Startas, a Vukovar Success Story Featured in New York Times

Total Croatia News

The city of Vukovar has had plenty of international press in recent years relating to the tragedy of its fate during the regional conflict in the 1990s. A happier story – and a successful one – features in the New York Times on October 21, 2016.

“You couldn’t buy Coca-Cola, but you could buy a bottle of Cockta, which is from Slovenia, and which I still love,” says the Croatian-American entrepreneur Robert Grgurev, recalling his childhood in the former Yugoslavia. Similarly, circa 1976, in lieu of Western sneakers like Converse and Superga, Croatia introduced Startas. The state-owned table-tennis footwear brand sponsored the 1987 World University Games in Zagreb; according to Grgurev, who is now the brand’s US-based president, “Every cool older kid or college student had at least one pair.” That is, until the 1990s, when production came to a brutal halt during Croatia’s war of independence, in which the one-industry town of Vukovar — home of the company’s headquarters — was ground zero.

Read more from the New York Times.


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