Business & Technology

Orthodox priest becomes entrepreneur selling chocolate with cannabis and gold

After sharing God’s teaching about finding salvation for the soul for many years, a missionary priest from Kolozs/Cluj County decided to seek (and deliver) happiness for the body as well. Dinu Criste has become well-known in the country not by preaching extraordinary messages but via his entrepreneurial ambitions: He founded a chocolate business, where he manufactures and sells chocolate made with cannabis and gold. The priest had also eyed the mayor’s seat in the settlement, but, as William Cowper said in 1773, “God moves in mysterious ways.” His political ambitions were apparently dashed by the Lord; however, his business recently received an important injection of capital (via Ziare).

Criste founded his business after reading a survey about Romanians: “After reading a survey that concluded that Romanians are among the saddest Europeans, I have decided to invest in a workshop to manufacture chocolate.

It is known that chocolate stimulates the production of serotonin, so I thought I could cheer up Romanians,”

he said.

Chocolate with cannabis

His workshop is based in Kalotaszentkirály/Sâncraiu, Kolozs/Cluj County, where he makes chocolate according to a Belgian recipe. Among the products he sells, there is chocolate with cannabis sativa (which contains the seeds of the flower), chocolate with chili, chocolate with lavender, and chocolate with edible gold.

Along with the EUR 40,000 grant he received via the Start-up Nation program, Criste convinced another investor,

Cristian Onetiu, to invest EUR 100,000 in his business in exchange for 25 percent

of the shares.

Criste worked in the media for many years, for the television channels Antena 1, TVR (the national TV channel), and, more recently, Agro TV, where he runs a show presenting success stories of Romanian entrepreneurs.

Apparently, his own success story wasn’t enough to satisfy his personal thirst for happiness: He also eyed the mayor’s seat in Szászfenes/Floresti in 2016, backed by the Social-Democrat Party, but he failed. His superiors in the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) have temporarily suspended Criste from the priesthood, saying that if he becomes mayor, he will be excluded from the Orthodox Church.

Title image: Dinu Criste shows off his latest products. Image source: Criste’s Facebook page

Author: István Fekete