The origin of the chimney cake goes back hundreds of years, but it's commonly believed that this delicacy comes from Hungary, where they are served at weddings and christenings. Today, it is one of the most popular delicacies in Eastern Europe, and recently, this open, crispy cylinder rolled in toppings such as sugar and hazelnuts has gone global, becoming an in-demand street food.
Given that no one produced this tasty pastry in northern Kosovo, Snežana Nestorović, a woman entrepreneur from north Mitrovica/ë, thought it would be a good business move to start its production. However, she needed more than just a great idea.
“I did research on the Internet to learn about chimney cake production, assessed its market potential, and then I approached USAID’s Community Action Initiative Program because I didn’t have enough money to purchase all the necessary equipment,” explains Nestorović, a single mom and the sole breadwinner for her family.
Today, Nestorović is the owner of a small company, “Dunja”, and runs a popular chimney cake bakery in downtown north Mitrovica/ë, the most frequented location in the vicinity of the University of Prishtina, Mitrovica campus, employing two workers in sales and production.
“I enjoy being an entrepreneur, even though it’s hard work and requires constant dedication and commitment. However, it would have been hard for me to get here without USAID's support,” she says.
Just one month after she started production in November 2013, Nestorović’s small business has already proved profitable, yielding $400 in profits.
“I am planning to expand my business to another selling point in north Mitrovica/ë, as well as to Zubin Potok and Leposavić/q, and hopefully in south Mitrovica/ë. Also, this equipment can be easily transported to different locations such as fairs and various celebrations where this kind of pastry is in demand,” says Nestorović. In addition to a $10,000 grant from USAID, she invested around $2,700 of her own to renovate sales premises.
USAID's Community Action Initiative Program runs from July 2010 to July 2014. It supports community development and infrastructure rehabilitation in 40 Kosovo communities, builds strong civil society organizations, and improves economic and employment opportunities.
Last updated: January 14, 2015