For former Armed Forces engineer David Yiallouros, starting a deli was a no-brainer. Earlier to joining the Army, he worked as a cook in restaurants and hotels. “I have always loved food and entertaining,” he acknowledges. “The business I knew I had to start was a food-based business.”
Therefore, when he moved to Limassol, Cyprus, he finally took the plunge—and Mia Delicy was born. Serving as the deli’s Managing Director, David noticed that with the present economic climate in the nation and the intense solidarity among its residents, Cyprus was prepared to launch its own fast service restaurant brand. “Cyprus loves the franchises from around the world but there was no brand to call its own,” he states. David registered Mia Delicy as a limited company because he thought that this would assist the business in being taken seriously by suppliers and customers.
Mia Delicy is a deli idea that concentrates on offering a variety of homestyle food made of the finest ingredients. The name is a play on words: mia, which is frequently used when a person in Cyprus is asking for one of something; deli, the business’s popular feature; and CY, Cyprus’s unique country identifier. In other words, “Mia Delicy” is “One Deli Cyprus.”
In order to set his business in motion, he needed to have an identity that would show the company’s fresh new approach to fast food. So, he went to Freelancer.com, the world’s most preferred crowdsourcing and outsourcing website, and staged a logo contest that attracted 266 sketches and prototypes from designers from all over the globe.
“I originally joined Freelancer.com when I was tinkering with web and iOS app design, having read about the platform in an iOS application design book,” remembers David. “I came quickly to the realization, however, that there were far more talented individuals out there who were prepared to provide great value.”
The winning entry had an orange plus green palette and showcased the deli’s main selling point—fresh produce. The success of the logo contest confirmed the high quality of the talent pool readily available on Freelancer.com. “I was also aware that the contest would provide value for money.” So, it didn’t come as a surprise that he used the platform once again for the restaurant design.
“The restaurant design was complicated,” he explains, “and as I was trying to explain elements to contractors I realized there were gaps in the architectural plans that meant my vision was at risk of being watered down by contractors who were unable to understand my vision clearly. The only way I could limit this confusion was to provide my vision in full Technicolor.”
David was aware with 3D visualization and also considers himself as a reasonable 3D modeler. However, he states, “I knew this was beyond my skill set and spending the time to learn this would detract me from my primary focus.”
Inspired by the outcomes of his logo contest, he conducted another for 3D mock-ups of the shop design. He received 15 entries, and shortly after spending hours examining their past work and suggestions from previous employers, he shortlisted the candidates to three designers and eventually chose between two market leaders. “We needed someone who had the patience to play around and create something eye-catching, beautiful and representative of our ethos.”
The winner, Skylarkstudio, represented by Soumya, had never taken on a project like David’s, but the team’s enthusiasm and dedication to excellence shone through in their communications via the site’s messaging system. He went with his gut. “Our vision was 85% there, but Soumya convinced me that he would stick with us through the remaining variable.” The selection, in his words, was a “heart over head” decision. “Passion won over the process and the tools Freelancer.com provides, when used effectively, allow you to take the risk,” he claims. “I felt protected enough by the milestone payment and the redress procedures should an issue arise. This gave me the self-confidence to take the leap of faith with Soumya and his team. It was a gamble that paid off.”
He further includes: “Without Freelancer.com, I would have had to pay four or five times the cost of this project. The local companies were charging at least €3,000 for fewer renders and far less flexibility. I estimate that I have saved over €2,000 on this project. Hours of my day have been returned to me and time is a most valuable commodity when starting a business. The extent of the talent provided by Freelancer.com is one of its most attractive assets.”
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