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Chirchkhela: Startup That Produces Dried Fruit and Vegetable

A new Georgian startup Chirchkhela appeared on market.  Georgian dry fruit production became a source of inspiration for a young and successful Guram Salukvadze. This is a family business without no financial interference. The founder, Guram Salukvadze talks about his startup.

What are the first development steps of your delicious brand, “Chirchkhela”?

“Chirchkhela” is one month old. I wanted to create something since i was a child. Later, I realized that it would be nice if it would be something Georgian. Recently, I have visited many places in Georgia and I have seen a lot of touristic zones in our country which made me feel very proud and I decided that I wanted to do something to contribute the development and promotion of my country. I was totally amazed by the places which I have seen in Georgia.

Which region inspired you for the first time?

Kakheti was a discovery for me, where i visited all the places and it made me very happy. Since then, I started to think about creating Georgian production, at the same time, I was interested in agriculture recently and I had been thinking about doing something in this field. First of all, I conducted a research to find out more about this field, what I could do and how to be competitive.

I heard many times that “Chiri” is very healthy and it is good for people who live with an active life. Different kind of dried fruits have different benefits. Its healthy and it is delicatesse.

 

How many people are employed in the business and what kind of financial support do you have have?

Currently, this is a family business and startup was implemented by the  financial support from family. However, later, we had several people helping us. What we have created in a month was presented and there was a degustation as well. About 10 people were involved in this process.

How we are different from others is that we also offer dried vegetables to customers. I  also learned a lot in this field and I found out that dried fruits are even more healthy than fresh ones. 

Is there competition in the dried fruits production nowadays?

Of course there is. Dried fruit is produced in Georgia and sold at the market. There are also companies which produces dried fruits. But we are different with brand name, packing, assortment, offers and distribution. Our production is very creative.

As you mentioned, you don’t like traditional marketing…

To tell you the truth, we did not expect such reaction. We had a lot of attention from the beginning and it became a motivation for us. “Chirchkhela” was approved by customers. Then appeared “Owl”.  An owl i s a nice bird in general, it is quite, does not talk much, controls the situation and acts when necessary.  White polar “Owl” offers many creative technologies to the customers. It was a good decision of designer.

Who else is involved in the business from family?

All my family, my parents and my sister are involved in the business.  We are all different and have many ideas and sometimes we discuss it a lot before we make a decision.  Considering our plans and goals and motivation, everything we planned worked very well and I hope that our family business will expand and we will employ more people in this field.

What about your future plans?

It is my big wish to participate in state grants and I hope that this can help me expand my business.  Of course, export is also part of our plan but it is not our goal.  Firstly, I want Georgian customers like the products and estimate its quality.  We want to establish ourselves on Georgian markets. Later, we will think about exporting production abroad.