(P) Artisanal food products from Buzau Valley: A Romanian-German couple created the premium food brand „Rafinețuri – Fine Food from Grigorescu Mansion”
Juranda and Thorsten Kirschner have been involved in Romanian tourism for many years and are trying to market Buzau County as slow food and slow travel tourism destination. Recently, they opened the guesthouse Grigorescu Mansion after 10 years of renovation. Parallelly, they created Rafineturi - an artisanal product line that is based on innovative recipes with fruit and vegetables from wild orchards, the surrounding forests, or their own ecological production. The limited-edition products are sold as culinary souvenirs or corporate gifts.
Buzau county is well known for its wine area Dealu Mare and traditional products, like Plescoi sausages. The latter benefit from the label Protected Geographical Indication, approved by the European Commission.
The idea of combining tourism with artisan products brought Juranda and Thorsten Kirschner, a Romanian-German couple, to Buzau County where they bought and renovated an abandoned mansion, Conacul Grigorescu. Today, after a renovation period of 10 years, the location offers 5 apartments in separate houses, slow-food dinners with local products, executive team building, and excursions to the nearby Dealu Mare wine region or to the future UNESCO Global Geopark Land of Buzau.
During the renovation period Juranda and Thorsten worked on their own brand. The idea was to offer culinary souvenirs to travellers that visit Buzau County and to include local farmers and small producers in the tourism value chain.
Rafineturi is a word creation, a Romanian reinvention of the French word “Rafinesse”. According to the owners, “the realisation of the food brand took several years trying out innovative recipes. Everything is prepared at Grigorescu Mansion in Buzau valley in a traditional way without any preservatives or colourants.
Our philosophy is based on the slow food concept with fresh, regional, and high-quality products– everything is grown organically. Herbs, truffles, mushrooms, and forest fruits we find directly behind our house in the Carpathian Forest.”
Currently, the Rafineturi portfolio includes more than 10 products, e.g truffle Zacusca, honey with truffles, truffle salt, strawberry jam with ginger, apricot jam with rosemary, chili jam, or quince jam with rose geranium. One of the flagship products and inventions of Juranda is elderberry jam with Feateasca Neagra, a Romanian red wine from Dealu Mare wine. The best-selling product is a handcrafted and hand-painted wooden box that includes 3 selected products.
Rafineturi is distributed online, in selected delicatessen shops in Bucharest and major towns in Romania. An own shop was opened also at Grigorescu Mansion.
Another segment is corporate clients. “More and more companies are looking for very special Christmas gifts, gifts that are produced locally and in a sustainable way”, according to Thorsten.
Currently, there is a limited production capacity and Rafineturi is sold out every year after Christmas. In 2022, Juranda and Thorsten plan to expand the business and develop additional products. For guests of the Grigorescu mansion, they produce already goat cheese or truffle goat cheese. The launch and distribution of an own artisanal cheese brand is already being planned.
On a regional level, Juranda and Thorsten want to intensify the promotion of the slow food and slow travel concepts for Buzau County and build local level alliances between farmers, restaurants, and hospitality providers. According to Thorsten, “the combination of tourism and local quality food production is an important asset and can bring new international tourists to Romania”.
Further information on www.rafineturi.ro.
(p) - This text is an advertorial.