UT presents a series of stories about Ukrainian ex-combatants who open businesses and initiate volunteer projects after returning to a peaceful life
UT continues the series with the second establishment: pizzeria and coffee shop opened by Ukrainian war veterans.
A customer: I'm actually from New York and very critical of pizza but it's very good here.
The owner of Veterano Pizza Leonid Ostaltsev opened this restaurant right in the center of Kyiv less than a year ago. Six months were needed to finalize a business plan and find an investor. Now, the place is already highly popular both among locals and foreigners.
The interior has its own theme - stylized in military - that could be one of the reasons why the restaurant is an attractive place for many visitors. However, the main point of interest is the pizza, customers come here regularly.
Leonid Ostaltsev, ATO ex-fighter, Veterano Pizza owner: We have nearly 5 thousand people a month and serving around 100 pizzas per day.
Leonid continues that his startup idea has a more global sense and is not limited only by a pizzeria opening. He wants to provide opportunities to those people who come from a war and who want to benefit the society doing charity from the money they earn. It's how another initiative appeared.
Leonid Ostaltsev, ATO ex-fighter, Veterano Pizza owner: One of the guys who was working here started a business, ...a coffee shop, and he is already going to open the second coffee point.
Volodymyr served in the Donbas ATO zone in 2015 till spring 2016. He is proud to have regular guests having opened the booth just 3 months ago. He frankly says that after launching the second shop he won't stop and is already thinking about expanding the business even in a different area of activity. Meanwhile, he's shared his secret of success.
Volodymyr Shevchenko, ATO ex-fighter, Veterano Coffee owner: Correctly brewed coffee, great service, cleanness, good order, hygiene - these are components for a perfect cup of coffee. Coffee must be freshly roasted and we succeed in roasting it ourselves. The beans, brought from abroad already roasted, lose their flavor and subsequently the taste.
Luckily, we met one of the regular customers here, who explained why this place enjoys popularity among people.
A customer: It's an already famous brand opened by ATO veterans. Friendly personnel that knows me and remembers what I always order.
The opening of new businesses under the brand of "Veterano" is only a matter of time. As war veterans persuaded UT, they won't limit themselves with Kyiv only.
We wish them good luck and switch to another ex-combatants' story to be presented within the upcoming days.
Taras Chechko, UT Correspondent