Where in Comrat can you taste the dry-aged steak and selected wines from local producers? | Microinvest

In business since 1995, full of ideas that eventually become a profitable business. We are talking about Nicolae Cara, a native of Comrat, the founder of a restaurant in the southern part of Moldova, popular both among residents and tourists. His extensive experience in entrepreneurship has taught him that challenges make us stronger and that there are no good or bad ideas in business; you just have to try to implement them and be confident that you will succeed.

To develop his new project, he applied for a loan to Microinvest. This collaboration radically changed his opinion about financing in non-banking institutions and helped to resume his activities in the HoReCa sector in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. He has a lot of bold ideas for the future, which he told us about over a glass of good wine and a delicious steak cooked according to a special a la Boulevard recipe in Comrat.

How did you come up with your business idea?

I started my first business 26 years ago with three friends who became my business partners. We were young and energetic, and at that time, we were carried away by the idea of creating the best nightclub in the region. And we succeeded. Freedom Disco, which we created together, has become one of the most popular nightclubs in the south of the country. It was a very valuable business experience for all of us, and with it, other ideas came as well as motivation to continue on the path of entrepreneurship with new goals.

The Boulevard Restaurant is a new gastronomic place for meat and wine lovers. What makes it different from other restaurants in the area and across the country as a whole?

I launched this project in the very center of Comrat together with one of my business partners. I fell in love with this place, and since the first day, I was sure that there should be a restaurant with a unique atmosphere and culture. Boulevard is, first of all, meat cooked according to special recipes and quality drinks, served according to European standards. We are the only restaurant in the south where visitors can taste dry-aged meat and wines from the best local producers.

Why HoReCa? What are the main weaknesses and strengths of this line of business, especially in the southern region?

HoReCa is one of the most difficult areas of business, especially in the regions. Compared to big cities with a constant stream of people, restaurants in small towns require a completely different approach to be successful and attract customers. Another task that is becoming more and more difficult every year is to find a team of professional chefs. Wages are lower here, many people leave, and it’s hard to motivate people to stay.

What special dishes can be found on the menu of the Boulevard restaurant?

In a small town like Comrat, it is unprofitable to specialize in a single cuisine. Therefore, we tried to add to our menu dishes of international cuisine that are loved all over the world: pizza, pasta, Moldovan dishes. Gagauz cuisine is the most native and close to us. We have traditional dishes on the menu: shawarma, shurpa, pilaf. The highlight for lovers of tender meat will be dry-aged steaks in various slicing options: T-bone, Ribeye, New York Stip, etc.

How important are loans for a food business operator?

I am not from a rich family, and everything I have managed to achieve has been made possible thanks to a sharp mind, loyal friends, and a good reputation. I have a lot of experience in lending, which allows me to understand where to take credit and where not. Unfortunately, we small entrepreneurs are not interesting to banks. They want to see turnover and specific collateral to give a larger amount. The main problem of business is underfunding. Thus, the only chance for us are institutions like Microinvest. There they understood me and believed in my idea, and it helped me to develop my business.

In conclusion, what advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are planning to apply for a loan?

Do not give vent to your emotions when you have a large sum of money on hand. It’s stupid to take out a business loan and buy expensive things like cars or phones. Invested money must bring new money, that’s the only way to succeed in business. You also need to know what is worth investing in and be sure that the product offered will be of interest to customers. But everything comes with experience. In fact, the business is like a constructor. To build it, you need to put all the pieces in place and calculate the risks.

P.S. When in the south, be sure to visit the Boulevard restaurant with delicious steaks and selected wines in Comrat, 203a Lenin Street.

*Microinvest is the only NBLI in Moldova that holds SMART International Quality Certificate.  It implies a responsible and transparent lending process, based on international principles of customer service, respectful, fair, and equitable approach. 

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