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JoVan The Dutch Baker Small aromatic bakery in the center of Sofia, where you will find baguettes and typical Dutch pastry

JoVan The Dutch Baker

37 Angel Kanchev Str., Sofia
+359 88 588 6190
08:00 - 20:00
(Mon - Sat);
09:00 - 15:00
  • Kind: Bakery
  • Multi Kulti Recommended

Tags: dutch bakery, jovan

John Hulsbosch came to Bulgaria in 2003 through a volunteer program, and in 2005 he opened the Dutch bakery. He controlled it remotely through a local manager, but decided to come to live in Sofia 2 years ago and personally undertake the management of his business.

What he likes the most about Bulgaria is the tranquility. “People are not as stressed. I work in my bakery in the centre and I live on the opposite corner. Life here is very calm, you can find small hidden places to drink your morning coffee and have a nice lunch. I love the Sofia city center.”

His favorite Bulgarian dish is stuffed peppers, but most of all he appreciates Bulgarian wines and drinks.

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What he misses the most from his homeland is the climate. “Seasons in the Netherlands are longer and more defined, I love the autumn there. I would also say that I miss the Dutch cheeses, but here you can find very nice yellow cheese if you come across a good dairy from the mountains or maybe from a monastery.”

His favorite traditional dish from his childhood is called hutspot, from the town of Leiden. It’s a winter dish made out of potatoes, carrots, grilled onions and meatballs. “Very simple and delicious dish that I like to prepare for my friends,” John says.

In the bakery you can find a variety of high quality, freshly baked breads and desserts. “Baguettes, for example, are baked 6 times a day. At most places the bread is baked at night and sold during the day, but I like the idea that you can find freshly baked bread here at any time of the day. “We also offer very typical Dutch baked goods such as pretzels, apple pie, apricot pie from Northern Holland, Dutch dessert – chocolate, coconut and raisins.”

In this bakery they adhere to original Dutch recipes, but also develop their own recipes. “We don’t compromise the recipes – neither the taste, nor the products. We try to offer good products at reasonable prices. We want our customers, even people who live on a pension, to be able to buy quality bread that doesn’t cost a fortune. Put it this way – money shouldn’t be the leading factor for making a good product.”

Most customers are Bulgarians and especially people who live and work in the area, but also about 5% of foreigners and tourists.

Interview and photos: An Fam
Translation from Bulgarian: Boyan Boychev
Illustration: Kremena Cholakova for Compote Collective
November 30, 2013