Yesterday morning Facebook reminded me of the clip below. It's been ten years since I first stepped on the place where there is now a small factory with five kettles and eight village housewives making the best sausage and sweets.
What I'm writing today is about that beginning moment, when all I had in mind was to be able to have a nice space where I could prepare the jam with Aunt Veronica. And for that I needed money and help, i.e. labor. If the money came from an angel investor at that time, the labor came from my father and some craftsmen in the village.
Before the construction started, I remember a beautiful spring day, when I went with dad to a hill and he was also looking around and you could see how much he enjoyed it.
I still remember what I said to him: look dad, this is the Switzerland of Romania, an unspoiled, picturesque and very natural place, that's how I described Idicel to him.
We started from the bare ground, and together with dad we gave the level and drew the place where today is a pretty little house, but which has a flow that respects production and food safety norms.
Everything was created in my mind, I visualized every night how to arrange them so that it would be correct, because the woods are not allowed to come into contact with the technological process, but I found solutions and now we are working in good order.
After that came the actual construction work, which lasted from the end of April until August 25, a real record, all in one summer. I had a small trailer and I would carry with dad every day or afternoon, as he also had time off, tools, materials, everything we needed to finish until the fall, when we had to start our activity.
One evening we were coming home tired, and on the way, in a curve, our concrete mixer went through the corn. We were very scared, but that's what happens from fatigue, because we didn't tie it very well.
It is very important that when you go on the road in a business, you have a person to work with you, to actually put your hand in, because things cannot be done only by writing and e-mail -hate. It's real work, both when you build and when you cook, everything is done by hand, from then until now. I wouldn't have achieved anything without him, especially on the budget I had at the time, about 20. 000 euros. It was extremely important that everything be done "in-house", both literally and figuratively.
The local craftsmen also had an important role, because they know how to manage with little and how to do the job well. We had gypsies (I call them that because they are proud to be called that) who made the stoves. Only they know the art of making a stove that directs the smoke to the chimney and has a good, steady burn at the cauldron.
All this time we were picking fruit and making jam in Aunt Veronica's yard, so we wouldn't lose the season. I was all over the place, but what kept me most important was a fantastic thirst to succeed, to make something at Idicel Pădure that everyone would talk about, and I knew that could only happen if I made a good product that would reach the tables as soon as more people.
Today marks ten years since Veronica sold me her place in the valley, where she still goes and manages the seven hardworking women in the village and makes sure everything is in order.
The only big regret I have is that today I can't go with dad to remember the beginning moment and look relaxed and happy at what we achieved together.
I am happy that I returned home after eight years of wandering around Cluj and Bucharest and today I am in Idicel with my beautiful family, and he is looking down on us, probably proud of what he has built and left here on earth.