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Owners of small premium food shops in BiH shared their remarkable and unique journeys with the Sweden/USAID FARMA II project and its Hrana Gurmana campaign. Though small in size, their shops tell big stories.

Small premium food shops throughout the country can be considered oases of the BiH local products which represent a brilliant union between taste, health, and quality. Most of them tell interesting and personal stories of their owners, and here are some of them.

We will start with the Market Zrno. It is the first retail shop in Banja Luka to launch its production of organic products. They call it Slatinski Vrt and it includes 28 small local producers who have expressed confidence in Market Zrno to represent them and connect them with their customers. The owners of Marketa Zrno also have their family farm and use the fruit and vegetables they and their partners grow to produce the most delicious processed fruit and vegetable products. So this fall, in addition to the current range of homemade jams, honey, cheeses, and juices, they will also offer homemade tomato sauce, pickles, ajvar, and pickled mixed salads.

Located in Trebinje, the Herzeg House is a gourmet shop offering domestic products produced by local farmers in the most traditional way. Their shelves speak of the diverse gastronomic offer of Herzegovina and are filled with cheese, honey, tea, prosciutto, processed fruit and vegetables, and natural cosmetics. To support the hard-working producers, they test, and uniquely branded all of their products with the Herzeg House logo which is a symbol and a guaranty of quality.  In doing so Herzeg House adds value to their product.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, two young people from Visoko, Ervin, and Lejla Šeta opened a store called Šarena čarapica (a small colorful sock) in honor of their three-year-old son with the Down syndrome.  Hand-made juices, jams, and other processed fruit and vegetable products, made exclusively from the organically grown ingredients, adorn the Šarena čarapica shelves. But for those who prefer crispy food, they also offer the so-called Healthy Baskets filled with fresh fruits and vegetables.

And finally, the Mujanovići Farm founded Dedina Magaza in Sarajevo in 2018 to bring to the market their dairy and meat products, and home-grown fruit and vegetables. The Mujanovići Farm, in addition to breeding large and small cattle, also has a dairy and 150 dairy cows. From its founding in 1960 until today, Mujanovići has been guided by the slogan: "Family health always comes first". Following this motto and the vision for the development of the domestic economy, with a lot of effort, they managed to combine modern technology and the tradition of our region. This is, therefore, an ideal place to buy natural, homemade, healthy food.

These small shops tell big stories indeed, and there are many others in BiH whose stories are yet to be told. They do two things. They grant us access to quality products, and at the same time support local farmers and the communities they come from. Be part of Hrana Gurmana story, and next time you go shopping think of the big benefits these small shops offer to farmers and local communities.