For Bread and Butter Bakery assistant manager Marina Hay, the Covid-19 pandemic was a case of one door shutting and another one opening.
She’d been self employed for the past decade, working in tourism with international students. When the borders shut, the business was no longer viable.
But the opening of the new bakery at Coast gave Marina the opportunity to return to an industry she loved.
Originally from Germany, Marina trained in hospitality and worked in several hotels in Europe. She moved to New Zealand 21 years ago with her Kiwi husband.
“I’ve always loved food and I love to be creative with food. But I was more of a savoury cook than a baker,” she says. “I was never into sweets.”
That’s had to change – Marina starts work at 6.30am each morning to ensure the Whangaparāoa store is well stocked with its famous pastries and tarts and well as delicious loaves of bread.
But her responsibilities are not limited to food preparation – she also gets to serve customers and takes care of all the cleaning up.
“I’m a bit of a chatterbox so I love talking to people.”
Marina says she is really enjoying the new role and the fact that Bread and Butter uses sustainable, natural ingredients, staying away from artificial colours and flavours.
“It is important to me where food comes from and how it's been processed and how it finally ends up on my plate.”
She also appreciates the thought and attention to detail that goes into every recipe at Bread and Butter. “When I am in the bakery in Grey Lynn, I love to talk to the bakers and pastry chefs - their passion for what they are doing is infectious. There is a nice culture within the business.”
Marina doesn’t mind the early starts that come with the job. “It’s a nice time of the day. I always see the sunrise and there’s not much traffic.”
She works through to 4pm, structuring her week to do four long days in the bakery and have three days off, giving her plenty of time for yoga, dog walking and to further indulge her love of cooking.
“It’s a big part of my life – I often have dinner parties and cook for friends and family.”
Three-day weekends give her the chance to get away in her campervan and get out in nature.
“I love the outdoors… tramping, sailing, kayaking,” she says.
Next time you are up at Coast, pop into Bread and Butter for a coffee and a sweet treat. Marina can recommend the Portuguese tarts!