Slatko Ćoše – the sweetest crossing in Sarajevo

At the end of the 19th century, Austro-Hungarian rule brought modernization, new customs and architecture. Ferhadija Street, which had a totally new western style, was laid out next to Oriental Baščaršija, with its centuries-old shops with window benches.

It was here, where East and West met and embraced, that the first modern sweet shop opened in Sarajevo. At one time, there were sweet shops on all four corners – where Ferhadija St., Sarači St. and Gazi Husrev-begova St. all met. As such, this spot, which was the main entry to Baščaršija at that time, acquired the informal name, Sweet Corner.

The first shop was opened by Rifat Bin Šaban in 1892, on the northern corner of Gazi Husrev-begova and Ferhadija.

Decades long tradition

It was inherited by the Demirović family in 1955 and is still owned by them today. Generations of Demirovićs passed on recipes for local sweets and the flavor of the boza and salep (traditional drinks) served here is the same as it has been for decades.

Across the street, on the corner of Gazi Husrev-begova and Sarači, Nezir Nezirović started his own sweet shop, Ramis, in 1912 and it has been in the family for four generations.

Older Sarajevans can still remember the famous hot salep that the Nezirovićs would cook in copper pots and serve in small handled glass mugs topped with cinnamon. Ramis is also famous for its baklava, tufahija, tulumba, kadaif with walnuts, hurmašica, wheat pudding with cream and cakes.

The sweet shop, Orient, was opened by the Arifović family in 1920, on the northeastern corner of Gazi Husrev Bey’s Bezistan.

Before Bezistan’s reconstruction in 1954, the shop was relocated to Gazi Husrev-begova St. (Zlatarska St.). The Arifovićs opened a buregdžinica here in 1968 and then, when this part of the street was to be used only by goldsmiths and filigree artists, the family started their own goldsmith shop. The Arifovićs have continued their tradition with their cafe, Bar Code, where the gold shop used to be.

Sweet factory

The Arifović family also had a factory where they produced candy, cookies, Turkish delight and tahan halva. They introduced the first industrial candy-making machines and provided other sweet shops in town with ice cream cones. The factory halted its operations during WWII and after the war their machines were confiscated and used by Zora, a newly-founded national candy factory.

The last of these sweet shops was Slatko Ćoše Café, which had been home to a fruit shop up until the XIV Winter Olympic Games. This was followed by UPI’s candy shop and then Slatko Ćoše started working in the mid-1990s.

While no sweets are served here today, it is precisely this shop which has preserved the name of this street corner.