Maka Angyalova studied business, not baking. She worked in market research, sales forecasting, analytics - a classic desk job. Two years into her love story with New Zealand, Maka met her current partner, who hails from North Canterbury and convinced her that it’s better down here. Moving to Christchurch fairly soon after, she found that she couldn’t buy decent bread, and during three consecutive maternity leaves, built two outdoor ovens and got seriously into baking sourdough. Long story short, Bohemian Bakery was born - now two bakeries (Sumner and High Street) and a market stall (Riverside Market).
Maka Angyalova studied business, not baking. She worked in market research, sales forecasting, analytics - a classic desk job. Growing up with a Czech mother and a Slovek father (with Hungarian family) she spent her time between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, landlocked and often seeing the sea only once a year. Working in Prague for information, data and measurement firm Nielsen, Maka came to Auckland on a work assignment (choosing New Zealand from a list that also included Canada and Japan), rented a place by the beach, and had such a great time that her six month stay has turned into 15 years.
Two years into her love story with New Zealand, Maka met her current partner, who hails from North Canterbury and convinced her that it’s better down here. Moving to Christchurch fairly soon after, she found that she couldn’t buy decent bread, and during three consecutive maternity leaves, built two outdoor ovens and got seriously into baking sourdough. Selling the bread at Farmers Markets, Maka knew she couldn’t go back to an office, and that the new career move needed to be one that involved walking, standing, and doing things with her hands. Between children two and three, and after, she worked in a bakery - to get experience and understand the machinery, with the intention to open a bakery one day. Working on a business plan dosed with a large amount of naivety, Maka presented to her partner that she could still look after the kids, would only work 20 hours per week, planned to hire one baker and one shop assistant and might only open for 4 days a week. Sumner took off quickly and while the bakery is still only open 5 days, Bohemian Bakery now employ 19 staff, and the suggestion of a 20 hour work week was definitely just get him on board! She thinks she’s gotten into the groove of it now, working nights and mornings. The flexibility, to Maka, is priceless.
I feel like a Christchurch local - people ask me if I miss home and I have to say, “what do you mean?”. I’ve seen it coming down, and seen it coming up, and it’s exciting now that more is open.
I really fell in love with Castro’s - had lunch there on the roof and it felt like we were on holiday. The service was fantastic. The plants, the jovial atmosphere, and the perfect setting to enjoy the sunshine. We had the seafood paella and the Moritz beer and it was amazing - took us two hours to get through it because we didn’t want to leave. Can’t wait to get back there. I also really want to try Kaiser Brew Garden - it looks like something from Europe!
I shop at Recycle Boutique for something interesting to wear!
Favourite spots as a family:
Every Friday after school the kids and I go to Tūranga. Of course we love the Botanic Gardens and Margaret Mahy playground. And the swings in the frames - #chchswing, near the corner of Gloucester and Manchester St, the kids jump on and have a good giggle on those. The Washington Way skatepark is great too.
Is Burger Burger on Welles St a secret spot? The kids order as they walk in, they know the menu and that’s where we know we will all get fed and be happy, even on a busy day. Also, an Oreo shake from Base Pizza at Little High Eatery gives me 45 minutes where the kids will be kept busy and I can finish up any jobs I’m working on.
The Christmas Chronicles! Even watching it a second time around had us on the edge of our seats, it’s very cute and dramatic - and it’s on Netflix!
It’s a tradition for the in-laws to make a gingerbread house, and then the kids in our large family are allowed to smash it up and eat the pieces. The whole time we’re all together enjoying Christmas day, that’s the thing that they’re waiting for!
Worst Christmas present:
My partner works in retail (at a supermarket) so Christmas is a super busy time and he’s also not very good at buying presents. 2 years ago, he bought me 5 Home & Garden magazines. I was nearly in tears! I thought, I could buy this myself - why didn’t you just buy me eggs and potatoes? I was really angry and he did say, and this was sort of cute but I don’t really believe it, “I imagined you unwinding in your chair with a magazine”. But I don’t buy that one - if I knew he didn’t work in a supermarket then maybe I’d buy the story about me relaxing with them, but no - it would’ve been 9.50pm on the 24th of December and he would’ve grabbed them walking through the checkout as he left!
We will go to Christmas in the Park. Last year, our youngest kid who was 4 got ‘lost’ for an hour (he was hiding under a table because he thought it’d be a good thing to do) which was horrible so I’ll cross fingers that doesn’t happen again. I’m looking forward to the Conscious Christmas Market to get some little presents for my family. Last time I got some beautiful earrings with native NZ birds so I’m hoping that stallholder will be there again! But really I just want to be at the beach.
Getting around the CBD:
I drive to the CBD and park at the Little High car park, and walk between there and Riverside. I really miss being active, walking and running, and I’m so excited for the Metro Sports Facility to open so that I can go for a swim at lunch time like I used to at Centennial pool. Every time I go past I think that the Metro Facility will change my life. It’s going to be so amazing when that opens.
Every hospitality person will wish for people. More people - coming in on weekends, mingling around.