Business in the village. How a bread, cheese and pastry shop from a small village in the Poltava Region develops the local community

Business in the village.  How a bread, cheese and pastry shop from a small village in the Poltava Region develops the local community

“In 2018, my wife and I bought premises in Serhiivka. Part of it was used for a store, and the other part was vacant and we didn’t know how to use it,” says the entrepreneur.

At the same time, he remembered his old dream – to bake bread. The local community helped with financing at the first stage, which allocated part of the money from the budget through the entrepreneurship support fund. Volodymyr Opryshko contributed another part of his savings and opened a small bakery.

At first, only one oven was installed there, in which up to 100 loaves of bread were baked per day. Bread was sold through a village store.

Later, the entrepreneur began delivering bread to neighboring villages. The business turned out to be profitable, so Volodymyr Opryshko decided to expand it – he bought a second furnace, and later a third one.

They baked about 400 loaves of bread per day and delivered them in two cars to the nearby villages.

They also expanded the range of products — in addition to a dozen types of bread, they started baking pies.

A year before the war, the entrepreneur won a grant worth about 2 million hryvnias. With these funds, the equipment of the bakery and cheese factory was completely modernized.

The entrepreneur increased the volume of production. Also, a cooperative was created in the community, which includes about 300 local residents. People give Volodymyr Opryshka gardenia, vegetables, and milk for processing.

“We cooperate with the population, from whom we buy milk, cherries, plums, pears, apples, and cabbage for processing at market prices,” the entrepreneur explains.

Fruits and berries are frozen, jam is made, which is later used for confectionery and yogurt. Vegetables such as cabbage are salted and preserved and are also used in baking.

The bakery bakes about 30 types of bread, about 15 types of muffins, pies.

“When we started the bakery, we invited a technologist from Lviv who worked in Serhiyivka for a week, adjusted the production process using steam technology and taught employees how to bake bread,” Volodymyr Opryshko notes.

Technological processes in the cheese factory, which was opened in 2019, were adjusted independently.

“There was a time when the price of milk received from peasants was about 5 hryvnias. We had an idea to start a cheese factory to support people,” says the entrepreneur.

The cheese factory mainly produces soft cheeses – Adyghe, paneer, sour milk, sour cream, milk, yogurts, processed cheese, condensed milk, butter. Initially, a small amount of milk was processed. Currently, the volume of processing is about half a ton per day.

In 2022, one of the cheeses of the Sergeyiv cheese factory even won a “bronze” award at the World Cheese Awards international competition in England, where more than 4,000 types of cheese from 42 countries of the world were presented.

Most of the cheese factory’s products are sold through a network of its own grocery stores, of which there are currently seven. To villages where there is no store, products are brought three times a week, where they are sold directly from the car.

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