Eating raw fish was not very common in Madrid in 1999, other than a few Japanese restaurants that existed. These restaurants were either targeting Japanese tourists in Madrid or well-traveled, high-income individuals who had discovered sushi abroad. Sushita’s founders belonged to the second group. Young and cosmopolitan, both Sandra Segimon and Natasha Apolinario were quickly attracted to sushi on their trips to London and New York.
They started their business by developing sushi trays. After years of growing a successful sushi takeaway business, one of their most important clients was lost in an expansion strategy disagreement. The client was forcing Sushita to open a large number of sushi corners at their own expense. This client represented 35% of their sales so losing them as a client could be a huge blow to their projected revenues for that year and years to come.
Following this major setback, Sandra and Natasha decided to never again be overly dependent on a single client. So what should they do? They knew that they needed to continue growing the Sushita brand but how? They were already present in the most important supermarket chains in Spain, and they had recently started selling frozen takeaways to major Spanish national hotel chains.