It is nine o´clock in the morning. We enter the cosy facility at the corner of Bratislava Business Centre square on Plynárenská.
We are astonished by the smell of fresh pastry immediately and deeply regret having eaten at home. At the table, where we would otherwise immediately order our second breakfast is sitting Denisa Filagová – a manager of the entire production, craft bakery and patisserie Crustino and two Presto facilities.
At the beginning she reveals that she has been operating in culinary sector for a long time. Even though he had graduated from the cosmetics, then started working abroad as a waitress. After eight years she came back to Slovakia and made use of her experience at the same position at Primi Michalská.
“I guess it was a destiny,” Denisa explains her feeling after returning home. They were looking for a full-time employee at Primi, which was not quite common at that time.
After two years she switched from being a waitress to a shift manager and a floor manager. When Medusa Academy was established, people of our facilities could start educate and head higher though the Talent Management. Denisa took the opportunity and become an event manager, for the following five years.
“Being an event manager was my personal development and self-realization. I organized huge amount of various events, I picked up experience. My dream came true,“ she admitted.
After five years, according to Denisa, there was a time for a change. She felt like she needed a greater team of people surrounding her and mainly the ones to whom she could pass her precious experience. That is why she decided to accept the challenge and manage the diverse ecosystem of Crustino.
“Thanks to experience in Medusa I have something to offer to people, to lead them somewhere higher. And in this position, my only goal is their further success.”
We ask how does she perceive the Crustino concept – on one hand as it is a craft bakery and patisserie for customers and on the other it is a central production for Medusa – and its benefits for customers. We learn that the aim of the internal production is mainly to ensure the highest quality of basic, however very important products – pastry, pasta and cakes.
Suppliers must push on quantities but the luxury of proprietary bakery, patisserie or pasta shop is in that freedom it offers. We do not need to make compromise in quality. Denisa assures us that even those basic food can be made otherwise, in more honest way. That is why she compares the work of her employees to craft rather than employment.
“We work with ingredients of high quality, we add no additives. We return to past times when things were made fairly, crafted. It´s all the manual work at our bakery,” she explains.
Selection of the elite team also contributes to assurance of quality. Martin Marek, a chief baker, Katarína Podhorová, a chief patissier cooperating with Veronika Bušová managing the division of patisseries and Tomáš Falb, a chef for catering are the right people on the right place. They manage bakers, patissiers and pasta makers of high quality.
We ask how big such a production actually is. Denisa slightly smiles and takes our breath away with the numbers: “During season, only for Klubovňa chain we are able to make approximately 1,000 burger buns, 1,000 hot dog rolls and dozens of bread per week.”
On the other hand, when we realize that Centrálna Klubovňa has places for 600 guests, such volumes seem pretty realistic. It is similar with pasta for Kubu, La Pala and Primi, totalling to hundreds of kilos per week.
We were wondering, what qualities do you need as a manager to manage such colossus. And it seems that the question hit the sensitive spot. Denisa does not like to evaluate herself but then she adds that she basically aims for three things – delegation of works, friendly approach and perfect knowledge of the facility.
She knowns she can trust her people and that is why she delegates the tasks equally. Even though it is quite tough to do so with 60 employees, she wants to have a friendly relationship with everyone. Therefore she managed to organize a wide-scale teambuilding only after six weeks on this position, which is a task that some managers are not able to do even after two years.
“I wanted to prove to my people that I am the person that is here for them. The one that can help them at their work to do it the best and the one they can turn to.”
And to meet her third principle Denisa started her managerial position at Crustino at the counter as a common shop assistant.
“I fill in for girls if needed even those days. I find it mentally relaxing, going back to basics. After all I have been through I really am able to appreciate the ordinary work and even enjoy it,” Denisa explains and we are more and more surprised.
Finally we ask whether she has some free time beside her work. She smiles and says she likes going to the gym or she relaxes with her friends or family and enjoys swimming in the lake in the summer.
“I strictly separate my worktime and my privacy. Even though it is very difficult right now, I am aware where my work ends and where my privacy begins, Denisa concluded at the end of our interview.
We say goodbye having purchased fresh pastry and a cake for our way back. If you are not a regular customer of this pleasant facility yet, we highly recommend visiting. You will find it open on every business day from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm at Plynárenska 7/B, building BBC 5.