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Dasha Demidenko entrepreneurship and owner of Sancho Pancho

by Ivy June

Some of the most inspiring stories in entrepreneurship, those that are born in times of crisis are admirable for the resilience and leadership of their creators, and their determination to offer something innovative and of great value.

Such is the case of Sancho Pancho, a company with a sustainable cause that is dedicated to the production of snacks and prizes for dogs from the reuse of food waste, raising awareness about responsible consumption and helping the planet by reducing waste. Sancho Pancho opened on September 24 with a physical store in Lisbon, Portugal.

Its owners are the couple made up of Dasha Demidenko and Rafael Mejía, originally from Colima and a member of the Global MX Chapter Portugal Network. They started with the idea of this project during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Dasha worked previously in restaurants in the hotel industry, but the place where she worked closed and with it a window of opportunity to start a business opened up. From the beginning they decided that the business to start would be related to dogs, but at first they didn’t know what it would be.

The Beginning of Sancho Pancho

With eight years living in Portugal and a professional in the area of information technologies, Rafael tells us that very soon the idea came to them thanks to a friend who owned a sushi bar. Due to the pandemic, he had low sales and had a lot of fresh fish left. They wondered if they could take advantage of it and give that fish a second chance instead of going to the trash.

Then they carried out the idea of reusing it naturally. “The product is clean and in good quality, so we developed the idea of giving it a second chance to make snacks for dogs.” And that’s how the story of his company Sancho Pancho began.

About the name, Rafael tells us that it is a play on words that arose because his dog’s name is Pancho and they liked the Sancho Pancho combination, although it is inevitable to allude to the famous squire character of Don Quixote.

For Rafael and Dasha, starting as a couple in this business has been a path of continuous learning and union, where the value of their cause is a pillar of their motivation, since it is very important for them to live in a more conscious and sustainable way. In addition to maintaining a solid relationship with its customers and suppliers, Sancho Pancho has followers on social networks who have been inspired by its sustainable model for creating natural snacks at home developing their Entrepreneurship spirit and bringing awareness for animals.

The Sancho Pancho store is physically located in the Lapa area of Lisbon, very close to Jardim da Estrela Park. But you can also place orders at website sanchopancho.shop and through your Instagram account.

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