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The Warsaw Voice » Society » May 22, 2014
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Family Business with a Belgian Flavor
May 22, 2014   
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Family Business with a Belgian Flavor

Jolanta Radziszewska, owner of the Batida restaurant in Warsaw, talks to Ewa Hancock.

Batida is famous for some of the tastiest cakes in Warsaw. How and when was the business established?

The origins of Batida go back to the late communist era, when I emigrated to Belgium for a few years. My parents, Warsaw entrepreneurs Jadwiga and Zygmunt Radziszewski, visited me frequently and got to know the country. Fascinated by Belgian cuisine, they opened a bakery in Warsaw on Nowogrodzka street. They bought the best ovens and put them in the window. The sight and above all the smell of freshly baked baguettes and croissants meant queues formed in front of the bakery. On the back of this success, my parents branched out with a restaurant and a cafe, taking inspiration from French-speaking countries. After a few years, I returned to Poland and took over the running of the business.

So it's a true family business?

Batida is the result of the work of three generations. My parents founded the company, and the business is now managed by three entrepreneurial women – me, my mother Jadwiga and my daughter Caroline, who will take over the business. Batida is growing all the time, and we have more and more branches and franchises, but the company culture is clearly still based on a family-run organization – friendly towards its staff, business partners and above all its customers. Each of them is important to us. Our philosophy is not about just profit and growth, or being oriented towards a mass clientele. We have a flat organizational structure, which is informal, and allows for extensive consultation and open discussion among staff. This culture gives us a platform for innovative ideas. We want to remain a family business, as this allows us to retain our most important value, the passion that drives us on.

What does the future have in store? Will the Belgian identity of the restaurant become stronger?

Yes, that is the direction we intend the restaurant to go. Bistro de Belgique will be a place for informal meetings among family and friends, as well as business meetings in a casual, easy-going and open environment. We want to be a place that provides a happy taste of life. We also welcome children, in particular for a family Sunday brunch, with a special menu for our youngest guests. We play French music, and our menu, which is already very Belgian in character, will be developed further in this regard.

How much of what you use in your kitchens comes from Belgium?

Belgian cuisine is at the heart of our menu. The four main pillars are chocolate, beer, mussels and fries. We create some interesting combinations from this, for example mussels cooked in beer – and chocolate is not just used as a dessert. Belgium’s famous fries are a perfect accompaniment to many dishes. We prepare meals from all corners of Belgium – Flemish asparagus, waterzooi soup. All of our products are made from scratch, from natural ingredients, using original Belgian recipes. At Batida we are particularly proud of our cakes and sweets, and the quality of these products is assured by our Belgian confectioner Jef Damme, who is the author of books about chocolate and desserts. We also offer “Batida in your kitchen” – ready-made meals that can be taken home and warmed up. This includes such Belgian specialties as foie gras, pâtés and quiches.

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