Employees are carrying cakes past us and giving the last polish: we are talking a few minutes before the official opening of Bondarenko Confectionery House "embassy" in Uzhgorod. Finally, branded sweets will be available for residents of the regional center – in a cozy cafe-confectionery on Teatralna Square, very close to the Philharmonic. It seems that these flavors – and the air is already saturated with chocolate-vanilla-berry smells – can make your head spin, but our conversation is about the business, the search, and the dream, though we are starting of course with sweets… Then, we will also talk about the magic pie cherry, which decorates the logo of the House and is an important symbol…
– We started modestly, and at the same time, always tried to do our best.This is our basic principle – the quality and consistency of raw materials – they are as they are supposed to be, without compromise.
– Do you remember the first pastries you started to make?
– Back then, we had "Bird’s milk" cakes, cheese and peaches cakes, rolls and "Napoleon." Basically, it was a classic "Napoleon", but these cakes in Transcarpathia are called "tremesh". A Hungarian woman was then working for me, she was very enthusiastic. And we started working bigger with a pastry Nadia Popovich, a very qualified specialist – at that time she was baking mostly at home, and I asked her to head the new department. We opened it and it started to work – with one person, it developed in stages… In 2006, we opened a new shop, and I asked Beatrissa Korobkina, a professional in the confectionery business, to head the shop.
– Did you use traditional recipes or did you experiment?
– We were not going only one way. We were searching. We were looking for traditional, classic recipes, experimenting, trying, creating… And it all was done in package.
– You produce pleasure – it is well known that people lift their mood with sweets. Therefore, it is important to be able to not just bake cakes, but also to turn them into joy. What does it take for this magic to happen?
– It’s very simple. It is important that every confectioner would put his or her soul into what he or she does. Then it happens. What’s the trick? That the people who work in my team, they do not just work, "go to work", but they put a piece of themselves – their souls, their skills, their art… It is important to work with gusto. Therefore, the pastries are tasty and pleasant.
What about Olga Freimut from the "Inspector" – did she really dislike something?..
– She came, she was satisfied, she liked everything: prices, cleanliness, decor, and pastries … She checked every room.We did not know that she would come, and we had a room full of people (thank God!)… And here is what I did not like – she does everything without asking. You know, there is Article 307 of the Civil Code of Ukraine, which clearly regulates such things. The point is that the audio video recording can be made only with the permission of the owner. Even if it’s journalistic investigation, it must also be taken into account that she works on a commercial channel, the show is commercial, and the purpose of her work, let’s be honest, is not only "showing the whole truth to people", but also making profit. If you want to work like that, you should come and ask, as it has always been done, and they have come to us from different channels and asked nicely. Of course, she is a showwoman, her aim is to do a show, and the more provocations and show, the more attention. And this how she acts, she really provokes. She walked over to the table, knocked, talked impolitely to my employee, saying "ku-ku" – who behaves like that?.. It is not nice. And even rude. Although she had no complaints about the cleanliness…
– What is the reason that you did not receive the recommendation of the "Inspector"?
– She wanted to go to the dessert shop, with an area of only 30 square meters. Given that it is occupied with equipment, such as refrigerators, the work area is only 5-6 square meters. She tried to enter, the administrator stopped her – "Olga, on what grounds you want to come in?". She answered – "This is investigative journalism, you can not stop me. I have a health certificate, I have a right." "Have you asked the permission from the owner of the house?". "I do not have to…" Well, let’s say she conducts her investigation, but when she checks hotels in Austria, she hides cameras and does it illegally. And tell me why, while she does that there illegally, here she is allowed to do what she wants?Because she lives in the country of Ukraine? I believe it is wrong, we also have laws, they give rights not only to her but also to those citizens to whom she comes.
– What inspires you?
– People. Close people. And people who work, who create. And also, I want to constantly do better and better in my line of work. I travel to Europe a lot, and I really want to make our country just as good. In my business, it means – to make more beautiful, more delicious, more pleasant… Maybe someone will think that it is just business, but for me it’s more. And probably the saying "a hobby is a business, and a business is a hobby" applies to me.