In Georgia, there has been a notable rise in the number of companies specializing in the country’s national sweets. Among these culinary enterprises is “Nugbari,” whose captivating journey began back in 2015 within the kitchen of Eka Bocholishvili in Sighnaghi. Initially, they prepared Tatara in just one pot and hand-kneaded Churchkhela. However, as the demand for these Kakhuri traditional sweets grew exponentially, the family business found itself needing a larger space.
“At first, we could manage with one pot of Tatara and about 400-500 Churchkhela per day. But as time went on, sales skyrocketed, prompting us to increase production to eight pots of Tatara each day. The growing quantity of Churchkhela could no longer be accommodated in my house, so we made the decision to expand our business and establish a proper enterprise,” explains Eka Bocholishvili, co-founder of “Nugbari.” She adds that the profits accumulated over three years were reinvested into the business, supplemented by a bank loan. Finally, in 2018, together with partners, they opened a modern and well-equipped facility.
Today, their enterprise boasts an annual production of 300,000 sticks, with half of them being sold in Georgian chain supermarkets while the rest are exported. The delectable taste of “Nugbari,” rooted in Georgian traditions, now reaches over 20 countries worldwide.
“We export our Churchkhela to European countries, the USA, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel. Our primary markets are Germany and Lithuania, from where we receive substantial orders that continue to grow each year. Currently, we are even prepared to dispatch up to 12,000 sticks,” reveals Eka Bocholishvili.
Since “Nugbari” embarked on its journey towards international exports, they have strategically targeted non-traditional markets with significant purchasing power, where both their products and partnerships are duly valued. Their endeavors have been supported by the USAID’s agriculture program, assisting them in creating an identity and promoting their brand globally.
“With the invaluable support of USAID, we have developed new packaging for Churchkhela, incorporating colors inspired by traditional Georgian elements. Additionally, it was through their assistance that we obtained the ISO certification and had the opportunity to participate in an international exhibition held in Dubai,” highlights Eka Bocholishvili, co-founder of “Nugbari.”
From its humble beginnings with a single person’s efforts, the company now provides employment to more than 100 individuals. However, their aspirations extend far beyond this. Over the years, “Nugbari” has set its sights on exploring new export markets, driven by a singular goal: to introduce the amalgamation of Georgian culture, history, and traditions encapsulated in their sweet treats to every corner of the world.
By Mariam Gorkhelashvili