Gastronomy passion transformed into business

A gastronomy passion can be transformed into a business. Some people see Moldova as a country that is stuck in the past. Our older generations as nostalgic and unable to understand how the free market works. There are wonderful stories that prove otherwise. Stories of people belonging to the older generation but know how to transform what they love into what they sell.

Maria Minciună is a talented housewife from Slobozia Mare, Cahul district. Tanti Maşa, as the locals and her customers call her, turned her passion for gastronomy into a business. The canned vegetables, jams, sauces and liqueurs made by Tanti Maşa conquered the taste of the visitors.

In her pantry, one can find a veritable explosion of flavors, from fig jams, acacia blossoms. Also, elderflowers, to cherry tomato jams and even apple liqueurs.


Tanti Mașa obtained a grant worth 4,200 euros within the “EU4Moldova: Key Regions” program, financed by the European Union and implemented by UNDP and UNICEF. From the sources of the grant, Tanti Masha procured equipment for the gastronomic workshop (wood-based stoves, chopper, dishwasher, scale). Also, she registered the trademark “Tanti Masha”.

Tradition and innovation have found their place in the housewife’s kitchen, and guests and tourists queue up to taste the culinary delights.

In addition, guests can learn to cook the famous dumat and couscous of the south, paprika. The housewife is proud to continue the inherited traditions and has opened the doors of her house to tourists who want to enjoy traditional dishes and admire unique artifacts from the south of the country.

The “EU4Moldova: key regions” program (2019-2024) supports smart, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development in the Cahul and Ungheni regions, to ensure a better quality of life for citizens. The program has a total budget of 23 million euros, with funds from the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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