KIEV – Aroma is Kiev's best coffee shop, according to a 2009 restaurant contest held by one of Ukraine's most popular websites, Lasoon. The Israeli chain, which opened shop in the capital one year ago, is one of the city's fastest successes.
For the second consecutive year the contest has been ranking restaurants in 23 different categories, in an attempt to develop food culture in the country. All candidates are first ranked by specialists and then by web surfers.
"The win was a complete surprise," says Yaakov Lipshitz, manager of the Kiev branch and a partner in the Aroma chain.
"We provide for a real need in the market for espresso bars and food service that just doesn't exist here, meaning fast, high quality food. We didn't know if the concept of Aroma would catch on with the Ukrainian crowd but I guess we have succeeded in cracking the code."
Olga Nasnova, one of the judges in the competition, said Aroma stands out in the Kiev coffee shop market. "It is a special blend of coffee shop and fast food," she says.
"Aroma's service method is also innovative. Reading the names of clients over the loudspeaker has become an attraction, and people call themselves by funny names and movie heroes' names to attract attention."