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Opening a small shop, and selling many Polish items in USA. Do you think this would work?


valpomike 11 | 197
13 Apr 2011 #1
The other day, my cousin, who lives in Warsaw, Poland, sent me some Polish dried mushrooms. We can get them here in Chicago, Il. around a hour drive, fifty some miles, and when we find them they want a arm and a leg for them, and I know the cost in Poland is much lower.

Several of my friends, Polish-Amerincan's and others, have asked if I can get some for them.

I am thinking of buying from a friend in Poland, and selling them for less than the store's in Chicago charge. Do you think this could work?

What are some other items, don't have to be just food items, but could be, do you think the people living here in my area, would like, if they could buy at a good price?

I may, even, if this goes over good, open a small shop, and sell many Polish items. Do you think this would work?

Those of you living here in the USA, what items would you buy if you were able, at a fair price?

I would like any and all feed back on this, but no nuts, that just want to post, please.

Mike
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
13 Apr 2011 #2
What are some other items, don't have to be just food items, but could be, do you think the people living here in my area, would like

I don't know much about your area, but dried mushrooms would be good to import due to being long-lasting and lightweight. Just be careful about following the laws of your country concerning food importing.

Polish chocolate is good to, plus honey (but again, there are strict laws in a lot of countries about importing honey). Christmas decorations from Poland are nice, plus linen products.
OP valpomike 11 | 197
13 Apr 2011 #3
JohnnyM,

Thank you for your ideas, but I don't think honey would sell good here, since there are so many types you can get here now.

If you think of other food items, like the cheese that comes from southern Poland, I don't remember the name, do you know of it?

Mike
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
13 Apr 2011 #4
Those of you living here in the USA, what items would you buy if you were able, at a fair price?

A buława
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
13 Apr 2011 #5
Oscypek. Lasts a long time because of the rind. There must be a hundred types of flavoured vodka (high start-up costs if you're importing though) but could be a market for some of them Gdansk Golswasser too. I've noticed Nalewka shops springing up in Polish cities recently.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
13 Apr 2011 #6
Sounds like a good idea to me.
Cardno85 31 | 976
13 Apr 2011 #7
Good idea, but what is stopping you from finding your own wild mushrooms, gettting a license, then selling???
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
13 Apr 2011 #8
Do we have wild mushrooms here? Most of ours come from mushroom farms...
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,846
13 Apr 2011 #9
Good idea, but what is stopping you from finding your own wild mushrooms, gettting a license, then selling???

the fear of killing the clientele maybe..:)
beckski 12 | 1,617
13 Apr 2011 #10
Those of you living here in the USA, what items would you buy if you were able, at a fair price?

Polish piwo!!!
boletus 30 | 1,366
13 Apr 2011 #11
Polish chocolate is good to, plus honey (but again, there are strict laws in a lot of countries about importing honey).

I don't know much about your area, but dried mushrooms would be good to import due to being long-lasting and lightweight. Just be careful about following the laws of your country concerning food importing.

Polish chocolate is good to, plus honey (but again, there are strict laws in a lot of countries about importing honey).

What chocolate? Two days ago I was given a little gift ("I shopped specifically for you for some good Polish chocolate, since I thought you might have missed it"). Now, that was some bad Wedel's product. Made of some nuts and raisins stuff, embedded in some ridiculously overly sweet mumbo jumbo. Who owns Wedel now? Cadbury? The worst stuff I ever tasted - and I had to smile all the time and be thankful. To be truthful, if I were doing the shopping myself I would have never touched anything looking so bad. I hope you can still buy a black bitter chocolate from Wedel and other places, and also the traditional Wedel's cake. But to be frank, I have not been into any Polish shop here for the last four months, so what do I know. Being too busy ...

Honey used to be quite a good and popular item in Toronto's shops. I have not seen any honey from Poland for the last two years or so. This has something to do with that terrible viral bee disease, which kills many, many bee swarms all over the world. Now they sell here mostly the stuff from Australia (being the primary suspect to actually proliferate this disease) and from New Zealand. The last good buckwheat's honey (strong, for people with an acquired taste) I bought here was from Ukraine, one year ago. Gone ...

On the positive side - mushrooms might be a good business for you. Over here, the Porcinis (Boletus Edulis), the Italian competition to Polish "Borowik", are sold in little packets - and they cost a lot. Polish shops still sell them, as they used to do it for years and years.

I have seen all sorts of marinated mushrooms coming from all over Poland - ranging from cheap low quality stuff, as well as the expensive chanterelles (kurki). One major reason that this is still a good concept is this: (and I do not know about the American side of the Great Lakes) On the Canadian side there used to be a very destructive clear-cut lumber-jack industry. Evidently, what we see around here, tree-wise, is no older than 80 years old or so. The point is, when the ecosystem is destroyed the mushrooms suffer as well, and they need a LOT OF TIME to come back again.

As an anecdotical evidence I should add that in my former 7-acre property in Northern Muskoka all I could find on my wooded property was a little patch of "kurki" - 1x3 meters. That's it! Ok, some occasional porcini, but nothing to call home about.

In conclusion, the mushroom business in USA seems a good idea to me for few reasons: non-availability, modern cuisine (French cooks on both sides of the Great Lakes).
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
13 Apr 2011 #12
Now, that was some bad Wedel's product

Try Wawel - it's still good. They do a nice one now with chilli in, and a really good 90% pure chocolate. Better than narcotics.

Who owns Wedel now? Cadbury?

