He doesn't know why as a child he cut restaurant reviews from the newspaper and kept them in a box. But the gift that made him most excited were the boxes. I played with them.
Throughout the professional life of David Ramos (Madrid, 1981) there has been no shortage of restaurants or boxes. 20 years ago he founded Klimer, a company today a benchmark in Spain in the sale and distribution of equipment for the hotel and catering industry. From crockery to packaging for delivery; from catering to hotels; from the tapas bar to the three-star Michelin restaurant; From the high-flying cook to the individual. "We all give them the same affection," emphasizes David, who has registered – and it is not a metaphor – the phrase "We only have one boss, our client".
With that motto he seems to have done well. They closed 2022 with a growth of 10%; This year they expect to invoice about five million euros and double growth, and have a portfolio of "recurring" customers that exceeds a thousand.
But it has not always been so, since in these two decades "there have been good, bad and regular years, and they are all part of learning, of how to manage a business", which started with the sale of cleaning products.
Learning, yes; commercial instinct too, because the story of Klimer and the enterprising David was born in 2003, when he started working in the cleaning services company that his mother had. He combined sales with his training in Commercial Management and Marketing, which he left after a year.
Bouquets with a hanging tray.
"I didn't like studying and I ran away from the University, not to go to the bar with my colleagues, but to take an order. I didn't want to study; I wanted to work." In the family day business; Public relations of some nightclubs at night. "Pasha, Quick, Elite...".
One thing led to another – "I started selling them cleaning supplies" – and another. "They asked me if I could also get them tube cups. ' Of course,' I told them, and I was looking for my life. I started buying them in a store, then I found a supplier, then a manufacturer. We sold a lot and to all the clubs in Madrid".
At first, he was a one-man band. "There were times in Klimer that he was truly alone. I was the salesman, the buyer and the delivery man. Then there were three of us, a delivery man and an administrative one, and we continue to grow. Today we are 13."
Tableware for buffets.
The tube glasses were followed by those of pinta and zurito, the ice tong, the waiter's tray... "From the basic material for discotheques we went to events and created a catalog with about 200 references: teaspoons, skewers, minitenedors, plates ... Disposable. We sold to caterers, to hotels, to wedding halls, and we continue to do so."
With the boom of the showcooking of chefs to whom he hired this or that brand and in which David put his products, he began to deal with them and later, to sell them crockery, cutlery, utensils and tools, uniforms ... "We have always been linked to haute cuisine, but also to other restaurants."
So the list is long and "democratic." Clients with stars (Eneko Atxa, Martin Berasategui, Dabiz Muñoz, Ángel León, Ramón Freixa, Javi Estévez, Mario Sandoval ...), with a lot of history (Horcher, Viridiana, La Ancha...) or with some years less experience (the pizzerias Grosso Napoletano, the chain of noodles Udon, the hamburgers Juancho's BBQ ...).
A Klimer table.
With some the relationship goes back a long way. "We already sold Mario Sandoval when Coque was in Humanes. We have been working with Grupo El Escondite for more than 15 years. With Dabiz more than a dozen, when DiverXO was on Thought Street; together we created a brand and made a stainless steel plate with the XO engraved."
A key pillar of Klimer is innovation. They don't have an R+D department, or it's in David's head that doesn't stop gestating ideas. "We don't invent, we adapt a product, we improve it, we model it, we customize it... Like the miniature fryer basket we launched 10 years ago (a hit); The trays with different supports to place skewers, glasses, cones ... Or, inspired by the traditional barquilleros of Madrid, hanging trays".
Glasses of cocktails.
With a company in Albacete they transformed the classic knife with which the butcher cuts the steaks into a small axe to take it to the diner's table. "With a chicken coop mesh we have assembled boxes for events and catering, with a bamboo cane a base for skewers ...".
Klimer's offer is nourished by products and ideas found in hospitality fairs, but also in decoration, architecture, home ... David and his eyes always open. "We give certain tools a gastronomic utility. We have sold things bought to construction companies, gardening ... You have to move, if you do not offer the same as the hundreds of distribution companies that work in Spain".
Box for take away and delivery.
And he continues: "Now, with social networks, everything goes out of fashion much earlier and I want my clients to have cool things, to do very well and succeed. I like to start the project with them and accompany them in time".
Hence, they have always accepted requests from the listener. "We are a service company and we always try to find what they ask us. Sometimes, we don't get it."
Spoons, another of the references in its catalog.
The catalogue, which is expanding throughout the year with some new features, today has some 3,000 references, with different sub-catalogues: Plating (crockery, cutlery, glassware, tables, casseroles, accessories for cocktails ... Everything that has to do with the table, the kitchen and the bar), Events, catering and showcooking and Take Away and Delivery.
"This last section has grown a lot. First because of the biodegradable materials, almost everything is cardboard, sugar cane, bamboo, wood, things that we have used for many years. Second, personalization. We do it ad hoc, whether it's a box for a cheesecake, some ribs, a burger, some coffee glasses, some bags... ". And for its prominence during the pandemic. "I almost got a master's degree in cardboard. I know more about this subject than many cardboard manufacturers," he laughs.
Zalto Cup without base.
"We had normal packaging, no die-cut boxes, with slits to put a cake, a saucer, a spoon recipe. I'm not telling you any battles, but we had to find and develop different packaging so that our customers' dishes traveled well; so that they could invoice something at that time," he recalls.
They made boxes for "jarretes, suckling pigs, steaks, hake, sea bass... Boxes for everything. We were fortunate to position ourselves very well with delivery." Luck fed with work and as soon as consumption was activated a little, he recovered the staff he had put in ERTE.
Packaging for GoXO delivery.
"I'm not the hardest working guy in the world or the smartest, I repeated several times at school, I had attention deficit, dyslexia... This is not Silicon Valley, but if you try hard, things will work out, and in the pandemic we are looking for a living."
David Ramos does not lose sight of the origins, nor the first Klimer location: four shelves and a few tables attached to a small warehouse. Today they have a two-storey warehouse with a large warehouse, office space and a showroom-exhibition that is constantly renewed, and a few streets beyond another stocking warehouse. With many boxes.