Coko Jagodica: Valentina Anic’s Special Strawberries Exported to EU

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, Coko Jagodica is a Zagreb-based brand started by a young entrepreneur Valentina Anic from her very own kitchen. Each individual strawberry is bathed in premium Belgian chocolate, without any artificial colours, they are from organic farms and are hand-decorated. Today, three months after starting the business, Coko Jagodica is delivered throughout the Republic of Croatia, and Valentina is expanding her offer, slowly but surely conquers foreign markets.

“The brand was launched very spontaneously, I’d even say by accident and out of pure love for sweet food. The idea came up on Valentine’s Day this year, and the day after I opened my Instagram profile, well, that’s how it all started. For now, I do everything myself, but with the increase in work and as time goes on, I’ll soon have to look for employees. This business year has been the most important for me. Given that this is the first year of me doing business, it’s very important what impression I leave. Therefore, I tried to pay attention to every detail,” explained Valentina Anic. The most significant investment for her was the very starting up of her business, and her story is spreading further from month to month.

“So far, I’ve agreed to cooperate with two agencies for organising events. There are a lot of questions and agreements that we still have to negotiate and it seems to me that there will be more associates soon,” explained Coko Jagodica’s owner. Her focus was first on strawberries and chocolate, and she recently introduced apples and cherries, and soon it will be the turn of other fruits.

In addition to standard chocolates in the form of chocolate boxes (smaller and larger packages) Anic introduced boxes and bouquets with flowers or towers in the shape of cakes. Initially, she planned to sell via social media, more precisely through Facebook or Instagram, and her main goal was for customers to choose what they wanted and arrange their order, and today she is making new plans and devising other sales channels.

“Considering that the business started very well in a relatively short period of time, we were being asked more and more about whether there’s a small shop where people can come without making a prior order to choose and buy ready-made products. Ideas and plans about that are in my head,” explained Anic.

Coko Jagodica is produced in her own home, that is, in her kitchen. Later, a special space in front of the house became a place intended exclusively for Coko Jagodica, and the young entrepreneur isn’t lacking in her desire to expand production.

”There’s such a great love for this job that the strawberries are very often being prepared all night long, without sleep. The biggest order so far was for Mother’s Day, and 50 kilos of strawberries were sold on Saturday and Sunday,” revealed the innovative Anic.

Belgian chocolate, which is a key ingredient in this dessert along with the fruit, is sourced directly from its original producers. As for the berries, they are from organic farms, and she buys them from family members located in the vicinity of Zagreb.

“Early in the morning, they deliver freshly picked strawberries to me every day. They’re grown in greenhouses, so supply is possible all year round. The interest is great, each strawberry is hand-decorated down to the last detail and I’m sure people will recognise that. Besides, this os something completely new on the Croatian market. In addition to delivering across Croatia, we also sell them abroad. These strawberries most often travel to Germany, Italy and Austria. That percentage is still significantly lower than the sales on the Croatian market, but it’s also growing more and more,” points out Anic, who has her eye firmly on further business development when the time is right.

“First of all, the focus is on the opening of a small sweet bar in the centre of Zagreb, where people will be able to come, sit down, drink a glass of champagne with strawberries, pick up their order or buy ready-made products without prior notice,” concluded Coko Jagodica’s owner.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.


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