As Ivan Tominac/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Nina and Mario Saric are a father and daughter team whose family business, the Zagreb company Pri Suncu, has firmly won over all the palates of Croatian confectionery lovers, and the focus of their business story is the production of original Italian ice cream. It all started while Nina was still in her teens.
She learned about the traditional way of preparing and producing the globally adored Italian type of ice cream, and her urge was so strong that after finishing her food technology studies, she decided to start a business with her father, and that’s how the Zagreb company Pri Suncu came to be.
“About three years ago, when we started intensively preparing to start a business, a common realisation grew in us that told us that what we want to do is be authentic and ultimately produce and offer people a product about which they’ll say: That’s it! Establishing a new philosophy and raising people’s awareness of ”real” original Italian ice cream, even if they call it ”craft ice cream” is our business mission,” said Nina’s father and one of the co-founders of the Zagreb company Pri Suncu, Mario Saric
Passion and motivation were the key ingredients, and in order to bridge the whole path between which leads to success, they invested around one million kuna. In addition to their own funds, the CES self-employment support and a micro investment loan from HAMAG BICRO helped them greatly in getting their business up on its feet.
That amount helped them enter the market with even more confidence, and with a well-researched market today, they’re ready to say what their main advantage is.
“The production and sale of ice cream is growing from year to year, but the vast majority of ice cream produced is industrial, which can’t be produced with the technology and ingredients that produce good craft ice cream. We opted for the manual production of ice cream, during which we make the ice cream base ourselves, and then add other ingredients to it, depending on the flavours of the ice cream. As such, our ice cream has a much stronger flavour intensity and a creamier texture which also gives a lighter feeling after consumption. All of our milk flavours (except tiramisu) are gluten-free and egg-free, while all of our fruit sorbets are intended for a vegan diet, because they’re produced on the basis of water,” added Nina.
The inscriptions ”craft”, ”artisan” or ”gelato artigianale” on industrially produced ice cream mean nothing but are merely an enticing PR message to insufficiently educated customers. According to the pair, real ice cream is a miniature niche and as such represents an opportunity, but also a risk that has a focus placed on looking for professional staff.
”Here on the Croatian labour market, at least when it comes to ice cream, confectioners trained to prepare ice cream in the classic industrial way predominate, which is an important problem when it comes to employment in production. In addition, the sale of ice cream in Croatia has a strong seasonal impact, so for a small company like ours it doesn’t matter whether we produce it in the winter or summer.
Finally, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought additional uncertainty and oscillations to the market, making it difficult to plan for production volumes. For these reasons, we’ve decided to employ people in production according to our current needs, mostly for a certain period of time, until the market conditions allow us a different approach to this key premise for the development of any business,” explained owners of the Zagreb company Pri Suncu.
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