KEY POINTS

  • Melania Trump helped introduced her Slovenian hometown, Sevnica, to the world 
  • Several local products connected to Trump have been launched since 2017, including wines and chocolates
  • Patisserie owner Nusa Vidmar created a cake called "Torta Melanija" in honor of the first lady

Melania Trump had a huge impact on the recognition of her hometown in Slovenia after she became the first lady, and its residents are hoping that their town's fame will last.

The locals in Sevnica spoke about the benefits Trump's stint as first lady has brought to their central Slovenian town ahead of her impending departure from the White House. Her effect on local businesses began showing right after she became first lady in January 2017, but the town's residents believe her impact will continue to be felt in the years to come.

"Sevnica is not a traditional tourist destination," Mayor Srecko Ocvirk told the BBC. "But what happened four years ago had a very good effect on the recognition of the town. That brought local people together and encouraged businesses to join forces and co-operate."

"For local businesses that do business internationally, the name recognition of Sevnica has really helped," he added.

Nusa Vidmar, the owner of Slascicarna Julija patisserie, which is attached to Sevnica's only hotel, was among the residents who launched a flurry of products in the presidential name in order to attract some extra visitors. She named one of her cakes after Trump and said many tourists who visited the town tried it.

"In our patisserie, we have a lot of people from all over the world - they all tried the Torta Melanija, but I don't think they just came for the cake," she told BBC. "It was a big thing for us - a big thing for Slovenia as well. It was a historical moment - and I don't think that we will see such a moment again."

Vidmar shared that they created the cake, a nutty, white chocolate sponge with gold decoration, with Melania's elegance in mind. They included the colors gold for the Trumps and white for the White House. She also used nuts, which were a seasonal ingredient around the time the 2017 presidential inauguration was held.

"These four years will always be part of us. Especially the cake," the owner added.

There is also a collection of local products branded "First Lady" that tourists can purchase when they visit Sevnica. Selling for €27.90 ($33) a bottle, the First Lady wine was launched in April 2017 at the town’s 900-year-old castle, according to The Guardian.

The development of high-end, locally produced items like wine, chocolate, salami and beauty cream may make it seem like the town is cashing in on Trump, but it also reflected the local authorities and businesses'
"joint effort" and confidence in "presenting Sevnica to the world," according to Sevnica's mayor. The town will also continue to offer its First Lady items and eventually add more products to the list.

Meanwhile, Trump's life-size wooden statue in Slovenia was replaced with bronze in September, two months after the original version was set on fire. They made a replica to commemorate the first statue that was burned down.

"Dedicated to the eternal memory of a monument to Melania which stood at this location," a plaque next to the new statue read.

"We are here today because we put up again a statue of Melania to the place where it was burnt and to commemorate the statue that was set on fire," said Slovenian artist Marko Vivoda.

In a rare public statement, US first lady Melania Trump said the allegations about her husband published by The Atlantic magazine -- that he called fallen US Marines "losers" and "suckers" -- were false In a rare public statement, US first lady Melania Trump said the allegations about her husband published by The Atlantic magazine -- that he called fallen US Marines "losers" and "suckers" -- were false Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB