December 8, 2020 – In a sea of sausages and bacon, the specialties of Slavonia where she grew up, Martina Završki dared to do something different in her homeland and sell healthy jars of soup. With her start-up symbolically named Špajz (pantry), she became the youngest entrepreneur in Osijek.
After returning from Ireland and realizing the grass is not greener abroad, Darda native Martina Završki opened a small health food restaurant called Špajz (pantry) in Osijek. At the age of only 20, Martina thus became the youngest entrepreneur in the capital of Slavonia. Today, she is 23 years old, and her start-up Špajz has become a real brand of healthy and fine soups in colorful jars.
‘Slavonia is Slavonia’
By profession a dental technician, Martina realized that job was not for her. Her ambitions were much greater. Namely, she always aspired to launch something of her own.
As a child, she loved to cook, and due to her own health problems (yeast and sugar are very harmful to her), she cooked meals for school and carried them in jars. It was these jars that inspired her to start her production of healthy soups years later.
Also, observing her fellow citizens’ eating habits, Martina realized that the food offer in Osijek lacks healthy and acceptable solutions. It is how she came to the idea of Špajz, but the road was not easy.
Martina’s colorful jars of soup in Špajz / Photo: Facebook Špajz
However, before she ventured into entrepreneurial waters, Martina tried her luck abroad, more precisely in Ireland. It was great there, but she realized that Ireland’s grass is not greener than Croatia’s. Everything she could have there, she could have here.
“When you go to another country, you are always a foreigner, and it is difficult to achieve anything more. I always felt that I could make some bigger change and that I was not ordinary. My heart was drawn back home,” said Martina and concluded that Slavonia is Slavonia.
‘All things in Osijek fail’
At first, Martina even wanted to open a pastry shop, but she was afraid that she would fail because she was self-taught, so she and her parents recalled her jars of healthy food.
Three years ago, they co-wrote the project of today’s Špajza, which was approved, and they got some money to start with.
“I received support for self-employment, and it was my initial capital and beginning. It was tough to open something of my own because I am not in that profession, nor do I have someone in my family who is a caterer. Besides, I decided to open a restaurant of healthy food in a sea of sausages and bacon,” admitted Martina.
Martina presenting her healthy jars / Screenshot YouTube Startaj Hrvatska
At first, people did not take this young Slavonian seriously, mostly because of her whistling voice, but she soon proved that she has the will and desire to do and achieve something of her own.
“Some believed in me and were happy about me, and some told me that I should give up, that I would fail, because all things in Osijek fail,” Martina told Nova TV.
Soups are better than bakery products
“Naruči, protresi, ustima prinesi “(translated as “Order, shake, bring to your mouth “) is the slogan of the Špajz, and Martina is happy to allow her fellow citizens to eat something healthy in Špajz, and not to go to the bakery.
“People buy my jars because they don’t have the time to cook. The jar has no preservatives. Everything is natural. The vegetables come from local family farms, and there are no harmful substances inside,” said Martina, adding that her soups are one complete meal in a jar.
“Soups have the longest shelf life, and I think everyone should eat something nice and healthy with a spoon,” said Martina.
Photo: Facebook Špajz
Her soups are like light stews – low in calories, tasty, filling, and practical. In addition to fresh vegetables, these soups are made special by natural spices such as rosemary and basil, and olive and pumpkin oil are added to the soups.
All four types of soups are prepared according to a simple recipe. The menu includes vegetable soup of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut soup with basil and pumpkin oil, carrot and celery soup with olive oil, rosemary, turmeric. The latest in the offer is a tomato and basil soup with garlic, olive oil, and pepper.
The taste of these soups is irresistibly reminiscent of the fine home-made cuisine of Croatian mothers and grandmothers. It is not said in vain that soup heals both body and soul.
Family support most important
Along with these fine jars, coffee, smoothies, and squeezed juices can also be found on the shelves of the “pantry.” This year, Martina also included fine Gugelhupf of seductive aromas of ginger, cinnamon, and orange in the Christmas offer. However, since Martina’s catering business is currently closed due to epidemiological measures, all products are delivered to people’s home addresses, and there is a possibility of pick up in Špajz.
Thanks to Martina’s participation in the TV show Startaj Hrvatska, produced by Nova TV, her jars of soup became even more popular. Namely, the TV show helps such small entrepreneurs to place their excellent and innovative products on store shelves. Therefore, you can now find Martina’s jars of soups in Interspar supermarkets throughout Croatia.
Martina and her jars of soup / Photo: Facebook page Špajz
“I stand behind my products because they summarize all my efforts and work,” says Martina.
Špajz, as Martina says, is a finished whole. Of course, she always tries to design new products, and her further wish is to open Špajz in other cities of Lijepa Naša.
“I always dreamed of launching my products and Špajz to another city. At the moment, the opportunity has not yet opened up for me, but I am young, and I still have a lot of time,” said Martina, adding that with the great help and support of her family, she is where she is today.
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