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Alena Gavrilina, 28, from Tselinograd, Om.nom.nom.Astana co-founder; designer in "Altair" tile studio

Pavel Buryak, 28, from Tselinograd, Om.nom.nom.Astana co-founder, the head of the "Perekrestok" chain’s warehouse

On idea

The idea occurred to us a year ago. We were young and had nothing to do in the evenings, so were going out and seeking interesting places, looking for original combinations. We love unusual food, but the thing is that there’s lack in Astana.

Having watched Pinterest, we thought: “Why don’t we try something new?” At that time we had absolutely nothing to do with the kitchen. We were planning it not for money but for the sake of the idea itself.


So, we had an idea but didn’t know what to sell. Having a general concept in mind, we weren’t sure about details. We started making a van a year ago in March.

Having it made, we started thinking over the food to sell. Initially, we were willing to prepare unsweetened stuffed waffles or something like that. In short, we wanted to be some kind of pioneers.

Our business was not working out, as we the way we were moving was absolutely wrong

Neither I nor Pasha thought of hot dogs. Neither did we like them. When Pasha offered to cook hot dogs, I refused as the childhood memory of a roll, sausage, ketchup with mayonnaise was quite annoying. One more empty attempt after I remembered the proposal and said: "Ok, let's try." That was when our project was launched.


We were looking for good buns and sausages for a while, since store assortment wasn’t quality enough. Initially we had to buy them in shops, but a little later started cooperating with special companies. In general, it took us a month.


On the implementation

We started in early August. Since we have the main jobs, we wanted to close the van by the fall. Besides, we had a summer van, so it was flooded when the weather was bad. To make the van cold proof wasn’t easy; therefore, we would go to vacation by the end of the season. Having worked for the summer and the early fall, we realized that our regular customers wouldn’t let us close. There was no point in closing as our idea was liked by many.


To co-work isn’t difficult. We aren’t restricted by certain duties and we’re interchangeable. In the evenings we think over duties for the next day. I'm engaged in meeting guests, communicating with them and pouring beverages, while Pasha makes hot dogs. It goes easier when we don’t meet in the kitchen, as replacing each other makes a chaos.

Cooking seems easy, though there’re many details to be worked out up to making a bun which cannot be half-done and served without crispy crust. While learning to cook our friends had to try our meals. It took time until we learned to make good buns.

On juggling

To combine the main job and hobby isn’t easy. Additionally, we have pastries. When our customer bank was not big I baked pastries on my own. That was complicated since leaving my main job, I went home (I live in the suburbs), baked cookies or something else and came here. We started to receive guests as soon as I arrived. We opened not at 6, but a little later.


We don’t have from 9 to 5 jobs, so we can leave work a bit earlier.

The number of visitors was increasing day by day which was good. Surely, a large flow of people at once would be confusing. There’re always some obstacles we have to cope with.

Juggling is necessary when you don’t have stability

Hot dogs are just a hobby. Our main purpose is not to make money and that is the thing. That is the main reason we have a lot of admirers who give us gifts and send nice messages.

On the schedule and clients

Luckily, customers tend to understand our schedule. Our move to a new location in the autumn was a problem for some of them.

There were cases when our lovely clients had to walk from the other end of the city to buy the hot dogs and we were closed. That was a pity, and we apologized for our mistakes and asked to give us the chance as it was we who misrepresented the information. Having them come to ours, we talk, laugh and they say: "Guys, we got that it isn’t easy for you!" The thing is that people are used to the places with a certain schedule. People just don’t have time to keep up with the updates which is understandable.

On the menu

We used to have hot dogs only. Then we started adding cheese there. The very first kind was served with fresh vegetables. As soon as people started to order it, we added more kinds in the menu. That was how "Old school" occurred in the menu, and there were two kinds of hot dogs. Being inspired by the companies in the USA, Canada, Ukraine, we searched for interesting combinations, yet we’ve never borrowed the recipes completely. We were looking on the internet for something suitable. Today we’ve got seven kinds of hot dogs that were appearing in the menu gradually so that both customers and we got used to.


I’d been engaged in baking since the age of ten. One day my friends said that I’d better sell my food and I made an account in Instagram which was followed by many. Therefore, I knew in advance that there would be demand for our pastries and we added it to the menu as wanted guests to have a choice.


On clients

We used to come here right before the very opening. But now we come at lunchtime or in the morning to prepare the workspace and products.


Frankly speaking, I hadn’t expected such a positive feedback from our guests. I regularly post our gratitude and thank them.

Coming back from vacation, we realized that people had been missing us. A week ago we sold 100 hot dogs for the evening and set our personal record.

On plans

Initially, our friends and customers advised us to open more spots. Our current location is not very convenient for customers indeed.

We were thinking of opening more spots, when suddenly remembered our main reason to start. It was for the sake of pleasure, but not for the sake of money. So we refused to open more

Now we’re thinking of launching a full-time corner.

Address: 19, Pushkin street

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