“I have a vision and I am guided by it.“
This is how Vasilije Ćetković, a man who abandoned corporate world to start doing something that was his life-long desire, starts his story. Vasilije has always wanted to use his ideas and work to contribute to positive changes in the society. He extensively travelled across Serbia in search for good, authentic flavours. The passion towards good food, and a burning desire to create something new and different, and yet in the spirit of tradition, has lead him to the idea of sharing the finest flavours of the Serbian homemade food with other people.
“I know where every product comes from. I know who produced it and what ingredients did they use. I know their story because they are not backed by corporations, but are ordinary people who, with their families, have invested their knowledge, effort and love into their products“, Vasilije says.
He personally visited every single producer and shared his vision with them. There were those who were thrilled to cooperate with him, because they saw a great potential in the idea that their best products should reach those consumers who appreciate homemade food. However, there were those producers who were not so encouraging, and did not want even to attempt to cooperate with Vasilije.
Still, he believed in his idea and decided to ‘play’ one-on-one despite risking failure. „My fight was not Don Quixote-ian. It was more based on my driving force being focused on a very important issue – what kind of food do we eat? The core of our idea was to sell products that are closely tied to the gastronomic culture of a certain region. On one hand, there are products that are traditional to Serbia and the Balkans, while, on the other hand, there are cultures that are relatively unknown in this part of the world, but which food is often produced here from the domicile ingredients. The common thread here is the love that you have for your work and the risks you undertake“, Vasilije explains.
He picked only those products that his family eats – healthy, homemade, tasty, and above all, high quality food.
„You might ask why am I doing all of this? Because it gives me satisfaction and inspiration. You need this feeling when you are starting from scratch, and when you are using your knowledge and dedication to build something new and different. I like to be a part of the creative process that is product development and running a business“, Vasilije adds.
In search for innovative solutions, he found a way for small food and beverage producers to be in direct contact with consumers through the digital online ordering and delivery service www.kovoli.com.
By going on this website, people are given an opportunity to explore and fall in love with new flavours, as well as learn more about the rich local food culture and artisan production.
Vasilije says that his wife is his biggest support. Without her, all of this would have been much more difficult. He says that he cannot imagine participating in promotional activities without her because she gives meaning to all those things that are unseeable to the male eye. Together, they planned every single step – from creating the website and painting their shop to moving crates and sorting our products. Both of them come from families that appreciate the qualilty of homemade food, and this is something that they are relaying to their children now. Together they gave themselves a task to raise awareness about the importance of knowing where the food that we eat comes from, and what are its ingredients.
„I am confident that producing high quality food should be our main direction. This is what the modern world and modern man want. In time, Serbia will become synonymous with top quality food for direct consumption“, Vasilije concludes.
And this is the gist of the mission that this man is guided by.
This post is also available in: Italiano