A New Home for Local Flavors: Mega Image Opens Gusturi Romanesti Stores
Since 2009, Mega Image has been selling private brand products made using traditional Romanian methods and locally grown ingredients under the Gusturi Romȃneşti (“Romanian Taste”) name. We originally featured these products, such as jams and free-range eggs, in small displays throughout Mega Image stores. But they proved so popular with customers that we continued expanding the line until we had enough products to fill a small, stand-alone store.
So in 2015, we opened our first 2 stores that sell exclusively Gusturi Romȃneşti products. These stores showcase our commitment to honoring Romanian techniques, traditions and recipes, while also showing how these practices can align with modern sustainability goals.
Gusturi Romȃneşti has become a brand that people turn to when they’re seeking out products that feel and taste authentically Romanian,” says Raluca Alexandrescu, Mega Image’s Manager of Brand and Communication Marketing. “Investing in stand-alone stores with a truly Romanian atmosphere - from the design and decoration to the associates’ traditional clothing - helps us better address that need.
Manager of Brand and Communication Marketing, Mega Image
Creating local connections
We opened our first Gusturi Romȃneşti store in a popular shopping area of downtown Bucharest just before Easter – a holiday when many Romanians seek out traditionally-made products. Inside, customers found a variety of private-brand products made in a traditional manner or representing regional traditions, including meat specialties, baked goods and Romanian wine.
During the growing season, the store also sold fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, alongside year-round products made by local producers. Mega Image has forged partnerships with these growers as a way to promote sustainable practices and help support the local economy. “Long-term contracts with local growers help ensure the continuity of their businesses,” says Alexandrescu.
To strengthen connections between customers and suppliers, we invited a jam maker, a dairy farmer and a cold pressed oil producer to speak to customers at the store’s opening event. These Gusturi Romȃneşti producers described their production techniques and explained why using traditional or original methods is important to them.
A model for future stores
Our goal of blending tradition with modern elements also extended to store design. The interior featured hand-carved wooden beams that harken back to traditional Romanian building techniques; at the same time, we installed energy efficient LED lighting systems to reduce energy consumption.
Customers enthusiastically embraced the first Gusturi Romȃneşti store, and by September we had opened our second location in a popular open market in Bucharest. Thanks to this positive response, we plan to add two more Gusturi Romȃneşti stores in Bucharest in 2016.
“The popularity of these stores shows us that there is a strong appetite for the Gusturi Romȃneşti line,” says Alexandrescu. “Knowing that, we can build on our success and continue offering more products with the tastes and flavors that many Romanians remember from their childhoods.”