Cocreation and Concept Refinement: District Spice

Last week I spent a lot of time in the field refining my concept together with various stakeholders. I went back to Maed where I did cocreation sessions with three different individuals. I met again with Isayas the owner of the business. He's been so helpful in connecting me with various people in the Griffenfeldsgade community. I also met with Henok, a frequent patron of Maed originally from Ethiopia, and Zahraa who just relocated to Copenhagen from Somalia. The reception to the idea is warm. The idea of sending and receiving packages is quite well received so far. 

Cocreation with Isayas, a local shop owner

Cocreation with Isayas, a local shop owner

Henok, originally from Ethiopia was eager to send a box!

Henok, originally from Ethiopia was eager to send a box!

Meeting with Zahraa, originally from Somalia 

Meeting with Zahraa, originally from Somalia 

I also met with Dilek, a woman originally from Turkey who's now running a Peruvian food truck here in Copenhagen. She spoke a lot about the complexities of running a food-related business and also the unique challenges related to Copenhagen. Where people are open-minded about trying new food, but don't necessarily spontaneously stop at food trucks. 

Dilek, from Turkey, made a Turkish AND Peruvian flavor kit.

Dilek, from Turkey, made a Turkish AND Peruvian flavor kit.

The initial visual communication to test in the field. 

The initial visual communication to test in the field. 

I also met with Ruping, the owner of a Chinese supermarket here in Copenhagen. He explained that most of their customers are Chinese or Chinese born in Denmark. They use WeChat to sell online at the moment, but they aren't currently reaching many ethnic Danes, despite their interest in Chinese food. 

Ruping is the owner of Today Købmand, a Chinese supermarket in Vesterbro, and a partner for District Spice. 

Ruping is the owner of Today Købmand, a Chinese supermarket in Vesterbro, and a partner for District Spice. 

Looking through their WeChat mobile shop

Looking through their WeChat mobile shop

Meeting with Danes at the library

Meeting with Danes at the library

Food start up event in Meatpacking

Food start up event in Meatpacking

I also went to an event in the meatpacking district called, "Foodpreneurship" for food startups. We heard four startup pitches and then there was a one hour workshop. It was quite an interesting event, and I managed to find some participants for user testing! 

Meeting with Tone from Trampolinhuset

Meeting with Tone from Trampolinhuset

I also went to Trampolinhuset, an independent center that provides refugees and asylum seekers with a place of support, community and purpose. I met with Tone, who took me through the refugee experience arriving in Denmark. It was a moving and troubling session, but a bit out of scope for my project. Nonetheless, it was completely worthwhile.

Based on my field research, I decided to reposition my concept not only for immigrants, but for all Copenhagen residents. I remember an insight from Haragua - that coming to Copenhagen exposed her to many new cuisines, and that she would love to learn how to cook Chinese food. So the new concept is a hyperlocal (non-perishable) ingredient delivery service, where each month, a member will receive a recipe from a particular ethnic group living in Copenhagen. The flavor kit will include the relevant dry ingredients and purchase the fresh ingredients from their local Netto, Fakta etc. The kits will serve the immigrant business owners by providing them with an online platform to reach new potential customers. After redefining my concept, I worked on some early branding and visual communication and tested it in the public library with Copenhagen residents. So far the reception has been positive, and I'm still gaining insights about tweaks to the idea here and there.