That first picture in the entry is my (on the right) and my new business partner Matt Stahlman proudly displaying our thanksgiving deep fried turkey and a ladle covered in yellow (?). We like to cook. More than that we like to eat.
As you can find out if you read our bios we have just completed a two year service with the United States Peace Corps in Balti Moldova and have decided to stay here in order to start a small business based on our three favorite things: American BBQ, Beer, and Development through Entrepreneurship (compared to the first 2 the last one there is a mouthful). As volunteers we used our cooking skills to raise funds on multiple occasions for causes we believed in. Now we are hoping to use those same skills in the service of the twin goals of starting our own successful business (our first), and proving that such an effort, though widely decried as impossible, is not only possible in Moldova but a real way for someone with a good idea and a lot of drive to build a future for themselves. Enough about that though (it's covered over here) on to the business.
The location (Chisinau):
For those of you not from Moldova follow this link to read up a bit on Chisinau - Moldova's largest city and capital. We do not yet have a location for the business but we intend to be near to be the center of the city.
Our passion is for slow cooked BBQ and this is something at which we excel. Our restaurant is going to serve slow cooked BBQ from smoked pulled pork to half chickens to shashleek (for a Moldovan-American twist) to much more. Additionally we'll be serving side dishes commonly found with BBQ in the states such as baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, cornbread and much more. Over the course of two years in Moldova we've shared our BBQ creations with many of our American and Moldovan friends and are very excited to make them available to Chisinau at large.
The menu is going to be very simplified compared to a normal Moldovan restaurant and will be split into "main dishes" and "sides." We're aiming for the whole menu to be presentable on one page (not including specials).
Stay tuned to this blog for when we release the company website including the final menu and more.
We are committed to serving quality, local products and this extends to our second passion - beer. Stay tuned to hear about our drink menu.
The suppliers of our cafe will be carefully selected with consideration to supporting local entrepreneurial efforts and to presenting customers with engaging stories of startup efforts in Moldova. The cafe will strive to serve products made locally which convey the message “Made With Pride In Moldova.” These stories will be conveyed to the customers in the form of short, engaging, stories that accompany the selected products either as handout cards or incorporated in packaging.
Furthermore, the walls of the cafe will clearly tell the story and emphasize the values of the business by providing engaging, startup oriented decorations for clients to ponder or interact with. Example techniques include whiteboard paint for tables to serve as “brainstorming corners,” inspirational quotes scattered throughout the artwork, and an “idea wall” where customer will be challenged to write and post their ideas for new business or social startups that the city of Chisinau could use.
This post is just meant to give an overview about my business so that readers can have some context for future posts. Fundamentally this site isn't really about specific industries but more generally about business in Moldova. Future posts will cover a lot of topics from business registration, business planning, contracts, etc etc etc in the Moldovan context. Obviously a lot of this builds off of the fact that I'm starting a restaurant so there is going to be a focus there. It's our hope at OSE that in time we'll be able to find contributors from other industries to share their experiences as well :)