What is the history of Chleboteka? Where did the idea for the business come from and have you always been in this industry?
We have been operating in the catering industry for a very long time. At some point, however, the idea was born for a place that would bring together high-quality things. We opened the first restaurant on Ruska Street in December 2016. We started with bread – without any improvers or preservatives, made with good, regional flours. Although we are not bakers by trade, we had a strictly defined vision from the very beginning. We knew how it was supposed to look and taste. So we started working with people who helped us get everything started and we were constantly developing. We currently have five points and it is on them that we mainly focus. We also have a group of reliable recipients with whom we cooperate.
We are on Tęczowa Street. Is it where the production takes place?
Yes, this is our main bakery. We also bake some of the assortment in other Chleboteka outlets. We want our bread to be as good as possible. The bread is made exclusively from sourdough as a result of a long maturing process. We are developing simultaneously in other directions. For example, we have our kitchen, which prepares, among other things, vegetables and fruit for sweet or dry rolls, as well as our salads.
When you opened Chleboteka, did you completely give up the gastronomic business?
We gave up, but then we decided to come back in a new format. We will continue to develop, but remember that everything takes time. Preparing a good product is a long, slow process. The bakery is not just an oven. In the same way, efficient operation in the catering industry requires a properly adapted place and a trained team.
Has your industry emerged victorious from the pandemic? Did you feel it strongly?
First of all, COVID has verified our plans, which are now changing from month to month. If we were to operate only within the Chleboteka point, we would have come out of this situation unscathed. However, we had a very well-developed catering branch before – we delivered our sandwiches to companies, we provided bread to hotels, restaurants and various places in galleries. That has all changed. Of course, our premises function in the same way, thanks to which, despite the circumstances, we are in a very comfortable position. We are going to open more points – this is the plan for our future.
We are talking about the MAGOREX company, which provides you with materials for your work. How do you choose partners and what do you pay attention to?
MAGOREX is currently probably the largest company in Poland offering the purchase of bakery trolleys and other equipment. We also work very well with Jakub, the company’s representative. We could use the services of other competing companies, but we believe that if someone is good at what they do, it does not change. We focus primarily on a high, professional level and good communication. We are satisfied with all these aspects.
MAGOREX is not only ready-made products that can be bought immediately but also individual, non-standard orders, implemented at the customer’s request. Have you ever used this service?
Yesterday a package arrived with molds made especially for Chleboteka. We wanted a mold made of a completely different material because we wanted to make the work of bakers a little easier. MAGOREX made them for us, and we are testing them at the moment.
What is the process of creating new products in the Chleboteka offer? At what point do you let me know that you need special equipment?
We have a lot of freedom, room for individual development and implementation of new ideas. If the concept is interesting, we put it into practice. However, this product should first of all taste and consist of the best quality ingredients. Each time the idea of a change arises, we conduct a series of tests. Then we call MAGOREX and order the necessary assortment.
Do you remember how the cooperation with MAGOREX started?
We have known MAGOREX for a long time, even from previous years, when we had gastronomy. We used their products before we opened Chleboteka and we have not stopped cooperation since then.
What qualities do you need to find yourself in your industry? Not only as an owner but even as an employee or baker?
Above all, one should be open, conscientious, and honest. You also cannot be afraid and unnecessarily rush everything. Sometimes it’s better to slow down a bit and work on quality than just focus on quantity. We understand that this is a process that should take a while. We have always been in this comfortable situation that we did not have to look for recipients – on the contrary, they found us themselves. Currently, opening a few new points is a purely financial problem. So, we can focus on this type of improvement. We have lots of ideas – we work with gluten-free bread and vegan stuff. It is important not to do everything at the same time because you can get a little lost.
What is the general concept of Chleboteka?
First of all, we wanted someone who comes to us and buys bread to provide complete supplies for dinner or a small evening party. At the moment, we also have lunch options, but that was our assumption. Consumers can therefore choose tasty dips, available in small containers, taste and try different things. We employ professional chefs who specialize in similar delicacies. We also often host external professionals responsible for creating specific products. Currently, one of these people is working on the vegetarian line. He later will supervise the production of those goods. We assume that only someone who likes gluten-free bread can make them. Likewise, vegan products should be created by a vegan. Therefore, we are happy to work with people who are very good at what they do.
List three products that I should taste when coming to Chleboteka for the first time.
First of all, our flagship wheat-rye bread, which vividly resembles the taste of traditional bread from the past. We often hear this opinion from slightly older customers who regularly buy still warm loaves from the second baking. Fruit-cheese buns and our baguette are also incredibly delicious.