Jovanka Sabljic and her family, who returned a decade ago from refugee to their hometown Drvar, in the past five years are producing schnapps, liqueur, juices and jam from cornelian cherry.
– “We care for processing cornelian cherry on traditional way, as our ancestors have done hundred years ago, which is characteristic for this area. My family decided to continue this tradition and improve it. For several years, we have been engaged in the production, processing and placement of domestic products of cornelian cherry. Last year I graduated in the field of entrepreneurial economy on the topic: „Production, processing and placement of cornelian cheery.“ During the research, I discovered a growing market opportunity for organic food and beverage production, and additives based on cornelian cherry, so I started with innovations in our production. We also developed our own brand „Be healthy as cornelian cherry“, and two years ago we founded the cooperative with the same name “– said Jovanka.
– “We also harvest a cornelian cherry manually. We started with one tone, and we reached up to three tonnes of raw material that we processed during last year when we achieved sale of over 1, 000 small jars of cornelian cherry and 500 liters of juice and have sold them in more then ten different countries. We sell products through social networks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and some EU countries. We are currently developing a web shop for our products that should increase our sale. Schnapps is very popular. It is pure as water, gives the fullnes of taste and a strong scent of cornelian cherry and for the quality of schnapps, the most important is the quality of the raw material. From the other side, the texture of our jam from cornelian cherry its not easy to forget. It is delicious, midly creamy, beautiful and unusual color. We make it on a traditional way, with over 70 percent of fruits.”
This family works without machines, which slows down the production.
“There are various machines available on the market, from those that help in the separation of cornelian cherry, to those that, for example, product jam by themselves. Such machines retain the quality of the products, and they work on the principle of organic prodution. We would save a lot of time with them and use more raw materials that most often collapse. Placement and distribution are done by sister, two brothers and me.”
According to her words, in the future they are planning to improve production but also to work on marketing and online sale.