If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be running a bakery that made artisan donuts and burger buns for a gourmet burger bar, I would not have believed you. When I told my parents that I had been offered a position as a baker for a year in New Zealand my mother said jokingly, “But then you will never come back!” Little did we all know, just how prophetic my mum’s words were.
So, let me explain a bit about me, I was born and raised in Sweden, for those of you who don’t know where that is, it is basically the total opposite side of the earth to New Zealand. As I was planning for my trip, my family joked about how I had chosen the place the furthest away from Sweden as I could go to before, again, getting closer to home. My name is Molly Sund and I am a professionally trained baker and pastry chef, I even studied at University (we take bread and pastry very seriously in Sweden) and have a degree in baking and pastry, not to brag or anything but I am pretty proud of it.
There was not a single person I knew in Nelson, let alone New Zealand (my closest relative lives in Sydney) and I wasn’t planning on staying for longer then the year of working holiday visa I had. Cue Oliver. I met my kiwi lad within the first month of me arriving in Nelson, after a few months of dating I was hooked and haven’t moved from Nelson since.
My first couple of years in New Zealand were tough, not having found a job that I was happy with, and homesickness certainly did not help, but then Oliver had seen that this new hip place called Burger Culture had opened and were looking for bakers to join their team. At first, I was a bit hesitant and thinking it was going to be like a supermarket bakery with premade mixers and unknown e-number additives. I could not have been more wrong.
As Chris and Scott talked me through their vision of the restaurant, I quickly realized how special the nature of Burger Culture is. That not only did they wanted everything to be done properly from the buns to the patties, from the melted cheese and all that arrives on your plate at service (including the drinks!), using real natural ingredients and local products is something that is close to my heart and knew that I wanted to be a part of making this place the best I possibly could.
After my trial I got the offer for the position just after a few hours of the end of the shift which I, of course, said yes to. Scott had invented most of the doughs and fillings from scratch, which some I left as they were and some I improved upon, I quickly got free rein when it came to donut flavours with only one comment: “if it’s too weird, we will let you know”. To this day I have never heard them say that.
When I was younger, I never understood how the older generation could work for years on end for the same company, but now I get it because this is were I see myself staying and improving both my own professional skills as well as the company. And here we are almost 3 years later, I now have 2 other bakers working with me, a brand-new bakery and supplying, not just Burger Culture but also for a multitude of restaurants across the Nelson/Tasman region.
Burger Culture is more than just a restaurant, it is more than just a job. We inspire each other, offer comfort and support when someone is having a hard time, inside or outside of work, share jokes, stories and mishaps. Through ups and downs, peak season rushes to “slow as molasses in winter” days, we are a crew, a family, a whanau. I may not have any family on this side of the globe, but I am proud to be a part of the Burger Culture family.