Monasteries are sacred places for spiritual life. They preserve valuable knowledge and cultural heritage, therefore often become guardians of local traditions.
In the past, monasteries were strongly associated with the regional development also on an economic level by producing wine, beer, food and different items for religious practices. Nowadays, many of them continue their active role within the local communities.
SKIVRE Project, funded by Erasmus+ EU Program, is dedicated on collecting good practices from the European monasteries. The SKIVRE partners, under the guidance of INI-Novation Bulgaria OOD, assembled already 31 good practices showing variety of monastic economic activities which have financial benefits for the monasteries themselves and for the people in the region.
We realized that the monastic production does not obey the typical marketing laws that govern secular production. Monks and nuns use old traditional recipes that they have kept for centuries and strictly follow. The food and drinks produced in the monasteries are mostly ecological and completely natural. These qualities are attractive to local buyers, as well as to those who visit the monastery as tourists.
Our collected good practices will be soon available for free on a specially designed educational platform of SKIVRE.
Bellow, the first 10 good practices are shortly presented:
Good practice 1: Bildhausen Monastery in Germany
The monastery emerged from an endowment that enabled the foundation of a Cistercian monastery in 1158. The monastery is run by the Dominikus-Ringeisen-Werk, a church foundation under public law. Since 1983, a recognised workshop for disabled people has supplemented the existing housing offer with a multitude of job opportunities. Many of the handcrafted products manufactured in the workshops are offered and sold in the monastery shop as well as online.
Good practice 2: The Bronnbach Monastery Shop “Bronnbacher Klosterladen” in Germany
The monastery shop in Bronnbach is a multifaceted facility serving both the sale of monastery products and the purchase of entrance tickets for the listed monastery complex. From this good practice you will learn how to run the monastery shop successfully by applying strategic marketing.
Good Practice 3: The International Trappist Association – International Network to Protect Brand and Values
The International Trappist Association (ITA) unites twenty Trappist abbeys located all over the world. A variety of products for sale are produced by Trappist monks and nuns in these monasteries. It’s a non-profit association, dedicated to assist the members in the production of goods and in the pursuit of standards of excellence.
Good practice 4: MANIFACTUM – Good Things from Monasteries
The German company MANUFACTUM. has been providing the range ‘Good Things from Monasteries (“Gutes aus Klöstern”) for 18 years. It comprises over 300 monastic products from across Europe, including body care products, food, linen, clothes, crockery, sweets, wine, spirits, remedies, books and CDs. Its catalogue has products from 65 European monasteries.
Good practice 5: Authentic Monastic Products with a Strong Brand – Tsurnogorski Monastery “St. St. Kozma and Damian” in Bulgaria
Tsurnogorski monastery “St. St. Kozma and Damian” has an important place in the ecclesiastical, cultural and political history of the Bulgarians of the present-day Central West Bulgaria. In order for the monastery to perform its religious activities, it needs both – financing and generation of its own income from economic activities such as animal husbandry and agriculture. The monastery has started its own production of dairy products – buffalo yoghurt and cheese. Additionally, the monks produce dried sausages from high quality buffalo meat. The monastery maintains its own monastery shop.
Good practice 6: Digital Storytelling for Monastic Products linked to Mount Athos, Greece
“Mount Athos eShop – Product Exhibition of Mount Athos” is operated by a reseller dedicated to promoting the work of Mount Athos Monks. It is not owned by the monasteries of the Mount Athos, but dedicated to their monastic life. An eShop makes available to the public authentic handicrafts which are being produced with care by monks at the Holy Monasteries, Sketes and Cells of Mount Athos, highlighting an important aspect of monastic life.
Good practice 7: Digital Storytelling for Monastic Products: Saint Augustin and Serafeim of Sarov Monastery in Greece
Saint Augustin and Serafeim of Sarov monastery in Greece, founded in 1984 and located close to Nafpaktos and Patras cities, is one of the few monasteries which already offers directly an e-shop for selling their products without any reseller and operates social networking accounts about their products. The monks are producing a variety of monastic products such as food, drinks, artefacts e.t.c.
Good practice 8: EUCOSMIA e-shop, Greece
The monastery was built during the second half of the 10th century. About 50 monks live today in the monastery, where is applied an extensive construction project in order to restore the larger buildings. Apart from the frescoes and the masaics, the monastery has in its possession a large number of unique portable icons, manuscripts and religious objects. EUCOSMIA is producing and distributing two series of products: food, drincs and care products. EUCOSMIA has also presence in popular Social Media such as Facebook, Instagram as well as has a YouTube channel.
Good practice 9: Kloesterreich – Feel Free to Step Away from your Daily Routines, Austria
The association Kloesterreich was established in Austria and has members in five European countries. Currently it includes altogether 22 monasteries from Austria, one from Germany, one from Switzerland, one from Hungary and two from the Czech Republic. Convents and monasteries offer room for body, spirit and soul. They share their treasures of faith, prayer and their rich cultural heritage with the coming interested people and pilgrims.
Good practice 10: Authentic Monastic Products with a Strong Brand – Kremikovtsi Monastery “St. George the Victorious” in Bulgaria
Kremikovtsi Monastery “St. George the Victorious” is a Bulgarian Orthodox monastery founded during the Second Bulgarian Empire (12th–14th century) and re-established in 1493 by a local Bulgarian noble, the monastery includes two churches. Of these, the older medieval church is notable for its highly regarded 15th-century frescoes. Nowadays, Kremikovski Monastery is a functional one. Under а clever guidance, the monastery develops in many directions: production, managing a monastery shop, online sales and distribution, social activities and active investments for reconstruction.
Soon, we will publish the next 10 good practices collected in SKIVRE project.