Valentin Kolarski, Bakery Owner

Valentin Kolarski, 35, started his small baked goods production facility in 2000, when he was only 24. He bakes traditional Bulgarian banitsa as well as pastries, pizzas, muffins, cakes, etc. In the beginning, production was carried out in a rented space of about 40m2, with only two employees.

In 2002 some friends and fellow business owners recommended ProCredit Bank as a timely provider of small loans. At that time Mr. Kolarski applied for and received a loan for home repairs and did not intend to seek financing for his business. However, the polite service and competent advice he received at ProCredit Bank caused him to reconsider. He took out a small loan and bought an oven for the bakery. That was the beginning of his long and very active relationship with the bank.

In 2002 the bakery entered into an agreement under the state programme "Breakfast with Warm Milk" for pupils in the first to the fourth grades. Thanks to his participation in the programme, he tripled his production capacity and today employs 12 full-time staff. Although it was his first contract with an educational institution, it would not be the last.

As business was going well, Mr. Kolarski and his wife, a philologist, decided to join forces and diversify the activities of the company. In 2004 they established a foreign language training centre, which Mrs. Kolarski manages. Due to the success of the business and to the financial support they received from ProCredit Bank, the couple were able to purchase property and construct a facility to accommodate both the bakery and the language centre, which now employs seven full-time teachers.

This investment helped Mr. Kolarski to increase productivity and enlarge the range of goods that he can provide to his customers. In 2010 the bakery received a European standard certificate for food quality, which is considered to be a great achievement and very good for business.

"ProCredit offers various loan options tailored to the needs of my type of production. I can describe my relationship with the bank in two words - honest partnership."