nostalgia

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 I praise the internet Gods for this  age that we live in! An age  in which one can extend a call-out to anyone and be answered. Remember I sent out an inquiry to Cedar’s Premium regarding their Kazouza drink? … Well graciously, Mr. Joseph Najm , the AGM Cedar’s Premium SAL, has been very helpful in giving me full disclosure & replying to my nosy questions throughout a series of emails. And not only is the Kazouza mystery uncovered,  but I have also been able to get a sneak preview of his company’s plans for the future and the overall brand philosophy.

 Turns out the are 3 more elusive flavors, which we haven’t stumbled upon yet, totaling to a magical octagon: orange, lemon ice, pink lemonade, watermelon, strawberry melon, grenadine lime, tamarind and berry mix. And Mr. Najm says that the drink can be found in many supermarkets and minimarkets, however it will be a while before it will be distributed to all shops. So you’d better watch out, and inform me of locations of sightings :)

 As we all were guessing, the product’s mission is to take us back in time with a twist, “ Kazouza 1941 is the nostalgic, yet renewed,  Lebanese product/brand with varied and innovative flavors and a unique bottle shape differentiating it from available products in the market. It was decided to name the brand Kazouza 1941 to be true to our positioning of an authentic Lebanese product.” But what we did not know was the source of the magic numbers 1941, but be clueless no longer as Joseph explains, “1941 was the year “Kazouza” product was launched under the “Najem” brand; it was the first bottled soft drink in Lebanon, as the Sprite or 7Up lemon lime today.  And Cedar’s Premium is a new company owned by the descendants of Najem in 1941.”

 And with an eye on the future and a proud smirk on his face ( I can only presume that this is what was taking place behind his laptop’s screen), Joseph leaves us expecting more by adding, “Cedar’s Premium will launch in the near future other typical Lebanese products/brands such as but not limited to Jalloul which will have a different target segment and packaging.”

 

I think it is a beautiful story of rebirth of a family business, especially that I am a sucker for all nostalgic products. And I would once again like to thank Mr. Joseph Najm, for the attention he has given me, by taking his time away from strategic planning and marketing to satisfy a blogger’s curiosity.

 

P.S. I know I have been a bad blogger lately, as I am being drawn back to my work routine and the tasks are building up.

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Back to USSR!

 

Cafe/Club* Tovarisch (Comrade) in Minsk, Belarus

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Anyone nostalgic for the great Soviet State, or those that didn’t catch the wave the first time around will definitely enjoy this place’s concept. All is done to submerge you into that far away era, except the service, which is immaculate!

As you go down the stairs to enter you handshake with the doorknob & are greeted by a Huge hammer & sickle installation with a USSR map backdrop. The spacious dining room fully re-enacts the interior & setting of typical  a Soviet restaurant starting from the music down to the knife & fork. 

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And an alcove hides a bright red dance floor with an orchestra pit and a display of a huge variety of items Made in USSR.

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Upon further rummaging you will also find the endlessly creative bathrooms decorated with Soviet newspaper & lampshades in the forms of giant flies.

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Once you have finished you meal, you can write an Anonimka** and comment on the food.

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The food is sumptuous and really affordable ( as most places in Minsk) a 2 course meal for 2.5 cost us around 25 USD. Sorry we didn’t take photos of teh food which we gobbled on too fast!

 

Even the restaurant’s business cards enhance the restaurant’s brand through the Soviet emblem & the traditional typography.

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And their giveaway calendars forewarn in the Communist style: Have you been to Cafe Tovarisch?

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What are your favorite themed restaurants?

 

*Well it is actually a restaurant, but in Belarus there’s a huge tax & licensing difference between cafes & restaurants

** In the Soviet times people would anonymously snitch on each other to the authorities, this was called an “anonimka”

 

Find out more on Tavarisch’s Website

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