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Delicious and Profitable or How to Make a Living out of Food Blogging in Albania

Constant personal and professional growth, hard work, and learning helped Kristi Janku build a business from her food blog Kikilisiouss. And Swiss EP helped and supported her on her journey.

When Kristi Janku founded Kikiliciouss with her sisters Julia and Eranda, she never thought she could be one of the most influential food bloggers in Albania and a woman running her own business. She owes her success to constant learning and growing and setting high standards for herself.

Kristi Janku started her hobby project (that we now know as Kikiliciouss when she was only 14 years old. Her wish was to do something creative and exciting in her spare time. Combining her desire for creativity with her love for making delicious treats and spending time with her sisters led to the idea of launching a food blog.

Over time, her exposure and success grew. With generous support from her family, Kristi was free to experiment and find new ways to improve the blog. Though the initiative felt like fun, it also started taking more of Kristi’s time, attention, and resources. She realized it was time to commit and call it a business.

However, to call it a business, she had to switch from a blogger to a businesswoman. While making delicious treats and recording the process was fun, Kristi and her sisters had to find a way to make a profit from it.

Kristi’s curiosity and desire to succeed led her to the startup community and Women Founders Network in Tirana. There, she was exposed to other entrepreneurs, female founders, and mentors. And this is where we met her. Kristi worked with Swiss EP experts, and she even took part in Women Entrepreneurship Week 2019 organized by Swiss EP in Zurich.

Swiss EP has been one of my primary motivators to turn my business (back then a hobby) into a real business and make money out of it. Being part of such an ecosystem motivates you to keep it up and search for the next move. I had great experiences with different Swiss EP experts through these past years. However, if I had to choose one, it would be Nina (Blendina Cara). She has offered excellent guidance and still is a wonderful mentor. I’m lucky to have met her and grown so much professionally, thanks to her advice and support.

Kristi Janku, founder of Kikiliciouss

Today, Kikilicouss is one of the leading food blogs in Tirana. Kristi has extended her interest in baking to a full-fledged business delivering cakes, cookies, and sweets to loyal customers celebrating special occasions.

With online sales and an excellent reputation, the team has already developed a production line for making their recognizable treats. Their two latest products, pistachio cookies and vegan cookies, are already top-rated.

The Kikilicious team has big plans for the future, including expansion to other European markets. They are not afraid of hard work, and they are always ready to take guidance from a peer or an expert who can help them along.

In the meantime, Kristi has turned into a role model for young Albanians. With her success, modesty, and desire to grow, she has shown everyone that hard work, a good plan, and love for what you are doing can lead you to the life you want. She is grateful of her success, and this is how she defines it:

I told myself that I was successful for the first time when I signed my first big contract and had 2-3 others in the line. The second time I told myself that was when I realized I was living life doing what I genuinely love. And that to me is a success!

Kristi Janku, founder of Kikiliciouss