Skiji – Georgian dried fruit with ancient name
16 December, 2016
Skiji – Georgian dried fruit with ancient name
The word ‘skiji’ stands for ‘dry grapes’ in Old Georgian and it has been exactly a year since the company of this name appeared on the Georgian market. We have spoke to Darejan Berdzenishvili, the founder and head of this small enterprise that produces dry fruits of various kinds.

The idea to found Skiji

I had been thinking about this for several years, but could not find ways to carry it out for quite a long time. Finally I took part in a state program called ‘Produce in Georgia’ and received funding of 5 000 GEL. That money was decisive in making first steps.
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I have to say that producing dry fruits is a very promising field. Various kinds of fruits are cultivated in rural Georgia but the peasants cannot sell them all. There are lots of good quality and cheap raw materials and they do not contain chemicals.

What does Skiji produce?
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I began to work last December and in my village there were only tangerines and kiwi back then. So those were the first kinds of fruits I dried and sold. Now I also produce orange citron and this year we have novelties: we added dried melons, pumpkins, medlars and persimmons to our assortment.
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We also produce churchkhelas. It should be noted that apart from popular types made with hazelnuts and walnuts, we also make them with dried persimmons and apples.
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We also have a very interesting offer for tea lovers: we dry
flowers that have good curable qualities and besides, they can be added to the tea, to make it more aromatic.

Where to buy

My products are not sold in ordinary shops. I mainly sell them to restaurants and cafes, as well as to bars at Chardin Street in Tbilisi and wine shops that mainly operate for tourists, because the foreigners are eager to buy them as presents.

100 grams of dried fruit costs approximately 4-5 laris.

Future plans

Now we are focused on corporate orders and many well-known companies have expressed interest in our products. Therefore, we decided to create special baskets, where the blend of Skiji products is presented.
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Dried fruit is very good for export, especially when it's made of natural fruits. Our interest is huge in this regard but at the moment we are planning to expand production on the local market. We already have a specific project, but everything depends on good funding. We hope that in the future we will be able to offer even more diverse range of products to our customers.

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