Moving People

"I do what I want - and what my Customers want."

Sometimes life turns out to be a little different than we planned. Tijana Ivkovic knows this quite well. Instead of movies she produces cookies, brownies and bagels. And that successfully. Her career began online when she published cooking and baking videos on YouTube. Now she has her own small bakery in the heart of the Serbian city of Novi Sad. And pursues her dream.

Tinana's YouTube Channel
Tijana Ivkovic's YouTube-Channel "Pivokosa"

You have studied drama and production - and now you own a small bakery. When and how did the idea of founding your own company started?

The idea of owning my own shop started even when I was in elementary school.  I imagined that I would be a producer and get really rich. At the age of 50 I would retire, open up a coffee shop and sell cookies. When I got my bachelor’s in AV production, I thought, why not just skip a step, and go straight for the shop. Then the idea of an own bakery became concrete on YouTube.

On YouTube?

Yes, the platform actually plays a key role, considering that the whole idea started in the comment section on my video. A video showing how I made "Chocolate Chip Cookies". One of my followers wrote that I should open a cookie shop. I thought why not. After that, I documented the whole process in vlog form for my Instagram and YouTube channel.  I'm sure that played a big role in Kukiccino becoming an instant hit with customers.


What´s behind the name "Kukiccino"?

The perfect combo, a Cookie and a Cappuccino. Kuki is just a Serbian way of spelling cookie, so that any grandma could read it correctly.

What do you show in your videos?

The concept of most of my videos is "Cooking without a recipe". Here I often connect cooking with a life story or lesson. Since I've opened up my shop, I mostly shoot in there, after closing and cleaning up. So sometimes I'd be there at 12pm making food and screaming at the camera. Sometimes passers-by just stare at me through our big window. It's all great fun.

 

Which kind of food do visitors find in your bakery? Are these all your own creations?

My concept is American Comfort Food. So there are a lot of cookies, brownies, edible cookie dough, but also Mac & Cheese and Bagels. The classics. They’re mostly my interpretations of stuff I see online. Sometimes we put in a Daily Surprise that I’ve dreamt of the night before. Some surprises turn out to be hits, some flops, but at least it’s never boring.

 

What makes "Kukiccino" so special?

I don’t know exactly. I don’t think about it that much. I just do what I feel like doing and talk to my customers in the shop and online. We often do what they feel like doing or trying. I feel like we’re all just a bunch of kids playing around with food and having fun – and it works.

The YouTuber Tijana Ivkovic with a bagel plate in the Kukiccino
Tijana Ivkovic

What kind of challenges do you face in your work as a young entrepreneur?

Getting out of bed every single morning without a day off was my biggest one.  But now: I’m kind of loving it. I get bored when I’m not there, whatever else I might be doing.


Do you still have time for leisure and relaxing next to YouTube and the bakery?

As my business has grown rapidly, it's getting harder and harder for me to do something for myself, let alone film a cheerful video. I like to use my precious free time for sleeping and showering.


Have you ever doubted your decision because of this?

Oh, maybe 3 or 4 times a day. I have my mini panic attacks every day but that’s how you know you’re onto something big.


Your plans for the future?

Since I tend to switch it up every five years, who knows. Maybe I’ll go into construction. Or designing clothes. Maybe I’ll buy a farm. I don’t make long term plans, I believe they limit imagination.

About... Tijana Ivkovic

Tijana Ivkovic (26), has studied drama and production at Academy of Arts, in Novi Sad. After her graduation she decided not to start a career as a director but opened her own café called "Kukiccino" in 2018.

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