Stanislav is one of the most interesting people that live in my hometown of Stara Zagora. He is partnering in the management of not one, but two beer bars. He has a law degree but he decided not to practice and while looking for opportunities he found a way into the business world. He is an optimist who loves fantasy and especially – the “Wheel of Time” books.
My name is Stanislav and I do things that I find funny. Luckily for me, I have a weird definition of fun and I generally have interesting things happen to me. One of which is a beer bar.
How was your “beer” dream born and developed?
After my parents told me “Just finish law school and then do whatever you want with your life”, I took their advice too literally and embarked on some adventures. After I graduated, I decided to take a break from all the studying and looked for odd and interesting jobs. The first one I came across was in a beer store. I thought, “Great!” and submitted the documents. I worked for several months and learned a lot of new things.
The plan was to stay for half a year, one at the most, and move on to something else – ideas were running through my head about working at the zoo (I’ve always wanted to clean the bear’s cage, preferably without her in it) or starting in a flower shop and finally learn which flower is called what.
But then one of the partners in the beer store decided to leave and it occurred to me that I could buy her share. With the other partner – Emi – we turned out to be almost equally crazy and after a while, we opened a beer bar, released our own brand of beers, and now we just opened another place that would be interesting, but in a different way.
For four years, you have been working in two directions – the development of a unique place for the city of Stara Zagora and the promotion of beer culture in the region. What lessons did you learn along the way?
I learned to always step out of my comfort zone. When the bar became cozy and the work familiar, I immediately found new beer ventures to get me out of this calm. I have also learned not to compromise on the free time of me and my employees – when the working hours are over, we leave. It doesn’t matter that there are many people in the bar. And the fact that we have neighbors also helps us to work until a specific hour. But it’s better for everyone.
Of course, it can’t all be rainbows and sunshine. What difficulties have you faced and what motivates you to keep going?
I can’t call them difficulties. More like weird and funny situations. One colleague – Georgi – who is also an actor, prepared a biting stand-up comedy show with some plots, conversations, and types of clients we have had. If he puts it before an audience, well then you will see what difficulties we might have.
Otherwise, I am motivated by the fact that over time I react more and more calmly to problems – what a year ago seemed to me to be something big, but now I react much more calmly to it. I’m not afraid of problems as long as they have a solution. Only people still surprise me sometimes, but this too shall pass.
How important is it to find the right team to realize your goal?
It’s important. Very early on, when I myself had no experience, there were a total of four guys who spun one after the other for a short time. I myself was not able to motivate them enough. After that, I put a lot more effort into everyone who started with us. So people who stuck around for a long time asked to start themselves (without a typical job posting) and contribute ideas to the development of the whole project. Before we hire anyone, we always tell them that we’re not just coming to clean up, pour some beers, and hang up. Part of the job is to get everyone involved in the development of the bar.
And as for the realization of my goal, it has not been just my goal for a long time – some ideas of my colleagues have become so intertwined with mine that it is difficult to say whose they were original. The formula for success, at least for us, is to work with intelligent people who have the freedom to make decisions and feel part of something bigger – in this case, a beer project that is unique to the city.
How do you see the steps for making your dreams about the bar come true?
I will start with the ultimate goal – our space program and space colonization.
And until we get there, we’ll focus on the smaller things that make us happy, like releasing more of our beers with even funnier labels, including Beroe beer, and participating in festivals, events, and parties.
Since the current bar has cramped us, we are working in several directions. Having neighbors above us stops us from some of the ideas we have. The good news is that we were able to get a second place, which is located on Ayazmoto, a park on a beautiful hill, just outside the city, a favorite place for almost everyone to walk. By the spring of 2023, it is already working and taking shape. And Kolobars will remain the beer corner of the city, where you can try the newest craft beers or enter the vast world of beer for the first time, as well as drink a glass on draft with good friends and chat in a cozy and peaceful environment.
Can you give a motivational message to people who are still hesitating to start working on their ideas?
I will start with a quote by Valery Bozhinov, which no one can fully interpret, but there is wisdom in his words. “A person only knows what’s wrong with him, only I know what’s wrong with me.” Everyone has their own doubts, worries, and dreams. The advice I can give is a bit random and as much as it works for me, it might not work for someone else, but still…
… if you have a weird and crazy idea, don’t hesitate to implement it. Patience and consistency are more important than experience. If you’re hesitant, you can always try with a partner – sometimes it’s nice to have someone to delegate a different task to, and they may also have knowledge that you lack. To find out what you are made of, I recommend trying out all kinds of jobs. Life doesn’t necessarily have to go through strictly defined stages imposed on you by society – you can take the next step.