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Home > Life Stories > The Ethnic Food Entrepreneur - Poland - 2

The Ethnic Food Entrepreneur - Poland - 2

Mr W was born in 1968 in the former Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and consequent collapse of Soviet industry, Mr W could no longer find work in his profession. This resulted in his decision to get new qualifications, strongly connected with his passion for food. Mr W decided to become a cook; practicing in a variety of regional restaurants and receiving diplomas, certifying his qualifications.  

The opening of Kazakhstan to foreign investment took place along with the introduction of a market economy. The new economic system required newly qualified staff with understanding of the new ways. Mr W decided study economics, as it was an opportunity to obtain new, higher qualifications and a new interesting job. After graduation, he was an economic adviser to many companies that have begun investing in Kazakhstan. The Kazakh market was very receptive and created opportunities for businesses such as those importing goods from Western Europe (mainly from Germany) and selling them throughout the country. As a result he became the president of the business association. However, the global crisis has not spared the country in which he lived, leading to a change of circumstances for Mr W. 

As a result of the economic downturn international investments in Kazakhstan began to drastically decrease and the associated demand for western products also declined. This influenced his decision to emigrate to Poland, where he lived for several years with his daughter, who recently had a child. His family’s Polish residence was quickly legalized by obtaining the status of returnees because of his grandparents who had been relocated to Kazakhstan during World War II. Initially, he had language difficulties as well as problems finding work and housing. He studied the Polish language intensively for two years and adapted to Polish culture.

He wanted to share his experience of eastern cuisine and culture. Thanks to the permissions he obtained from the Labor Office in 2011 he became a qualified chef and started his own business where he makes handmade products such as dumplings, ciebureki or pelmieni. Mr W had experience in Kazakhstan with conducting this type of business; ranging from catering to production. The main clients of his company are the dumpling restaurants in Lodz. A number of fresh products are ready for consumption (e.g. dumplings, dumplings with mushrooms) with a variety of frozen products also produced. Mr W’s business is one of the biggest outsourcing companies providing such services to restaurants in Lodz .He gets a lot of help with running his business from his wife and daughter.

Mr W indicated that the main barriers with starting a business in Poland were the complicated tax system and extensive bureaucracy. 

Education and Culture Lifelong Learning Programme
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