Chunky Monkey: RIT Croatia alumni launch a new breakfast and brunch place in Zagreb
November 21, 2022
Bundek Centar in Zagreb has another breakfast & brunch place, which has just been launched by our alum Sven Kovačević. Sven is a Swedish born who started his Croatian adventure some 10 years ago. Fast forward to today, Sven earned his BS degree in International Business at our Zagreb campus, discovered that he liked Croatia so much that he would actually start his own business here, with his business and life partner, Melanie Goldfinger (also our alumna ☺).
As a student and an SG President at RIT Croatia, Sven was always a creative individual who always had an entrepreneurial side to him. "I get this from my father, who has been such an inspiration. He came to Sweden from nothing, without a single cent to his name, and has since started various companies in the transport industry and has made a name for himself. He is my motivation and my inspiration.”
It is safe to say that Zagreb campus folks who know Sven were not surprised when he announced that he was opening a brunch place right in our neighborhood. We of course, used that opportunity to learn what is so special about it!
Q: Hello Sven, how are you? How has life been treating you?
Sven: It has been a while since we last spoke! I’m good, thank you for asking. Life has been treating me quite alright, recently married, so everything is sunshine and rainbows right now.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself, and your journey at RIT Croatia.
Sven: My journey through RIT was an adventure to say the least, though challenging, I can honestly say that it was the best 4 years of my life. I loved every part of it, from classes, exams, guest lectures, to college events, friends and my time in the Student Government.
Since I graduated, I‘ve jumped around a bit between Sweden and Croatia, trying to figure out who I am and what I am supposed to do. Who was I meant to be? What would make me happy?
RIT has helped me shape the way I think, approach new problems, how I view and make sense of the world, and how it works. Above all of its teachings, lessons and advice, one thing in particular stands out. RIT has an amazing network of students and alumni, and this has helped us tremendously time and time again.
Though it took me a while to figure that out, today I’m the proud owner and co-founder of Chunky Monkey, am married to our beautiful alumni Melanie Goldfinger, who is the "Co” in co-founder, and I honestly couldn’t be any happier.
Q: Tell us the story about Chunky Monkey ☺.
Sven: "The story of Chunky Monkey is an interesting one. About 2 years ago when I first met Melanie I was saying how fun it’d be to open up and run a cafe in Zagreb. Although she didn’t love the idea at first, saying how there are already too many cafes in Zagreb, after a bit of brainstorming we came to an agreement and the idea of Chunky Monkey was born.
The idea is to bring about high quality pastries to the people of Zagreb, alongside healthy and nutritious options. The Chunky side and the Monkey side, the yin to the yang. It also describes us quite well because I am always looking for the best pizza place, while Melanie is like what about trying some new acai bar? We tried to achieve a perfect balance to have something for everyone, and to introduce some healthy alternatives that do not have to compromise on taste.
Our menu consists of a wide variety of goodies, from, croissants and donuts, to smoothie bowls and chia cups, as well as dessert cups of different delicious cheesecake combinations. We import quality pastries from France, but we also make in-house custards and creams to add our special touch. All of our recipes are carefully curated to ensure rich and unique flavors that are not overbearingly sweet.”
Q: What would you recommend your customers to try from your menu? What is the most popular thing they order?
Sven: "Definitely our Super Smoothies, they are our best sellers, and they are also 100% our own recipe. Fully healthy smoothies, with zero added sugars and conservatives. We worked on our recipes for over 6-7 months until we perfected it. Our A Kaj? Smoothie is a "Must try” for sure.”