Kraft owns them both since last year. They have to sell the Stollwerck chocolate factory in Poznań due to anti-trust laws.

I hope you can still buy a black bitter chocolate from Wedel and other places, and also the traditional Wedel's cake

Both still in the shops in Poland, though the torcik is a bit of a nostalgic retro product.
OP valpomike 11 | 197
13 Apr 2011 #13
The dried Polish mushrooms have a taste all it's on. If you have never tried them, you don't know. No others are as good.

Thank you all for you ideas, and what more would go over here in the midwest, USA? The merchants in Chicago, know many of these items are hard to come by, so the charge a very high price, and this is not fair. I just want to help people buy the best at a fair price.

What other food items, ship well? What other items, other than food items, would you buy, from Poland, at a fair price?

I am open to any and all ideas, please post and let me know.

Mike
Crow 150 | 9,549
13 Apr 2011 #14
valpomike

what i got as info thru my precious Pan-Slavic connections there is a Serbian shop in Chicago, IL. Its between Central Park Ave & Monticello Ave. Its `Serbian tradition Ltd. shop` (Srpska tradicija). What i heard many Poles and Ukrainians buying there, not only Serbians. Also, you have `Beograd Cafe` between Richmond St & Sacramento Ave.

valpomike, why do`t you go there and see how they functioning?
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
13 Apr 2011 #15
A lot of Polish shops have opened here in the UK and some have closed. They tend to sell stuff like Jogobella, powdered soups, Polish margarine, Tyskie, some wędliny etc. The ones that are a success are the ones that have become either 'pan-ethnic' with Arab, Russian, Turkish products - whatever there's a market for or the ones that have becaome more like a general store for the local community which also stocks some products from Poland.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
13 Apr 2011 #16
Christmas decorations from Poland are nice

they are, and i think they would sell well in other countries.
irishlodz 1 | 135
13 Apr 2011 #17
I've previously dealt with food importation to US. When it comes to food you have the FDA and Dept of Agri, among others. They can be a nightmare. Suggest you find an existing importer of food from Poland and let them deal with the hassle. Worth paying a premium.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
13 Apr 2011 #18
Worth paying a premium.

And this pretty much explains why the people in Chicago are charging a high price - because it reflects their costs.
rybnik 18 | 1,461
14 Apr 2011 #19
they are, and i think they would sell well in other countries.

one drawback: seasonal market
asik 2 | 220
14 Apr 2011 #20
What are some other items, don't have to be just food items, but could be, do you think the people living here in my area, would like, if they could buy at a good price?

Check in your area if there are already settled shops selling Polish products or similar from Europe. You won't get customers if threre are too many shops around with same or similar products.

Just like in my area, the new shops are closing down after 2-3 months, why? Their products are always too expensive. You can easily buy much cheaper and similar products at big supermarkets. Of course, not always mashrooms but Italians have them.

Polish people don't buy dry mashrooms often. The most popular season they buy is before Christmas because of one special Christmas dish. Other times we use fresh mushrooms and the ones from the supermarkets are more then enough.

Also, products similar to the one Polish people like, can be easily bought in the shops selling any European products.

If people ask you to bring more mushrooms, they think you'll sell it for peanuts, are you willing to sell it for nothing? :)
regionpolski 33 | 153
17 Apr 2011 #21
Mike, are you in Valparaiso? I graduated from VU back in 1990, but I digress. I gather wild morels and use them in soups. If you're in Valparaiso, I can offer some local advice.
poland_
17 Apr 2011 #22
Do you think this could work?

If you are looking for products to sell over seas, you could look at Polish organic produce, the organic industry is still growing in PL and there are plenty of companies that would be very interested in a export market.
OP valpomike 11 | 197
18 Apr 2011 #23
Yes, I am in Valparaiso, Indiana. Send your local advise.

Mike
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
18 Apr 2011 #24
valpomike wrote:

Those of you living here in the USA, what items would you buy if you were able, at a fair price?

Where I am, there's a major lack of Polish stores, my wife and I were just having this conversation.

If you're going to open up a place in the USA, start with the staples. Polish ham, pierogi made properly, kielbasa, kabanos, golabki you can take home, that sort of thing. You need to have the stuff Polish people crave from back home along with things the avg. american can go home and eat/cook. Keep it simple or you will be relying only on the Polish crowd in your town (which is fine if you're in one of the Polish hubs in the north of the USA.....if not, you gotta tone it down).

Also, gotta have instant barszcz, Vegeta, smietana, polish white cheese....the little things you can't find in a typical supermarket in the USA. My wife always complains that she can't find vegeta and smietana here.

We actually found Vegeta last weekend in a polish deli, $5.00 for 500 grams.
OP valpomike 11 | 197
19 Apr 2011 #25
Vegeta is not from Poland.

Mike
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
19 Apr 2011 #26
valpomike wrote:

Vegeta is not from Poland.

so?
OP valpomike 11 | 197
19 Apr 2011 #27
I asked for items that come from Poland, and made there, only.

Mike
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
19 Apr 2011 #28
Then come and do your research.

However, as Fuzzy has already helpfully told you - you need to stock the products that Polish people miss, they don't neccessarily have to be made in Poland. Czech chocolate for instance has a far better reputation among Poles than Polish chocolate.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
19 Apr 2011 #29
valpomike wrote:

I asked for items that come from Poland, and made there, only.

so what's left then?
rybnik 18 | 1,461
20 Apr 2011 #30
Czech chocolate for instance has a far better reputation among Poles than Polish chocolate.

Brand name(s)?


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