Bosiljcic artisan candy shop is the only remaining artisan store of this type in Belgrade that still keeps its tradition of this almost forgotten craft, offering to its visitors a vast choice: hard candy, caramels, lollipops and unforgettable ratluk, better known as locum.
A little bit of history….
The full name of this shop is “Artisan shop for the production of candy and ratluk (Serbian name for locum) Bosiljcic” and it is responsible for bringing joy to the young and the elderly Belgradians especially those in Savamala (an area of Belgrade) ever since 1936. The current shop is located in a very old building in close proximity of the main train and bus station in the city in the street of Gavrilo Princip 14. Back in 1936, the first to have chosen to dedicate their time to this artisanship was Branislav Bosiljčić, while nowadays Branislav and Zivorad, his grandsons, are responsible for continuing his legacy.
A little bit about how it all started
It all started when the grandfather, a twelve-year old Branislav at the time, seems to have had enough of being a docker, a port worker and a bakery apprentice and decided to use his physical strength to make candies, which is not an easy job at all. Today, a small part of the production process is mechanized, but still everything is made according to the tradition and old recipes. Therefore, a struggle between the large sweet mass, later shaped and formed into thousands of candies and ratluk, and the artisan is still fought on daily basis. Mmmm…
Taste, looks, quality, tradition
Apart from 20 different tastes of locum, this artisan shop offers numerous types of colorful candy, jelly cubes, lollipops, caramels, candy cane hearts etc. There seems to be something for every age group. Interestingly enough, once there used to be 120 shops of the same kind in Belgrade and there was even one close to the Bosiljcic shop in Pop Lukina Street. However, only the Bosiljcic shop is still proudly standing, having recognized the preferences of their customers, who seem to appreciate the quality of their products and the artisan production. They have also worked a lot to deserve it…..
A box of candy as a tourist and gastronomic attraction of the city
The work they have put into making candy got the Bosiljcic shop to become well-known not only in Belgrade. Numerous tour groups from all over the country come to see how the candy of great taste and very high quality is made according to traditional recipes. Similarly, a number of tourists who tend to stop at the nearby port on the Sava River cannot help but stop by this shop so that they buy gifts to bring back home, the gifts that can hardly be found elsewhere.
It is worth mentioning that during her visit to Belgrade in 2017, the first lady of Turkey, Emine Erdogan, visited this shop. Also, the rumor has it that on that occasion she bought everything that was in the shop.
This candy shop is only about twelve years older than me, so it does tend to evoke an incredible number of memories. Ever since my childhood, the shop Bosiljcic has served as an educational institution of its sort, since it was quite common to hear: “If you behave, I will take you to the Bosiljcic candy shop”; When we grew up and got our first pocket money, we would dash to this candy shop to buy our first gifts to our first sweethearts. Later on, every visitor that would enter the shop would receive the rose or nuts flavored locum, today with pistachios. As of recent, you will often see a familiar scene - a child with eager eyes, as if they were asking: “Was I good enough?” Depending on the mother’s impression, the world would open up or completely crash to these tiny beings. This is who were and remained to be these Bosiljcic family members, who gained the trust of the youngest –which tends to be the most difficult of them all.
The author of the article
Translation tweaked by Natasha from angloland