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FAMILY BUSINESS IN SHYMKENT: LUXURY CONFECTIONERY, APPLE ORCHARD AND ORNAMENTAL BIRDS
85

13.02.2018

FAMILY BUSINESS IN SHYMKENT: LUXURY CONFECTIONERY, APPLE ORCHARD AND ORNAMENTAL BIRDS

"Vanilla" Confectionery House


Aliya Amirbekova, 36, from Kentau

Brand-chef of the "Vanilla" Confectionery House

The "Vanilla" confectionery house was opened on December 9, 2012 in Shymkent. Initially, it was not supposed to be family business, as I and my husband launched a confectionery and did not even think of relatives to be engaged in. Our system was quite simple: my husband was a cashier, while I was working in the kitchen. We were creating our customers layer step by step.

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The first year was hard as we were unknown. Nevertheless, it got much better and we began to go abroad: Ukraine, Russia, and Europe. That was when we started our policy of making confectionery from natural ingredients.

I dare say that the "Vanilla" is a luxury confectionery with prices appropriate for this segment. During the trips we take a lot from Europe and use their classic pastries, Spanish and French especially.

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We have chosen a confectionery industry, as I’d been engaged in this for 15 years. Besides, we’d already had a confectionery in Kentau ranked as a family business and making food such as bread and cakes. Our project in Kentau works well and these days is managed by our partners, as working in Shymkent seems more interesting for me. A year ago we opened a branch run by my sisters in Almaty. In general, my sisters-in-law and son are involved in business.

Everything goes well when staff knows responsibilities and minds subordination.

The only obstacle we faced was the payback period which was quite large - from three to five years. Being pioneers we were not understood at all and were frequently asked for the reasons of such high prices. Anyway, anyone who tried our desserts understood the thing. The most difficult thing was to lure clients, which is not a problem for us anymore. Now people have become more adequate to our prices as we’re compared with many other pastries. Today there’re too many European confectioneries.

It’s difficult to make an adequate pricing policy as we have many rivals and few people see the difference without trying our desserts. For example, our colleagues in Russia sell the same cakes twice as expensive, while we get the same ingredients from Russia, but our prices are different.

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Our son is now in Shymkent, he is 18. He’s the third year student and wants to be a confectioner. He can practice and create desserts in the family bakery. We have hired people except the relatives. It was me who trained all the staff. In Shymkent we’ve got 25 people in staff, and in Almaty - 8.

Initially, I wanted "Vanilla" to be family business. I’m lucky to have my children getting involved and interested in all the subtleties of the business. Also, I wanted all my clients to know me personally, so that it could be a small business bringing great pleasure. We live just above our confectionery like in European family bakeries.



Family Farm


Zholdasbek Toganayev, 30, an employee in the "Tursyn" farm

Our family, I, my parents and my younger brother, has a family farm which was started by our grandfather in the 60-70's. Mom is engaged in dairy products and makes koumiss, sour cream, kefir.

We ranch cows and horses. Besides, we grow wheat and have our own apple orchard.

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The amount of harvest depends on the weather conditions so each year the result is different.

Also, we are engaged in the ornamental birds’ cultivation which used to be just a hobby but turned into business three or four years ago. We grow peacocks bought by people willing to have them in the garden as a decoration.

The business has rallied our family and we do not have specific duties. One can spend the whole day without being distracted from work. Sometimes I can be a manager, sometimes - an unskilled worker. We need to do all the chores with no exceptions. All work is common, and you fulfill the things you want to and leave the ones you don’t want, though you’ll remain responsible for that.

As for difficulties, some weather conditions such as wind and frost sometimes drive us crazy. More workers are required when winter is coming.

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We hire people to help during the harvest. We had both tractor and truck drivers. Today we’re planning to hire more people.

We have a customer base that comes and buys the products we make. The one who comes for food will definitely return.

Hopefully, my children will also be engaged in our farm and continue the tradition.