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“We managed to bring the taste of French croissants to the kitchens of Moldovan housewives” – Victor Gudima, Microinvest client

If you’ve visited Italy at least once, you’re sure to have loved ‘collazione’, the morning tradition strictly adhered to by the Italians – a tasty breakfast served with aromatic coffee and something sweet, such as freshly baked croissants. Entrepreneur Victor Gudima, the Microinvest client, was impressed by the taste of frozen croissants, baked at home and served for breakfast, so loved all over Europe and decided to bring them to Moldova, establishing Panadero, his own pastry business.

Classic or filled croissants, “snails” with cherries or raisins, pain au chocolat, and ham and cheese rolls – these are some of the Panadero brand frozen products that you can cook quickly and easily right in your own kitchen, with an authentic and aromatic taste, made by pastry chefs from Moldova and Europe. Now, Panadero desserts can be served in a splendid location, right in the heart of Chisinau, opened with the financial support of Microinvest. How they managed to create the perfect recipe for Moldovan frozen croissants, as well as what other special products you can get at Panadero, find out in this article.

Panadero – from idea to success. How did you get started, and what do you do today?

I am not a baker or a chef by profession, but I am a good visionary of business ideas that will come to life. After a visit to my sister in Italy, I was impressed with how tasty home-baked frozen croissants can be. Soft, fluffy, and with such a refined taste. Precisely those croissants inspired us to produce them in Moldova. In the beginning, we produced and delivered baked croissants for HoReCa; they were in great demand and appreciated by many restaurants, hotels, and cafés, to which, in addition to quality pastries, we also offered training on how to cook them correctly. Most of them, over time, have become our loyal customers. At the same time, we perfected our frozen croissant recipe and launched them into retail under the Panadero brand. And from 2023 we are physically present in the historical center of Chisinau, our soul location.

What’s the secret of frozen pastry? How did you manage to create the perfect croissant recipe?

It’s not easy to create a croissant recipe. In fact, it’s one of the most complicated recipes. You need to create the perfect consistency not only in taste and shape but also that will keep well in the freezer. It took us a lot of time, experiments, and dedication to get the taste of croissants we wanted. Initially, we thought to bring a pastry chef from another country, as everyone does but still, we wanted to raise our own Moldovan chefs. Together with Panadero pastry chefs, we went to several trainings in Germany, France, and Italy; also, European chefs came to us, to finally create the recipe for our delicious croissants that everyone can cook and taste. The secret is in the raw products, the well-crafted consistency, and the love and hard work of the whole team.

How popular are semi-finished products these days? What special desserts can we find in your fancy pastry shop in the center of Chisinau?

Very popular. In our modern pace of life, when time is so precious, semi-finished products are a good solution and a delight for housewives. In just 20 minutes you can cook croissants, “snails” or rolls that will fill your kitchen with flavor. At Panadero pastry, we wanted to bring both classic products and special desserts. For example, customers can taste a selection of fresh croissants, lavender eclairs, pistachio cheesecake, caramelized pear and gorgonzola cheesecake, and even the famous San Sebastian dessert. Everything is produced on the spot, every morning, by our talented pastry chefs. In addition to the pastry, we also have several items on our menu for meals throughout the day, from breakfast, and lunch to dinner. We have been very well received by the locals and those who work in this area. They said they had long wanted such a place here. And here we are.

About Microinvest support and the importance of responsible investment in business development.

To create a good and up-to-date product, you need knowledge, experience, and of course high-performance equipment. At Panadero, we still make artisan pastries, however, we need efficient kneading and rolling machines. We also need big investments when we open a new location. For such situations it is very important to have good partners, such as Microinvest. We had a nice collaboration right from the very first business loan we took. They are responsive, operational, and understanding. Entrepreneurs highly appreciate these qualities, otherwise, it’s hard to stay in the market. We will definitely collaborate on the next projects in our list of goals because we have many wonderful ones.

What new locations and desserts do you plan to add to the “menu” of the Panadero business?

We are very happy that we have only been open for a few months, but people are already asking us when and where we will open our next location. This makes us dream of a network of Panadero pastries in all areas of the city, and in the future, why not, maybe even in the regions. Of course, we will continue to improve our products and recipes, and create new desserts, both fresh and frozen. We like what we’re doing at the moment and how well we’re appreciated by the public means we’re doing it well. Of course, there are challenges in business; we too have faced and continue to face shortages of staff, finding suppliers for raw products, and more unstable or crisis periods. These only make us stronger and more confident to continue the beautiful idea we started with. Especially since we have reliable partners, such as Microinvest.

*Microinvest is the only non-bank credit institution in Moldova which adheres to international customer protection principles. They involve a responsible and transparent lending process, based on a fair, respectful and equitable approach to customer service.


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