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Coffe or plants?
Coffee or sex (laughs)?
Ania and Kuba: Sex!
When was Piece of Cake born?
Ania: About 6 years ago. We had full-time jobs at that time, we already started working like that during our studies. But Sephora and Empik retail stores weren’t places where we saw ourselves in the future. One day during a walk we were wondering what to do next. Kuba suggested we should open a cafe. We took a credit, we left our jobs and we found a location in Żydowska street and it somehow started to work.
Were you fans of good coffee already at that time?
Kuba: No, I don’t think so! First came the idea, then, gradually, we started going deeper into the third wave of coffee. We were lucky to meet wonderful people on our way from whom we had a chance to learn a lot, and who supported us. For example, Mateusz Gaca – a legendary barista, it was him, who controlled our fist espresso shots and shared the basics of latte art. Błażej Stempin – he made the coffee at Piece of Cake what it is today, in terms of flavour and smell. And finally, Ralf from The Barn – a wonderful co-operation for the past two years, access to the best coffee, no compromises in the approach to running a cafe, support in tough moments and the mantra “sky is the limit”.
Ania: This huge coffee machine by an American company Slayer is the heart of Piece of Cake cafe. We bought it spontaneously, although we previously had ordered a different one. Buying the new La Marzocco linea PB seemed reasonable but it was Slayer that won our hearts, we knew that we just have to have it.
It’s beautiful! And these wooden handles!
Ania: There is more to it than the handles (laughs). This coffee machine can be adjusted to the type of beans that we currently have at hand, depending what processing and level of roasting they have undergone. We can choose the settings for each coffee so that it meets all our expectations. Pre-infusion, increasing or lowering temperature on the group, it all makes a tasty, juicy espresso. What is more, we weigh each dose and each brew, while measuring the time of extraction. We set espresso each morning, then during the day, we brew few coffees to be able to control and know the flavours of the coffee we are making and serving to our guests.
A perfect espresso needs to have a thin layer of cream, a so-called “creamy” espresso?
Ania: In the past, the cream actually was considered a sing of a well-brewed espresso, but with light roast specialty single origin coffees, which are the only ones we have in our offer, you won’t even get this super crema. It is feeble, it disappears quickly. A crema, itself, is actually not even very tasty. But, getting back to your question, a perfect espresso has a perfect balance between sweet, acidulous and bitter. To us, a perfect espresso is when you feel that your coffee is a fruit.
You two work alone, Kuba brews coffee, Ania serves cakes and takes orders, weren’t you tempted to employ someone?
Kuba: Of course! We did employ other people, but we didn’t have the same quality we have when we are serving our guests ourselves. In the end, being an intendant wasn’t very nice.
Ania: What we enjoy most is working at the bar and baking. Meanwhile, when we are employing other people, we start to do the paperwork.
Several months ago, you changed location, you moved from Żydowska street near the main square, where you had a garden to Świętego Wojciecha street, what made you do that?
Ania: It was our perfect location from the very beginning. We live nearby and we’ve been lying in wait for this place to become free for our cafe. We’ve been waiting for 6 years and now we are very happy with it.
Kuba: We also have a garden here, Aneczka filled it with plants straight away.
Indeed, there are dozens of plants in Piece of Cake. How many exactly, have you counted?
Kuba: I believe around 300.
Ania: No, not that many, maybe around 150, but this number is constantly increasing, almost every day. Our neighbours and friends keep on bringing us more plants. Recently, I’ve met a man in the street asking me if all these plants were mine. I started to worry if they might disturb him, maybe the birch which we’ve recently placed inside started to release the pollen? But it soon turned out that he was asking because he wanted to give us his euphorbia. And then the tenant’s house owner offered us his huge shefflera. I’ve been growing up with some of these plants, some of them I grew myself from cuttings, others are from the guys from Kwiaty i Miut flower shop.
Who designed the interior?
Ania: The interior of our cafe wasn’t designed by anyone. It reflects our tastes, preferences, interests. We like vintage furniture, we renovate them ourselves. Plus the plants and minimalism. It is all reflected in the way Piece of Cakes looks today.
Apart from coffee and plants, you also love the gym. You both train a lot so I guess working on your muscles and staying fit is important to you?
Ania: It’s true, it’s become our hobby. This is how we rest after work. We cannot imagine our lives without physical activity. On Monday we have a day off, so it’s time to sleep and visit our parents. But we go to the gym three times a week, plus we cycle and Kuba plays basketball. And, of course, we go on walks with Johan, our bullterrier. Physical activity helps us hold on working at the bar.
And what about the holidays?
Maybe in some time. We cannot complain, we enjoy our work.
When I’m looking at the two of you moving behind this small bar, I must admit you are an excellent team!
Our co-operation goes really well, sometimes we don’t even have to communicate, and each of us knows what to do. Even when we have some small crisis, it’s never for long, because soon someone tells us something positive about our cafe and it gives us a kick to get going again.
Piece of Cake | POZNAŃ | ul. św.Wojciecha 27
Interview by: Monika Brzywczy, photos: Krzysztof Kozanowski/USTA
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