This morning we met with the regional ‘food inspector’ for all cafe’s and restaurants in the region. He was in town and had heard of our plans. He wanted to meet with us to review the requirements. We had heard from several people that this might prove to the most difficult of the steps in operating a functional cafe in Ukraine. He proved to be (at least so far) a very reasonable and professional man, and gave us some money and time saving advice as well as general good-will regarding our efforts.
Praise God for a good first step, and we’re moving forward tomorrow with the destruction of some interior walls and first floor renovations!
Some of the more interesting requirements include:
– separate rooms for preparation of various menu items (meat in one room, veggies in another etc). This must be why 90% of the restaurants in Kiev all have such limited variety and so few foreign restaurants are here.
– They inspect the cafe every three months, and test the water, kitchen cleanliness and tables / chairs for usage of proper disinfectant. They do not care about bathrooms (because hardly any cafe’s have them, they are a luxury, seriously!)
– We shouldn’t call it a cafe, as it then requires more documents. If you say it’s a restaurant, it’s even worse! So, we may just go with ‘mayak’ or ‘lighthouse’..
I really look forward to seeing the kitchen worked on, and the main area completed, it will be a blast to host these same inspectors, police, and other public servants and bless them with some good food and build relationships with them.