Start-up: Stella-Oriana Strüfing - Sober Business

2021-05-03 The Leuphana alumna has developed an alcohol-free alternative to gin. "Laori Juniper No 1" is now on the market and its founder from Berlin is taking off despite the Corona crisis. On Monday, 3 May, the founder presented her product on the TV show "Höhle der Löwen" at 8.15 pm on Vox.

Alumna Stella Oriana Strüfung mit ihrem Co-Founder bei "Höhle der Löwen" ©TVNOW / Bernd-Michael Maurer
[Translate to Englisch:] Alumna Stella Oriana Strüfung and her Co-Founder, the food technologist Christian Zimmermann, at "Höhle der Löwen".

Stella-Oriana Strüfing set up her first office a few weeks ago. Now she is hiring employees. Even the Corona pandemic could not stop the founder of "Laori Drinks". The non-alcoholic alternative to gin is sold in supermarkets, delicatessens and online. However, the founder has set her sights on more than just developing a product. She wants to make her company sustainable. Already during her studies at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, she was involved in the "sneep" initiative for more ethics in business: "I want to create a company that is good for people and nature," says the founder. For her, this includes sustainable raw materials, plastic-free packaging, but also human interaction in the team: "When you start a company, you also have to ask yourself what effects your leadership behaviour has on your employees," says Stella-Oriana Strüfing. 
She studied business administration at Leuphana with a focus on sustainable development and entrepreneurship. Stella-Oriana Strüfing particularly appreciates Leuphana's interdisciplinary approach: "You get to know different perspectives. That's important for founding a company. After her Bachelor's degree, she completed an international double Master's programme at the TU Berlin and the University of Twente in the Netherlands. She studied "Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship" with a focus on the creation of innovations and start-ups. 
Stella-Oriana Strüfing had the idea for a non-alcoholic alternative to gin in a bar: she was sitting with friends in the evening and felt like something non-alcoholic other than coffee, soda or juice: "I just wanted a gin and tonic without alcohol." The idea for a start-up was born and Stella-Oriana Strüfing began experimenting in her home kitchen. Instead of alcohol, she used water for distillation. She was not yet convinced by the result. Together with her co-founder, the food technologist Christian Zimmermann, she optimised the process. Today, the two founders use a method from perfume production: herbs and spices are distilled individually on a water basis. This technique is considered particularly gentle. The aim is to achieve the smell and taste of alcoholic gin in a natural way: "Alcohol is over-present in our society and the choice of alternatives is limited," says the founder. 
Last year, "Laori Juniper No 1" won the FIC 2020 Food Award for best product. Television chef and author Christian Rach, for example, sits on the competition's jury. In addition, Stella-Oriana Strüfing has now been awarded the Digital Female Leader Award.