The woman who has nurtured a successful business and bakes “travelling” bread
March 9, 2023
A fresh loaf of bread, just out of the oven, fresh and flavourful... gives a feeling of warmth, peace, and joy. Inspired by these feelings, Elena Andreev from Tiraspol decided to bake bread every day and bring joy to other people. That's how her business, called BioFrost, was born. Four years ago, when she gave up her promising career as an accountant in favour of starting a business, Elena faced several challenges. Most of her friends didn't think she'd succeed. But Elena set her sights on succeeding in an unfamiliar field and today she has a modern bakery up and running, has developed a network of loyal customers on both sides of the Nistru river and has become an inspiration to her 17 employees. Moreover, Elena offered the possibility for 10 refugees from Ukraine to do a traineeship at the bakery and some of them will be employed.
Elena Andreev set out with a lot of passion and dedication, ready to work for her dream. Soon her business started attracting customers. And that's what happens when you produce a quality product. There are loyal customers who would recognise her products with their eyes closed. BioFrost makes 30 types of products, among them breads, pies, home-made noodles, palmiers, and the incomparable croissants. The products are sold baked or frozen.
Elena Andreev is the only entrepreneur on the left bank of the Nistru river who uses an innovative method of flash freezing. This has become possible thanks to the high-performance equipment procured with financial assistance from Sweden and the UK under the UNDP project “Advanced cross-river capacities for trade” (AdTrade).
Elena and her entire team were thrilled when they found out that they would receive a grant worth US$5,000. “This money came just when we needed it most to grow the business. We bought then the freezers and the equipment that makes it possible to instantly freeze bakery and pastry products, which has completely changed the way our bakery works,” says Elena.
“This equipment shock freezes the product at temperatures of -30°C or -40°C in just five minutes, which preserves its shape, quality and 7% of its moisture. The product retains all its important and beneficial properties, taste, and flavour. Thus, the shock freezing method is a modern technology that allows the part-baked product to be kept in the freezer for a longer period, up to 120 days,” explains Elena.
Customers can now enjoy freshly baked goods at home, saving time and effort: in just 20 minutes, the enticing smell of bread, pies or croissants wafts through the house.
“Thanks to the assistance obtained through the AdTrade project, we managed to overcome the pandemic crisis, create jobs, find new business partners on the right bank of the Nistru river. We are more sustainable, resilient and confident in our venture. And if I think about it, this project has helped me save at least 5 years of my life,” says Elena Andreev.
The modern equipment, as well as the training and mentoring she received as part of the project, helped Elena streamline her production process, which allowed her to increase the volume and range of her products, as well as diversify the distribution and sales channels, and prompted her to revise the company's visual identity. With support from Sweden and the UK through the UNDP/AdTrade project, Elena developed the packaging design for a wide range of products, created the company's website and developed a marketing strategy.
This is one of the reasons why for some time now BioFrost products have started “travelling” and can be found not only at the bakery in the centre of Tiraspol, but also on the counters of over 30 stores on both sides of the Nistru river. What's more, Elena Andreev, together with a partner from Chișinău, has exported her goods to Romania several times. Now Elena wants to expand the geography of sales: “To start with, we want to export more to Romania and then to other European countries. We have a plan and we will work hard to achieve it. Especially because I have the full support of my family,” says the entrepreneur.