If you’ve been reading my blog over the past year plus, you’ve heard me mention my site mates (other Peace Corps Volunteers who also live in Balti), David and Matt. You’ve probably also read about some of the food booths I volunteered with them on. Over the last year I worked with them on four booths, from Gustar, to Pumpkin Festival, to Winter Carnival, and Hram. In just over two weeks, I will run my first food booth without them; luckily I’ve got a great team of the new volunteers on board and helping with it!
As I move on to a food booth and existence in Balti without them, they are moving on to opening their own restaurant! They are making the choice to stay in Moldova, however they’ve moved to Chisinau (the capital of Moldova) and are planning to open a BBQ restaurant there.
Their vision for their restaurant is much larger than simply a gathering place, with good beer and good food, (although that’s a key part of it), they are also looking to open up a community for entrepreneurs in Moldova. Currently there are a LOT of small businesses in Moldova, almost every other corner has a ‘Magazine,’ or small supermarket owned by a family or individual, not a corporate chain. In fact most of the stores, restaurants, and other establishments are not chains, or if they are chains they often aren’t chains with more than 10 locations.
For all the small businesses that exist in Moldova, the process to opening a business here is shrouded in some mystery. As a part of their work in opening their restaurant, David and Matt are keeping a blog to explain their process. If you’re interested in learning more about the business sector in Moldova or keeping up with their progress, check out their blog here: http://opensource-entrepreneurship.org/index.php/en/