Initially, Tünde and Gáspár were touring festivals to demonstrate the knacks of their trade to audiences, whereas in 2023, we were proud of our two permanent shops, seasonal unit in Tihany, multiple pop-up baking houses, participation in dozens of events every year, two franchise partners, and two highly successful events: Kürtőskalács Fesztivál (Chimney Cake Festival) and Kürtőskalács Vigalom (Chimney Cake Merrymaking) held annually.
Today, the name Vitéz Kürtős denotes a unique kürtőskalács brand known all over the country, and its name is a guarantee of original kürtőskalács made from excellent raw materials, and of special, environmentally friendly packaging, professional service and outstandingly high service quality.
We like to describe our kürtőskalács as "original" – this is because we actually learned the recipe of our pastries by observing our grandparents making them. Our original chimney cake recipe, which we still use today, originates from the team’s “Grandmother”, Irma Simó – our family business was launched in Odorheiu Secuiesc with her, relying on her knowledge.
Our founder and owner Gáspár Bálint’s grandmother, Grandma Irma was making her rounds at open pools and spas near Odorheiu Secuiesc every weekend for decades, wearing a red dotted apron and carrying a basket full of home-baked kürtőskalács and kürtős donuts. Grandma Irma’s tireless efforts made our founder realise that perhaps there could be more demand for this traditional pastry from larger audiences. From that point, launching a family business was only one step away; the first baking house opened in the busy street called Kossuth Lajos utca in Odorheiu Secuiesc, Transylvania, under the name “Lehel Kürtősház” (Lehel Chimney Cake House). On these first premises, we used to make also other traditional pastries besides chimney cakes – from strudels made with angel hair pasta, cottage cheese and vanilla (“vargabéles” in Hungarian) to butter-basted leavened rolls with walnuts (“diós darázsfészek”) and plum pies (“szilváslepény”).
The success of Lehel Kürtősház was evident from the continuously growing turnover, the long queues winding in front of the door, as well as from the lots of grateful looks and thank-yous we got from our customers – the locals who were happy to rediscover the scrumptious homemade flavours they first tasted in their grandmothers’ kitchens and had not frequently encountered since.
Our business made its first introduction in Hungary in 2003 at the Festival of Folk Arts, and was a huge success: back at that time, charcoal-roasted chimney cakes were scarcely made in Hungary, so, the news of our pastries travelled fast, and our company was invited to numerous other events, as a result. We grew to be esteemed and popular guests at folk art associations, Christmas fairs and events of local governments. Our successful participations at a large number of events proved to us that there is a huge demand for chimney cakes; for this reason, we further developed our family business and launched the brand Vitéz Kürtős. Besides continuously improving our baking techniques and recipe and adjusting them to the increasingly strict food industry and food safety regulations, we kept revamping our roasting machines until we proceeded from manual rotation to automated roasting, and also kept expanding our team. Taking good care of the key value of our brand, namely, the knowledge inherited from Grandma, we sought to renew our product, the chimney cake in a way that it, along with the linked services, can retain and even increase its popularity also in the 21st century.
VITÉZ KÜRTŐS TODAY
Today, we sell chimney cakes to fans on two permanent and a number of temporary locations; besides top favourites and traditional flavours, we also offer numerous unique variants, such as gluten-free and dairy-free versions, and, for the first time in Hungary, also chimney cakes flavoured with lyophilised (freeze-dried) fruits. In our pastry shop, “Édes Mackó” situated on Állatkerti Körút in Budapest, we have created several desserts made from chimney cake – from Kürtős Gerbeaud to Kürtős Poppy Seed. We have let hundreds of interested visitors in on the secrets of baking chimney cakes at our workshops and team building trainings in the past few years. Besides organising several minor events, we have published various cookery books in the recent years, and have established two events of our own, attracting hundreds of visitors each time: Kürtőskalács Fesztivál (Chimney Cake Festival) and Kürtőskalács Vigalom (Chimney Cake Merrymaking).
We are proud to have listed the chimney cake as a “Hungarikum”, a unique and distinctive designation denoting Hungary’s top achievements, in 2015 in cooperation with the Principal Order of Hungarian Bakers, and to have used exclusively environmentally friendly, plastic-free biodegradable packaging materials since the spring of 2019 to wrap our chimney cakes, as a contribution to a reduced ecological footprint. Currently, we are working to expand the product range of our online shop and the scope of our franchise system and services; moreover, we aspire to carry on doing what we do best: genuine chimney cakes, with all our heart and soul!
2003: family business launched
2004: Lehel Kürtős Bt. founded
2005: participation in the first Christmas fairs in Hungary
2006: Lehel Kürtős Bt. transformed into Vitéz Kürtős Bt.
2007: our first permanent shop opened, run in Csillagvár shopping centre in District III until 2019
2009: our Vitéz Kürtős Kuckó bakery opened in Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden
2011: our home delivery service launched
2012: our online shops and team building training events launched
2013: Kürtőskalács Fesztivál (Chimney Cake Festival) launched
2015: our franchise system launched; participation in all major Christmas fairs in Budapest
2017: our kürtőskalács awarded Hungarian Quality Product Award
2018: first Kürtőskalács pastry shop in Hungary, “Édes Mackó” opened; our Bake’n’Roll home kürtőskalács grill granted Value & Quality Award
2019: Kürtőskalács Vigalom (Chimney Cake Merrymaking) event launched
2020: during the period of the pandemic, we experimented and recreated the favorite candy of our childhood, the recipe for Édesmaci Homemade Chocolate, which we have been making since then at the Édes Mackó trumpet cake confectionery.
2021: we opened our store in Tihany, at the most beautiful lookout on the Pisky promenade, which is currently open at intervals from Easter to the end of October.
2022: the VITEZ GASTRO product showroom was completed, which also serves as a workshop and training room at our company's premises.