Owner of Best Croatian Pizzeria Moving Abroad

The pizzeria will remain, but the owner is moving abroad.

The owner of the best Croatian pizzeria Marin Vanjak wrote on his Facebook profile that he was leaving Croatia, reports Index.hr on August 20, 2018.

“You know I am not involved in politics and do not talk about things I know nothing about, but I do have my own thoughts which I rarely share with a few good friends. This time I will make a small exception! This is all I have to say about this topic...

Dear Croatia,

I'm leaving, I'm leaving
I am leaving you, but not as before
This time forever, now you can weep
I'll never come again
Not even when it is raining
Not even when the sadness overwhelms me
Not even when it's going badly for me
Never, never again.

Forgive me for the future
Forgive me that I might be happy
That I will forget all this
Which means so much to me now
And this last tenderness which hurts
And tears and your unfaithfulness
Which you created in my heart.

I came to tell you
I'm leaving, I'm leaving
Because I cannot cheat my heart
And that's why I'm leaving, I'm leaving
I cannot forgive because I love you too much
I love you too much,” he wrote announcing his departure.

What is the reason for leaving? He has not explained it yet, but three months ago he said he would leave Croatia if the terror of the racketeers and “uhljebs” against him continue.

Several months ago, Vanjak announced that he was reported to the sanitary inspection for the waste from his pizzeria which a private waste disposal company was supposed to take care of. Although he used to drive the garbage to a junkyard himself, the company convinced him that he was not allowed to do it and that he needed to have “an accompanying document” which they can issue and dispose of waste for him. He signed a contract with them and then the problems started.

“A phone call. Good morning...

- I am the owner of the land in Velika Gorica where you have unloaded your waste!
- I beg your pardon?!
- Yeah. Each box says O'Hara Zagreb, and it is clear that you have thrown it on my land. I have to report you to the sanitary inspection...

I explain the situation to the gentleman, he understands but does not want to discuss it and report us and the mafia company. In a conversation with them, they do not admit that they were the ones who unloaded the garbage on the private land plot. Without sorting the waste, all together! The mafia says there is a possibility that we have dumped it ourselves without them (25 kilometres away, and a recycling yard is just 500 metres away). Alright... I can already feel the problems coming...” Vanjak wrote.

He then received a phone call from a sanitary inspector.

“This is a sanitary inspector. You have been reported and I have to come to you to perform an inspection...
- Okay. Come...
- I cannot! I work till 4 pm and you open at 6, so I would ask you to come to the restaurant during my working hours.
- Come on Saturday... we work all day
- I cannot, because I do not work on Saturdays...
- Okay. Now what?
- It would be best for you or one of your people to come so that we can solve it.
- We cannot do that!
- Why?
- I do not want to hang out with you outside of my working hours, just like you do not want to do it in your free time!
- OK. Then we shall do it differently... I have ways to force you (police, etc...)
I try to remain polite. I mention that we have all the documents and permits, as well as that we pay taxes and all other obligations in time and conscientiously. She says that she has nothing to do with me paying my taxes... I lost my mind then. Nothing to do?! Come on!” Vanjak continued, describing what had happened to him.

"I am waiting for further developments... But be assured that, the first time they come to get me, there sharks and racketeers, I will close down my business, so somebody else can pay for this kind of idiotic situations which are common for anyone doing business in Croatia!

I can and I will! There is still business energy in me, and there are other countries. Maybe Venezuela. They cannot be this idiotic!? Surely not!”

Vanjak spoke in the meanwhile with Index.hr, explaining his plans. “I am dealing with sales and consulting in the premium pizza segment, so I can do this in any country in the world. I have decided to simplify my life and business, so I have moved my business to the Czech Republic.”

What about the O'Hara pizzeria in Zagreb? “O'Hara in Zagreb is actually owned and managed by my son and he will decide what to do with it. The rest are franchises that I sell in Croatia and abroad, and after Bulgaria, the next probable locations are Singapore, Doha and Dubai, where I still have to arrange details,” said Vanjak.

He also announced that he would get a Czech ID next month. “I travel a lot and live everywhere, and in a month I will have a Czech ID,” he said.

What about the garbage removal? “The inspection caused trouble for us, but in the end we were not fined,” said Vanjak, adding jokingly: “Just because I alarmed the whole of Croatia, so now they are afraid I will call them out again.”

It seems that O'Hara in Zagreb will have an interesting autumn. On its Facebook page, it announced a redecoration and new ideas. “Sounds somewhat surprising, but the dream of anyone who knows something about cooking is pizza! It is a simple dish, but it is also complex and interesting... Every dish can be made better at home than in a restaurant, except for pizza!

Our mission is to combine pizza with top cuisine. We are redecorating O'Hara and adding new dishes to the menu, as well as expanding the offer of beers and wines. This will be an interesting autumn,” announced O'Hara, hoping that this year it would host even more prominent names from the fields of winemaking and cooking.

Translated from Index.hr