Established in 2014, Chirifruit caters to your sweet tooth perfectly, with their wide assortment of dried fruit, dried fruit rolls and chocolate, and the dessert that Georgia rightfully takes pride in: churchkhela. As director of Chirifruit Sophio Jikia explains, it was a kiwi given to her from her father that accidently turned into delicious dried fruit – after being placed near the oven for too long – that gave the family the inspiration to start the business.
In a country as keen on its traditions as Georgia, it may seem a little unorthodox to some to modernize pieces of Georgian heritage. Chirifruit, however, has managed to do this in a way that causes only admiration. In their own words, the company succeeded in creating something new that “does not lose our culture and old traditions, but on the contrary, reveals its concept in an even better way.” Their products, equally delicious and aesthetically pleasing, are often hailed as works of art by customers. This encouraged them to diversify Chirifruit even further, adding churchkhela made from strawberry, raspberry and cherry juice pelamushi, as well as traditional grape juice. In the context of culinary modernisation, the launch and success of ‘the new generation’ of churchkhela is what they are most proud of.
As relevant as Chirifruit is for Georgians, given that most of them would snack on chiri (the Georgian word for dried fruit) or churchkhela anytime, the company’s production, for many tourists, represents Georgia itself. When we ask Natia Uchidze, Head of PR for Chirifruit, why foreign markets are interested in their products, she replies: “There was a post in a Facebook group entitled ‘Spend Four Seasons in Georgia’. A tourist who wrote about the emotions he experienced while travelling in Georgia published a photo, which showed a Chirifruit label in the frame. What’s more, Georgians, before going abroad, often visit Chirifruit to take products with them in order to show foreigners the essence of Georgia’’ There have been many similar situations in the seven years since the company’s creation, and according to Natia, it is exactly this type of thing that motivates Chirifruit to create a product that is simply impossible to forget.