“I was born in the dough.” The story of Tatiana Guțanu, the Moldovan who took “Vatra de Acasă” to Germany

“Born in the dough.” This is how Tatiana Guțanu describes herself, originally from the Telenești district, who has been delighting Moldovans in Germany for five years now with cakes, pies, and cakes made to order, made at “Vatra de Acasă”. She worked as a baker for almost ten years at “Franzeluța”, after which, like many of our compatriots, she had to choose the path of foreignness.

Tatiana came to Chisinau when she was only 17 years old and studied at the former Vocational School No. 3 at Botanica, as a baker. After doing his internship at “Franzeluța”, he decided to stay and work there. Being diligent, the bosses noticed her and didn’t even realize that she hadn’t turned 18 yet.

“As my mother says, I was born in the dough. Since my grandmother was sick, I would go to Easter and bake with her for a whole day: I would knead, put in the oven. There were four of us at home, so my mother baked bread every weekend. Somehow, it started from there and I decided to go to the bakery. I think that God ordained it to be so.”

I was in a pretty pickle

At “Franzeluța”, Tatiana worked on bread line no. 3. After her first maternity leave, the Moldovan went abroad and went to Italy, where she lived for two years, but was never found herself.

“In Italy I was in a pretty pickle. I think I didn’t go to the right place at the right time. I had a job offer here in Germany. It was very difficult for us until we integrated and found the right people”.

Before working as a baker in Frankfurt and taking orders at “Vatra de Acasă”, Tatiana tried her luck in a German village, where she was a chef at a hotel restaurant. Later, the second hotel followed, and then – a prestigious clinic in Frankfurt.

How Tatiana decided to start baking again

After a while, Tatiana got pregnant again. During her maternity leave, our compatriot met several Moldovans, including the president of the Moldovan community in Frankfurt am Main, Tatiana Buruiană. Namely, she encouraged Tatiana Guțan to start baking again.

“When I baptized the little girl, the pastries from Moldova arrived broke, and I still paid a lot of money. Somehow, Tatiana motivated me to start baking. And I tried. Through mistakes I found the necessary answers. In this case, from the beginning I ate some broken rolls”.

In 2018, Tatiana started receiving orders for “Vatra de Acasă” – a product of her work, which connects her to home and… Moldova.

“Everything I have done is from my thought and mind. My hearth is associated with my grandmother and my mother, with the times when I put the bread in the oven. Bread is baked on the hearth… I participated with my pies in a competition called “Vatra de Acasă” – a name I had been thinking about for some time. Then I understood that it was my name. Otherwise I don’t see it”.

Tatiana packs each order with great care. Customers find on each package a tricolor ribbon, bought just from the Central Market in Chisinau, but also ears of wheat, cut by Tatiana herself.

“I decided to choose the ear of wheat, because that’s where the cake comes from. I also put a flower, depending on the season. Most often I go and cut the ears of wheat, make them into bundles and put them to dry. Many are happy to see them. I try to do everything in such a way as to arouse people’s emotions.”

“Vatra de Acasă” is not limited to only products from the Moldovan hearth. Sometimes, Tatiana also prepares traditional Russian and Romanian baked goods.

“I try to please them too and indeed, they come. Most are Moldovans, but we also made orders for Russians. We even had a Moldovan woman who married a Russian from Germany and they had a big wedding. I made them bread with salt and they said they were impressed”.

At the same time, Tatiana managed to make the Germans fall in love with Moldavian pies, muffins.

“Some people know me by pies, others – even by rolls. When the dough remains, I put what I have around the house, walnuts or poppy seeds, and serve. I make pie with cheese, potato, cabbage, cherry, pumpkin. He loves them. A Ukrainian woman ordered pies for her birthday. All the Germans were impressed”.

In 2019, the Moldovan got a job at a bakery in Frankfurt, where she still works. Until last year, Tatiana took orders of up to 50 cakes at home and tried not to show at work what she does outside of work hours. Now, things have changed. Friday is reserved for the preparation of orders received at “Vatra de Acasă”, and during the week – you can find her at “Der Bäcker Eifler”.

“I think God tested my patience – to work harder on it. Last year, when we had a lot of cakes, the boss told me to come and bake here. At first I refused, but eventually I did. I carried 100 buns and grazers. So, bit by bit, I started baking there. When I have more orders – I go there. When less – I do it at home”.

Many times, Tatiana sacrifices hours of sleep and wakes up at night, for the sake of clients.

“My pie recipe is invented and tested by my work, by my thought, maybe by my mistake. If many people request pies on Saturday, I get up at 4-5, make them, take them to work and bake them, to give them hot, fresh. I put a lot of soul and love into what I do. The dough loves patience, love and prayer.”

The boss is proud of her and wants to help the Moldovan to realize her dream – to open a real store “Vatra de Acasă”, where there will be pie, colac and biscuits to order.

“I would like to see the “Vatra de Acasă” evolve, so that I would not limit myself to pie and muffin, which are always in demand. I would take something else from home or make it up. I wish there was a “Vatra de Acasă” open somewhere, something of mine. Let what I have been quietly working on be better known.”

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