Mini poticas are conquering Slovenia

Le Potica.

As tradition goes, no holiday in Slovenia passes without potica – a cake which is traditional to this country. Christmas holidays, in particular, are not to be celebrated without true Slovenian potica.

The cake is baked in a special baking mould – potičnik – characterised by its round shape and hole in the centre. Usually, potica is a rather large cake, but thanks to young entrepreneur Janja Štrumbelj, it is now also available in a small, neat version. The idea of mini potica first came to Janja when she tried in vain to find some potica in Ljubljana coffee shops for her foreign friend to sample. “I found that opportunities for tourists to try Slovenian potica are very limited, although we proudly present it as one of the most representative traditional Slovenian dishes. I also noticed that at big banquets, large slices of potica were cut into smaller pieces, which crumbled apart, making any potica lose its brilliance, no matter how nicely it had been rolled. I thought it would be great if potica was so small that it didn’t need to be cut, which would also make it suitable to be served alongside coffee, like a croissant, for example. By chance, I saw suitable models in a store and the idea was born.”

At home, she kneaded potica dough for the first time in her life, using her mother-in-law’s recipe, and started experimenting. She tested various shapes, fillings and ways of rolling small poticas, until she found the right solution. She also found the right name – le Potica (which could be translated into “a beauty”), truly appropriate for such little beauties. As she believed the product to be particularly suitable for catering, she entered into a business partnership with the Jezeršek company, which combines traditional Slovenian cuisine with the latest culinary trends. 

Traditional recipes

The cake is baked in a special baking mould – potičnik – characterised by its round shape and hole in the centre.

“As with larger poticas, the miniature versions are made according to traditional recipes that I gathered from various sources.” After testing various recipes for several months, she selected the right ones to combine the best dough and the tastiest filling. All recipes are based on natural, high-quality ingredients, as this is a precondition for authentic flavour.  

She does almost everything herself – from baking to marketing. Miniature poticas, or le Potičkas, as she named them, are par baked, which means that they are half-baked and deep-frozen immediately afterwards. On request, she finish them off and pack them. The production of miniature poticas is entirely manual and takes place at the Jezeršek company. She developed the product to an extent that allows for mass production. Besides baking and selling poticas, she also devotes a lot of time and attention to packaging design, marketing, promotion and the development of products under her own “le Potica” brand. 

Le Potica – a synonym for the best Slovenian potica

In the future, Janja Štrumbelj wishes to strengthen her business model and improve the position and visibility of the “le Potica” brand as a synonym for the best Slovenian potica. “Currently, I devote a great deal of energy to my shop, which I opened this year in Mestni trg square in Ljubljana. I intend to supplement the assortment of “lePotičkas” with larger poticas and include into my brand other potica-related products, such as potica baking moulds, books, cooking textiles, etc. Someday I might even open my own coffee shop where “lePotičkas” will be served – warm, straight from the oven.”

Text: Polona Prešeren

Photo: Personal archives