First Person

MTIgor Moskovin making doughnuts.
Igor Moskovin, doughnut kiosk owner/operator:

I'm originally from Tyumen in Siberia. I worked for a wholesale business. I was the regional manager for branches in Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Novgorod and other cities. But I realized the work wasn't for me. I wanted my own company. I wanted to be my own boss. I'm my own boss now, but I used to be the manager of 300 or 400 people. I don't really want my picture taken. I don't want them to see me.

"I came to Moscow about a year and a half ago and bought an apartment. Then I went to Miami for three months to study English. It was great. I want to go again.

"Three weeks ago I opened up this shop. It's my first step, but I think I will improve my business. I was thinking of different businesses to open. I was thinking of opening up a bowling alley, or a grocery store or a small brick factory -- something. I was walking near Sokol metro station and I saw a doughnut shop. It looked successful and I thought of opening one myself.

"There aren't many small businesses in Russia that are successful. It's tough. Now I understand that it won't work.

"Usually I get in around 7 a.m. and start making dough. It's not difficult, but it's a lot of work. Usually I go home around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. It's a lot of work for a little bit of money. I work alone, but I don't have time to be bored, I'm too busy.

"The doughnuts sell for 10 rubles per 100 grams. That works out to about two doughnuts when you add in flour and sugar at the end. I make about 16 kilograms of dough every morning and I usually use all of it. I probably make about 500 or 600 doughnuts a day.

"The machine I use is from St. Petersburg. It's good. Everything is mechanized. The dough drops out of the machine into the hot oil and they cook until they're golden, then a timer lowers a gate, flips them, lets them cook and then they float to the end and are flipped into the basket.

"I've worked here three weeks and the most I've had one guy order at one go is 26 doughnuts.

"At first I used a recipe from the guy I bought the machine from. But people didn't like them. They said they were too fatty or too puffy or whatever. They like them now. I already have some regulars. I was thinking of opening a chain, but right now it's too much work for not enough money."