Challenging the packaged food industry at Pelini’s

by Rosa Hergan09/10/2020 - 14:39

Prishtina’s second shop promoting zero-waste shopping shows that living a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult.

Since the beginning of last year, a tiny punetori (workshop) called Pelini’s has been tackling the food industry’s gross reliance on non-reusable plastics by selling kitchen cupboard staples in bulk using recycled and multi use packaging. Squeezed in between two graffitied garage doors on Hakif Zejnullahu street in Prishtina’s Ulpiana neighborhood, the shop prides itself in promoting the idea of zero-waste.

Besides Hambare, it is the only shop in town that supports limited waste production by selling bulk goods in reusable containers. Customers can help their cause by bringing their own receptacles and receiving a customised refill of different types of grains, seeds, flour, and spices, most of which are processed on their farm in Novoberde, or in the shop itself.

Pelini’s. Photo: Urim Krasniqi/PI.

Heavy with the warm scent of freshly grounded grains, and products placed in each corner of the single room, Pelini’s interior is immediately reminiscent of a granary. Yet its modern decor, pastel blue walls, and built-in cupboard with off-white doors add a homely charm to the shop’s minimalist atmosphere.

Despite the size of the place, customers are still likely to get lost when exploring the plethora of labels affixed to the variety of glass and ceramic jars, paper bags, and wooden barrels adjacent to their upcycled store counters. 

Pelini’s products vary depending on the season and what they are being supplied with by regional farmers from Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Montenegro. On Prishtina Insight’s visit, a variety of legumes, Montenegrin honey, roasted hazelnuts and peanuts, dried apricots, and salvia leaves were all available, alongside imported power-foods like chia seeds, cacao powder, cinnamon and Brazil nuts. Prices ranged from 0.4 euro for 100 grams of peanuts to 15 euros for 1 kg of honey.

Pelini’s. Photo: Urim Krasniqi/PI.

The shop is also one of the only places in Prishtina selling gluten free flour. Tangling against the shop’s pastel blue wall, two other shelves were packed with pink pots filled with flour from chickpeas, coco flakes, and flax seeds starting at the price of 0.7 euro per 100 grams, as well as roasted sesame seeds for 0.65 euro per 100 grams.

Adding the ultimate immersive touch to Pelini’s granary ambiance, the saleroom holds several large paper sacks loaded with pumpkin seeds for 0.85 euro per 100 grams or flax seeds for 0.25 per 100 grams.

Meanwhile, Pelini’s cold-pressed nut butter mix is the only one in town made purely from either walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or peanuts in front of the customers’ eyes. It starts from 2 euros for 200 grams of cold-pressed peanuts. Prishtina Insight was quickly convinced by its rich nutty flavor and luscious texture, making it a succulent spread on warm toast.

Pelini’s. Photo: Urim Krasniqi/PI.

Self-evidently, zero never means zero in this context, but there is still room for improvement in Pelini’s take on zero waste. Information about waste created throughout the products’ life cycle is often missing, while the price range is unaffordable for the majority of Kosovo citizens, slightly undercutting Pelini’s call for a paradigm shift.

However, the owners’ conscientious drive to raise awareness about ecologically balanced agriculture and low impact consumerism is undoubtedly a much-needed step in the right direction, and hopefully, many more stores like Pelini’s will follow.

Pelini’s is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 until 18:00. Visit their Facebook page for special offers.

09 October 2020 - 14:39



St. Hakif Zejnullahu, Ulpiana neighborhood, Prishtina, 10000


Mon-Sat, 09:00-18:00


Phone: 049 545 746

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.