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Couple reflects Bosnian culture in Boise

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Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 12:00 am

BOISE — Nestled on the outskirts of the Boise Bench, a couple runs a market and cafe lauded for its distinct, comfortable atmosphere. An atmosphere that hits close to home — a home they left 14 years ago.

Dusanka and Ermin Kurtagic left Bosnia in 1997, on the heels of a bitter war. They moved to California but four years later arrived in the Treasure Valley, a place where the mountains, rivers, lakes and four distinct seasons felt familiar.

“It kind of reminded me of home,” she said.

Here they’ve used the vast experience they had back home to develop Bosnia Express, or BO-EX, featuring products imported from Europe and a deli offering Greek, Mediterranean and Turkish food.

Meet the owners

Ermin owned multiple stores in Bosnia, including a bar. Dusanka, who attended pharmacy school, ran her own shop featuring over-the-counter medicines, herbs, baby food, etc.

They used their robust background of self-employment to start the Bosnia Express market and bar almost six years ago. But when the economy slipped a couple years ago, the couple expanded with a deli-style restaurant.

The vibe

A large picture of a rock ‘n’ roll band from the owners’ homeland serves as a consistent conversation piece. Unique pieces from Bosnia can be found throughout the eatery.

“It almost looks like one that he owned back in Bosnia,” Dusanka said.

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