Who is the Romanian woman who sells sweets worth millions of euros in Romania? She wants it to expand throughout the country this year

Who is the Romanian woman who sells sweets worth millions of euros in Romania? She wants it to expand throughout the country this year
Who is the Romanian woman who sells sweets worth millions of euros in Romania? She wants it to expand throughout the country this year
--

When I thought of my business, I thought of it as a small, family business. I wasn’t looking for success, but I wanted with all my heart to do something very well, to excel at something. I was very frustrated that I hadn’t managed to do something extraordinary until I was 30, so I decided to make the best homemade cakes and pies in Iasi. And with this thought I woke up every morning. I like to think long term. I really like the concepts of sustainability and durability. I wanted to create something valuable and generate a positive impact.

Due to this fact, I am very attentive to the micro and macro environment, to trends and influences. The food industry – and especially the pastry and confectionery industry – is a very dynamic industry. The barriers to entry are very low. With a small capital – about 20,000 euros – but with a good plan and a lot of determination you can start a sweet business. Thanks to government funds, more than 100 confectioneries are opened annually throughout the country. But it is true that those who last more than three years are fewer, and those who have performances are less than 10%.

The mix of attributes needed to be successful in this field has also changed over time. There were periods when emphasis was placed on the quality of the product, on the price, but also periods when the brand, communication and relationships built with customers or the uniqueness of the sales offer were taken into account. Each entrepreneur had his own strategy. I focused on the product and the unique selling proposition. We covered an existing need in the market, for cakes prepared exclusively from natural ingredients – without margarine, without premixes, without ingredients that are not in accordance with health. It’s what I’ve been doing for more than ten years.

Differentiation criteria are those that help a business to last over time. We have also noticed that the value of the team has become one of the essential factors, and it is important for us, entrepreneurs, to understand that we need to compensate people better. For example, last year we had very good results compared to 2022 and we decided that the whole team should receive bonuses. I think it is very important for people to feel their contribution to the company’s results.

My profit has been diminished, but my satisfaction is very high when I see people satisfied. A man who feels he has a purpose when he comes to work will always work with passion, and this will be reflected in the quality of the final product. Now, things are very effervescent in the market. The competition intensified and became much more interesting. As a trend, I notice the segregation of the industry into two large categories: generic products, from ingredients that are not of quality, and premium products, from clean ingredients. This is where the different price strategies come from. The harder you have a product to reproduce, the more stable sales and a better margin you have, but, I repeat, I don’t think it is enough to have a good product. We can also look at this industry through the perspective of globalization. I have always wondered why I go into the hypermarket in Iasi and find fresh (not frozen) cakes from Bulgaria, for example.

But being in this business for over ten years, I started to understand. The manufacturer from Bulgaria has a good product. They have probably made huge investments in efficient production facilities, with automated and standardized processes, which ensures them large production volumes at lower costs, so they have a competitive price on the Romanian market, even if the transport costs more. Here, in Romania, there are still no producers on par with European producers and no dedicated programs to encourage and support entrepreneurs in large projects. However, I think we are approaching the moment when more large enterprises will appear in Romania as well, because we have resources and can become competitive.

Moreover, the proximity to the Republic of Moldova already encourages an easy labor force absorption. If the state would generate advantageous financing for this kind of projects and invest in consulting programs and know-how for technology and digitization, it would generate the potential for the growth of medium-sized businesses. The Romanian market has developed, we have educated ourselves and, at the same time, our purchasing power has also increased. We have become more demanding and more informed. So many market segments have appeared with more elaborate needs on the food side, and the price is no longer the only one that dictates the purchase decision. Quality is important, uniqueness and the story behind the business (sustainability, impact on the environment, on the community and company employees).

The standards have increased, the quality of the offer has also increased, but especially the diversity. In other words, there is room on the market for both imported and local products. I am delighted that the local – artisanal – are increasingly sought after and appreciated. Our duty is to get to know our customers and deliver tailored consumer experiences. Let’s keep them loyal and take care of them. Another observation I have made in recent years is that people are tired of manufactured marketing stories and packaging, and are increasingly attracted to authenticity. As if we were no longer looking for perfection, but emotion, vulnerability, simplicity and transparency. Practically, the quality, the high standards of a business and the vision of the one who grows the business are appreciated.

At the same time, people have become attentive to the footprint and impact that a business generates in the community. I think that the success of Cuptorul Moldovencei comes from the fact that we have not necessarily followed trends or marketing manuals, but everything we have done, since ten years ago, we have done from the heart, with passion and care for our customers and towards our pies and cakes, but also towards nature and our community. We got involved, we helped, we also supported various projects. We had and have collaborations with partners from our community. For example, currently, we have projects with the Iaşi Community Foundation and the Iaşi Travel Association, but over the years we have collaborated with many foundations and NGOs.

I expect, in the coming years, that craft businesses will flourish, but at the same time, large producers will appear in the local market, who will deliver nationally. Also, I want us to become competitive on the European market as well. But here, as I said before, we have to take into account the development of technology. We are living in very interesting times and digitization has become necessary if you want to keep up. Either we learn, adapt and improve our performance in the industry, or we become irrelevant. We will certainly end up using artificial intelligence in the laboratory. But until then, we make sure that the ERP program is at full capacity, for a better management of resources and a better control of the results.

The legislation in the food field is also changing. It’s as if we finally understand that what the label contains is important, especially since there are also changes and restrictions on the use of certain raw materials or E’s. I also expect cleaner products to appear and margarine and vegetable cream, made from hydrogenated fats, to disappear from all laboratory warehouses. Another trend, also from the area of ​​education and health, is the increase in demand for sugar-free, gluten-free and raw vegan products. Depending on the values ​​of your business, you look at the trends in the industry and create your short, medium and long term strategy. And you get to work.

“The harder you have a product to reproduce, the more stable sales and a better margin you have, but, I repeat, I don’t think it’s enough to have a good product. We can also look at this industry through the perspective of globalization. I have always wondered why I go into the hypermarket in Iasi and find fresh (not frozen) cakes from Bulgaria, for example.


The article is in Romanian

Tags: Romanian woman sells sweets worth millions euros Romania expand country year

-

PREV “Romania has the largest number of IT professionals per thousand inhabitants in Europe and ranks sixth in the world” | matutinal
NEXT Earthquake in Romania, Wednesday night