertje was a special education expert at a school for children with special needs. Now we work exclusively at Petozzi. Three days a week we work at the store and the rest of the week we take care of our kids. We make sure we take turns at Petozzi, to cover the full week, which is a pity really, because we’d love to spend more time together. Luckily, we live only 50 meters from one another.

Geertje: Whoever is working at the physical store also processes incoming orders. Anoek takes care of the accounts, usually on Tuesday morning, when it’s not too busy at the store. Anoek generally also answers emails, but then again, we divide our work as it comes. Whoever is available, takes charge. I usually update our social media channels  - I take photos, edit them and post them.

Geertje and Anoek working together for once, especially for this interview – fun times ;)

Geertje: No, we usually just post things we like, spontaneously. When I’m at the store I try to take more pictures for the days when Anoek is there. We also publish a lot of photos of our brands on our Instagram page, which is attracting more and more followers, so that’s great!

Our agencies  convinced us that having a multilingual store is the way to go. To be honest, we weren’t expecting customers from abroad to order from our Dutch online store, but now we have people from all over Europe placing orders – from Belgium to Germany and Sweden – and even beyond – Taiwan, Japan and Canada, you name it. So yes, that was a great move!

Well, the online store started more as a little gimmick. We thought, “Let’s find ourselves another hobby, haha!”. We just did it for fun. Before it officially went live, we already had our first order, because it turned out the store had accidentally been opened already! Orders started pouring in and once we opened our physical store, we felt it was the perfect addition to the existing offer in our region.

No, we don’t think so. That’s really a whole different business and it would become an additional full-time job. With each of us working part-time, Petozzi is actually a full-time job in itself. Never say never, but it’s not something we’re missing at the moment. We’ll leave that to someone else. It’s not our thing for now ;) 

“Before it officially went live, we already had our first order, because it turned out the store had accidentally been opened already!”

We see a lot of fun brands on Instagram. Last January we went to Paris, where we discovered the brand Go Soaky. Customers at our physical store sometimes suggest new brands too, which we really love! 

No, but it is time-consuming. You can make it as pretty and complicated as you like. I have to say though, we hadn’t really thought about what could go wrong. It’s really nice that you need to set up things like payment methods and stock management only once and that’s it. All sorted!

That it’s all ours. It doesn’t really feel like working, but more like a hobby. Many of our customers tell us they would like to do something like this too, but they’re afraid of taking that leap. We didn’t really stop and think about it too much. We just did it. And that’s our advice actually: “Just go ahead and do it!”.

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