Samwich

An Iranian business with an American flavour in Germany

Iranian friends, Sepehr Borumand and Sam Rastegar, always dreamt of becoming entrepreneurs. The two friends worked alongside each other as managers in a Tehran-based company and later, Sam married Sepehr’s sister, making them a closenit family. Until Sam left for Germany in 2013.

Despite resetting with family in Germany, Sam’s first years in his new country were difficult. When he arrived, he didn’t know the language and was not familiar with the bureaucracy he faced as a refugee.

With a strong and positive attitude, Sam quickly picked up the German language and made his living as a Barista. Still, his dream of running his own business never left him.

“I always had a very entrepreneurial mindset. I wanted to be independent and able to create my own ideas and business concepts. Even if the first years in Germany were difficult for me, I looked for ways to maintain myself. I was always dedicated to starting my own business at some point.”

In 2015, Sepehr joined his friend and brother in law in Germany and they finally began to make plans for a small family business.

“We realised that there is not so much variety in German gastronomy. So we wanted to introduce a new type of cuisine”, remembers Sepehr.

The pair went on to create new food products including sandwiches, salads and side dishes with American spices and style. According to them, the American-style food did not yet exist in Frankfurt.

“We had to experiment a lot with different ingredients. The spices used in Germany are different from the ones in the US. We had to mix different types of spices to create our own flavour and it took us a lot of time. We tried a lot of ingredients and after several months we were finally able to provide our first pulled beef sandwich that tasted exactly the way it might taste in an American kitchen”.

Still, the dream of owning their own restaurant seemed far away. They needed startup capital but every bank refused to support them. They borrowed money from friends and relatives and began with a sandwich delivery service instead of a restaurant – Samwich was born.

“The first months were hard. We did not have our own kitchen yet and had to use the kitchen of an friend. We spent every day talking to strangers and encouraging them to try our food. We got a lot of feedback, introduced some more sandwich types and were able to grow the business”, says Sam.

At the beginning of 2019, with support from their friends and family, Samwich made a huge transformation. Sam and Sepehr were able to find an affordable location in Nidderau, a town just outside of Frankfurt, and finally opened their restaurant and delivery service. All the products, including sandwiches, salads, side dishes and even coffee and ice cream, quickly became famous locally.

Until today, all the family members play a very important role in the daily business activities. They want to continuously grow their business and hope to be able to help people with similar ambitions one day by investing in other’s innovative business ideas.

According to Sam, “nothing is impossible. You just have to keep on going and not care what others say”.

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This website is part of the project Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow — EMEN-UP (no. 764398) which has received funding from the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020)

The Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow

This website is part of the project Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow — EMEN-UP (no. 764398) which has received funding from the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020)

The Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow

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