Oksana Martymenova was the first in Ukraine to make sweets from buckwheat. At the moment, Oksana is looking for a new place to expand the production and contemplating the possibility of exporting her product, writes “Agro-Center” with a reference to “Buduy svoye”.
Until 2014, Oksana managed a chain of candy stores in Sumy. However, after the crisis, only one out of many stores of the network “survived”. The woman did not give up – went to study business and look for new directions.
At first, Oksana didn’t plant to make candy from buckwheat:
“I asked myself: “What do we bring home from other countries?” Sweets! I also realized that I want to do make the product from natural and local ingredients. I did some brainstorming and came up with using honey, nuts, and buckwheat!”
She chose buckwheat because it is popular and affordable in Ukraine. After some research on the Internet, Oksana found out that the niche is completely free as no one ever made sweets from buckwheat.
The woman makes sweets exclusively according to her own recipes.
“Step by step, in my kitchen, the recipes were born! Marmalade, sweets, grillage, truffles, chocolate bars. I used raw buckwheat and natural, local ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and honey. However, many ideas weren’t realized. In particular, it happened with marmalade due to the rapid deterioration of the product. It dried too fast,”
She said that starting a production is not as easy as it may seem. It requires a lot of money and solving many bureaucratic issues:
“Many issues arise when it comes to establishing a production in a small town. Firstly, a place for the production. There are not many unoccupied places. For example, at the moment, I am looking for a room both in Sumy and in the suburbs. Repairers require a lot of money and include communication, ventilation, and equipment. A refrigerator costs 20 thousand UAH, a seed shredder – 12 thousand UAH, a machine for tempering chocolate – 25 thousand UAH, and dishes – 10 thousand UAH. Secondly, one needs to obtain a certificate or permits to be able to sell their product. In the case of my product, it is even more complicated because we’re the first to make such a product.”
Oksana sells her sweets under the brand “HrechkaSweets”. Her products are already known throughout Ukraine and even abroad. Her sweets are popular among both young and older people:
“I achieved such results due to the correct promotion of the product. I did not spend thousands on advertising. My personal contacts and recommendations helped to spread the word about my products. It is probably the reason my sweets are known both in Ukraine and abroad,”
Her future plans include starting a production, entering retail and exporting her products. Oksana hopes her product will become a real sweet symbol of Ukraine.