Entrepreneurs: Bulgaria’s Edible Cups

Miroslav Zapryanov's "Cupffee" makes waffle coffee cups in a new factory near Plovdiv and exports 97% of the production

The idea to eat your cup after drinking the coffee in it came to Miroslav Zapryanov while he was still a student. When he grew up, he tried to do it. And in 2004 he baked his first waffle cup in his wife's oven, and ten years later he turned his idea into a business.

Today, his dream is to replace plastic and paper coffee cups around the world with his invention. Now, in just one month, his new factory in Plovdiv produces 2.5 million biodegradable (and edible) Cupffee cups, 97% of which are exported to 30 countries on all continents. In 2022, the company will close its technological circle with waste-free technology - coffee stirrers will be prepared from the waste from the waffle cups.

All or nothing

Zapryanov started his business on an "all or nothing" basis. "I invested all my money to design and finance four prototype machines. I perfected the recipe and technology. With the fourth machine I started my first official production on 36 square meters in a small confectionery in Plovdiv," he said at the beginning. He added: "Our daily production was 100 cups or 10 cups per hour, because I worked 10 hours. Our team was a total of three people."

In 2014, he registered the company "Cupffee" together with Mladen Dzhalazov and Simeon Gavrailov (now the two do not own shares). A few years later, he managed to attract as partners his business angels - Sasha Bezuhanova and the co-founder of "Telerik" Svetozar Georgiev, who participates with his company "2625 Capital", as well as other smaller investors. At the moment he remains the majority owner with 55.6% in the...

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