What do you when it’s 1961 and you cannot find work in Kosovo? Move your family including grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and anyone else with something of a connection to Podgorica and open a bakery.
Pretty straightforward, right?! That is the story of the Hamza family who own and operate Korzos Bakery located on Ulica Slobodna in the heart of Montenegro’s capital. The Hamza family relocated here with a hope that they could make a better life, have an opportunity, and raise their family to tell a wonderful story. They appear to be succeeding.
Children, nieces, nephews, and cousins have helped to keep the operation moving seamlessly. Family recipes handed down over generations provide a foundation for quality and consistency that keep the locals coming in daily. One of the interesting things about this family operation is that family are not “required or expected” to stay around. After asking about my host’s children, he replied, “They are in Austria living their own dreams.” The Hamza family spirit of seeking out their dreams and following them was on full display.
Vibe: While it serves the people faithfully as a bakery, Korzos is representative of so much more than the treats it serves daily. Korzos captures the spirit of a bygone era which seems to be slowly fading out.
Rec: The burek (a meat pie pictured above) is the best in Podgorica for sure. Šampita (sham pita; pictured above) looks delicious and serves as the base for a sweet version of kacamak. Also, the išler, a chocolate covered dessert with thin wafers and cream filling, are amazing! (See the photo below.)
Location: The bakery is easy to find. Simply walk down Freedom Street (Ulica Slobodna) toward the stadium and away from the center square. The bakery will be on the left.