Connect
To Top

Hidden Gems: Meet Aniko Gulyas of Kürtôs Chimney Cake Sarasota

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aniko Gulyas.

Hi Aniko, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.

My name is Aniko Gulyas and I am the owner & operator of Kürtôs Chimney Cake Sarasota.  I started my small business in 2015 offering the centuries-old traditional Hungarian sweet pastries at the local farmers’ market and other pop-up events. Inspired by my childhood memories in Hungary, after having my own children I had a deep desire to launch my own business. I always loved eating kurtos cakes while I was growing up. Having a culinary educational background to build on,  I decided to learn how to make kurtos cakes  and to introduce this beloved delicacy from my homeland in my new community.

 

A popular sweet treat in Europe with a 300-year-old recipe, chimney cakes were completely unknown in Sarasota, so during the first year, I had a lot of interactions with customers explaining the history of the pastries. The traditional chimney cakes (“Kürtőskalács” in Hungarian) got their names from their unique tubular shapes that are simply the result of the dough being rolled over the baking pin. Made with all-natural ingredients, each piece is handcrafted individually, the dough is rolled around the pin, and then oven-baked to perfection in only a few minutes.

Kurtos’ popularity grew slowly through the local markets in the area and private orders even mail-order nationwide (in winter months only). Attending the Hungarian Festival in the fall of each year also exposed our delicious pastries to a wider audience and demand steadily grew from year to year.

I also started to experiment with flavors, shapes, and fillings, and we were the first to introduce a SAVORY SELECTION (inspired by my son) called chimney bread (with topping such as cheese and jalapeno, bacon, olives, everything bagel, etc.), which became just as popular as the sweet selection.

When it was time to open up my own bakery, we launched our first location inside the UTC Mall, then moved to downtown Sarasota and finally by the end of 2021 our family owned & operated bakery found its ideal location in the heart of downtown Sarasota at 1312 Main Street. Over the years, Kürtôs Chimney Cake has evolved into a Premium Sandwich & Pastry Shop offering a variety of delicious options for breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert, and catering as well.

Besides the traditional sweet chimney cakes, a wide selection of savory chimney bread enriches the menu. In fact, every menu item is based on either a sweet chimney cake or a savory chimney bread and is UNIQUE to our bakery.

The savory chimney bread is turned into delicious sandwich subs, party platters with cone-shaped appetizers & hotdog bread served with local Frankfurters called The Chimney Dog. The sweet chimney cakes are freshly oven-baked pastries with delicious healthy toppings (such as coconut, walnut, cocoa, almonds, cinnamon, etc.) and are a popular snack on the go, while the sweet chimney cones turn into fun ice-cream creations that customers enjoy showing off on their social media in front of our bakery’s INSTA-WALL!

If you have not tried our Kürtôs chimney cakes, you are in for a treat. Stop by at our store, we will surely TWIST YOUR TASTEBUDS‼️

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Finding the right location for the bakery was a challenging experience.

We’ve been impressed with Kürtôs Chimney Cake Sarasota, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Our specialty is a handcrafted, uniquely shaped traditional European-style pastry baked with all-natural ingredients. Continuing a 300-year-old tradition, each piece is still individually hand rolled and baked fresh every hour. The unique name ‘chimney cake’ refers to the peculiar tubular shape of our pastries. The entire menu is built on our core product, i.e. the traditional sweet chimney cake & savory chimney bread.

The endless options of delicious toppings & fillings allow us to create specials weekly, monthly, and as the seasons change. Made from scratch, with all-natural ingredients, with our own secret recipe, we created a premium sandwich & pastry shop with a selection only available at our store. Our catering menu is also one-of-a-kind with the savory sandwich cone appetizer platters & the boxed sweet dessert cones ~ the perfect treats for special occasions from dinner parties to wedding rehearsals ~ an unmistakably Kürtôs creation that is unique to our brand.

We also continue to showcase the tradition & process of creating these centuries-old pastries at the Sarasota Farmers Market, were true to tradition we handcraft & bake our original pastries right in front of the eyes of our customers. This showcase & direct interaction with our customers provides the opportunity to satisfy the curiosity of our patrons (old & new) and spread the history behind this unique delicacy!

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking.
Like all entrepreneurs, we constantly have been taking varying levels of risks since the launch of our business. Starting a new venture is always risky, especially with -at that time- an almost completely unknown product in the over-crowded pastry market. However carefully considering many factors and with a strong belief in the uniqueness of our product, we stepped outside our comfort zone and leaped forward.

With realistic goals and expectations, the business has grown steadily that indicating that it was viable and had great future potential. Always keeping a close eye on our financials, we had to take a larger risk when the business grew so much that it was time to open our own store. That was a scary step since it required much more time, energy, and financial resources and we were faced with great obstacles. This August we celebrate 7 years since we launched Kurtos Chimney Cake.

During this time we have grown and evolved into a business that we could have not even imagined back in 2015. We built a small business we are proud of, is profitable, provides a livelihood for many families, and has been part of the local foodie community and the reputable Sarasota Farmers Market for many years now. It was risky, but we sure take pride in how far we have come.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Kürtôs Chimney and Cake Sarasota

Suggest a Story: VoyageTampa is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories