Melis Karabulut’s sequence profiles a few of Brno’s overseas entrepreneurs to discover the challenges of operating a enterprise out of the country. This week, she discovers the journey of Mama Stella, the profitable new bakery on Pekarska run by Czech-Greek couple Vendy and Kostas. Picture credit score: Mama Stella.
Brno, Jan twenty third – On a chilly Saturday afternoon, I visited yet one more enterprise based by an expat entrepreneur – together with his Czech girlfriend – for a cup of espresso, some candy revani and an inspiring, heart-warming dialog about their story. On the first sight of Mama Stella, which takes its identify from the baker’s mom, you’ll be able to already see that it might turn into that romantic little bakery within the city that you simply at all times cease by in your morning or night commute for a heat cinnamon roll or bread, and you’d by no means be disillusioned by no matter you might be consuming, as it’s sprinkled with Greek hospitality.
Vendy Rybičková and Konstantinos Karaiskos are on this baking journey collectively, referring to Mama Stella as their ‘first youngster’. In each nook of the bakery you’ll be able to see their laborious work and delicate contact; it’s as if the place speaks to you to inform you about their dedication, belief, and perception in one another. Accordingly, the story of the bakery can’t be understood with out the story of their relationship.
Vendy and Konstantinos, previously IT employees, met on the Fb Relationship App, and had their first date on a Friday lower than a 12 months in the past. “And on Saturday, I invited him over for a celebration at my place. From Sunday, I assume we by no means separated. We began constructing the concept for this place collectively from the second I discovered about his dream of opening a bakery. We simply clicked in each side, not solely being a pair, but additionally being enterprise companions,” says Vendy. “Belief was by no means a query or concern between us. It simply got here naturally,” she provides, as they present me the matching tattoos on their arms, symbolizing their relationship, wheat, baking, belief, love and Mama Stella.
The story goes again to Konstantinos’ choice to take two years of baking courses at a vocational faculty when he was nonetheless residing in Greece. Since he was unemployed and he felt misplaced about what to do, he determined to go to a vocational coaching faculty to coach as a chef, however life’s odds led him to turn into a baker. “I had no expertise in baking till the primary lesson on the faculty. It caught me completely off guard. Within the second lesson, I used to be already in love with it,” says Kostas.
He began working at a bakery in Greece, doing one thing he was good at and enthusiastic about. But, after two years, he give up his job there as a result of heavy workload and unfair working situations. “There was no different possibility for me than beginning a brand new life some other place, as a result of getting a good job again then was tough in my nation,” he says. “My expertise has been that if you’re an worker within the meals trade in Greece, the employers are impolite to you, you might be underpaid, you might be changed anytime.”
Konstantinos relocated to Brno in 2015, first working in IT assist. His brother, who moved to Brno in 2012, inspired him to make a contemporary begin within the Czech Republic. Though Kostas ended up in a completely completely different sector than baking, he was in a position to climb the ladder steadily, turn into a supervisor, and doing fairly properly within the IT sector. Nonetheless, his dream to be a baker was nonetheless there, ringing bells in his thoughts that it was time to do one thing. “Baking was what I needed to do in life. My work as a supervisor within the IT sector didn’t intrinsically encourage me. Each time a good friend or member of the family requested me what I needed to do with my life ultimately, I answered the identical: To open up a bakery. I had already been baking bread and different issues at house for years, experimenting, and giving them to pals as presents. I used to be simply too insecure to take step one in the direction of it, till I met Vendy,” he emphasises. “I met her, and two or three days after assembly, we began to make precise plans to make this baking dream come true,”.
Kostas stresses that regardless that his household had been a bit skeptical at first about him leaving his job and turning into an entrepreneur, he set his thoughts to it and satisfied them that the venture would achieve success. “I knew that if I had not finished it, I might have regretted it for my whole life,” he says, stressing that his pals in Brno have been an actual assist.
Though the bakery has been up and operating and busy for about two months now, he was solely in a position to terminate his IT work per week in the past, which was overwhelming for the couple with the bakery work. “Till my contract ended, I used to be coming to the bakery at 3 am to arrange the bread, then fall asleep, then we’d open the bakery early within the morning. Round 3 pm, I needed to begin engaged on my laptop within the kitchen for my duties on the IT firm, till 11.30 pm. Loopy instances! I really feel far more refreshed and get some correct sleep, and I might be extra productive and targeted on the bakery now,” says Konstantinos, including that regardless that he needed to deal with two jobs for a protracted whereas now, he nonetheless needed to open the bakery as quickly as doable and maintain the enterprise operating.
He provides that Vendy has additionally put an enormous quantity of labor into the bakery from the start. “All of the burden of creating telephone calls, coping with paperwork, discovering employees to reconstruct the place… All of that’s on Vendy, as she is the Czech-speaker. She is the accountant, supervisor, head waitress, and barista of Mama Stella, and I’m the baker.”
In a while I requested Konstantinos in regards to the specialities of Mama Stella. “The product that makes everybody go loopy is the cinnamon rolls with vanilla custard on prime, and our sourdough breads are additionally highly regarded. I’ve been engaged on bettering my bread for a few years. Some companies within the neighborhood are shopping for bread from us as properly. Now we have several types of bread, corresponding to wheat, rye with sesame, cheddar and jalapeno, oat bread with porridge, focaccia, and so forth. You should come a bit early, as a result of particularly on the weekends, an unstoppable wave of shoppers flood into the bakery!”
“The kitchen shouldn’t be but totally working to make delicate pastries, however we try to enhance it daily. At the moment we’re solely in a position to make cinnamon rolls or some Greek desserts to satisfy the ‘want for candy’, however hopefully we’ll do extra sooner or later.” The couple provides that to arrange most of their merchandise, they like utilizing native substances, whereas they need to import some issues just like the Greek espresso, and a number of the spices.
I ask the couple whether or not they get overwhelmed by the excessive demand from the purchasers. Konstantinos knocks on the wooden, and tells me, “The client curiosity has been wonderful thus far. More often than not, we promote the whole lot earlier than closing time. We’re open seven days per week, so we don’t get to relaxation rather a lot. But we’re extraordinarily happy with it. We by no means thought that it will come this far in such a short while. Folks additionally informed us that within the first months we’d battle, however we can not bake sufficient to fulfill the demand!” The couple provides that almost all of their prospects are foreigners, particularly Greeks, however now they’ve began attracting Czechs as properly. “Czechs are a bit extra conventional with their alternative of bread, however slowly they’re opening as much as making an attempt new flavors. Now now we have some previous Czech regulars coming to purchase our bread virtually each day, which we actually didn’t count on. The native folks within the neighborhood helped us rather a lot to promote our enterprise, which we deeply respect,” says Konstantinos.
As a result of they had been so busy coping with opening, quitting their earlier jobs, and dealing with all the main points of the bakery, they haven’t even had an opportunity to have an official opening of Mama Stella! Konstantinos tells me that these are the main points that they want to consider sooner or later, as they’re getting extra worker assist within the bakery daily.
As I dig deeper into the method of opening the bakery, which has been some strong work for the couple and their household and pals, they inform me that the paperwork of opening a enterprise within the Czech Republic shouldn’t be as laborious as folks may suppose. “Whereas getting a enterprise license, you’ll be able to even ask for an English-speaking marketing consultant at public places of work now. All the pieces is just about on-line. Issues are altering, getting higher,” says Konstantinos, including that “The true concern is discovering employees for the reconstruction. Virtually the whole lot that the purchasers can see right here within the bakery is our handmade work. I used to assist my dad at his work, who’s a plumber, and I even put the pipes and constructed the water system right here within the bakery myself. We even needed to ask for a Greek employee to come back from Olomouc! If I hadn’t identified the way to deal with the plumbing, we’d not have been in a position to open up the enterprise this simply. However I feel that this course of introduced me and Wendy nearer.” One humorous reality I be taught from the couple is that in keeping with metropolis legends, the bakery is the geographical heart of Brno, and a determine on the unique flooring tiles of the bakery symbolizes that!
The longer term plans of Mama Stella embody organizing some wine-tasting occasions with Greek wines, as they may have the ability to use the bakery’s nice entrance backyard. “We are going to create a heat, Mediterranean setting with lights, tables outdoors, Greek wine, ham and cheese to point out our prospects a pleasant summer time night,” says Vendy. “We need to broaden the menu a bit extra, however we need to stay as a bakery,” provides Konstantinos. “We don’t need to flip right into a Greek tavern, or a spot the place folks come to get drunk. Now we have a children nook right here, subsequently we want to maintain issues inside a sure boundary. We wouldn’t wish to lose the identification of the place.”
As part of this identification, the couple says they care about treating their prospects with the heat and welcoming method of the South, and of Greece. They provide free water to every buyer, welcome them with a smile and ask about their day, which brings them nearer to their prospects.
Mama Stella might be discovered on Kopečná 382/50, only a few steps away from Silingrovo Namesti. The guests can get pleasure from their merchandise each day, often from 8am to six.30pm.
https://brnodaily.com/2022/01/23/eating-out-nightlife/expat-entrepreneurs-mama-stellas-story-of-greek-baking-kneaded-with-love/https://brnodaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/featured-image-mama-stella-credit-copy-1024×661.jpghttps://brnodaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/featured-image-mama-stella-credit-copy-150×97.jpg2022-01-23T15:31:16+01:00BD JournalConsuming Out / NightlifeBrno Expats,Enterprise,MealsMelis Karabulut’s sequence profiles a few of Brno’s overseas entrepreneurs to discover the challenges of operating a enterprise out of the country. This week, she discovers the journey of Mama Stella, the profitable new bakery on Pekarska run by Czech-Greek couple Vendy and Kostas. Picture credit score: Mama Stella.Brno, Jan twenty third…Melis KarabulutMelis
Karabulut[email protected]AuthorA published author from Turkey, English language teacher, master’s student of European Politics, humanitarian worker, dancer. Beyond these, an enthusiast of the Czech language and people speaking it. Mainly creative, sometimes political. A big fan of Luzanky Park and Petrov.Brno Daily