About two blocks off Prague's old town square, at V Kolkovně where Dlouha changes into Kozi, The Bakeshop sits behind an impressive old town facade. Once inside though, I was struck by how cosy it seemed. It looked smaller than its exterior might suggest. The main reason, of course, is that two thirds of the interior is the actual bakery part of the operation. Behind the walls you can imagine ovens, baking tables and exhausted bakers, all coated in flour. The din of whisks and spoons on mixing bowls, the clatter of oven trays, cookie sheets and cooling racks and the excited chatter of the red-faced bakers whipping up their magic.

The remaining one third of The Bakeshop is an L-shaped space. Two walls of large windows with counters and stools facing the street. Across the isle from the stools is a serving counter stacked high with fresh baked wares and attended to by a notably efficient and friendly staff. Behind the bustling staff are shelves holding even more baked goods like fresh rolls and breads of all kind.

Bakeshop Praha
Choosing something to go with my coffee was not easy. The variety was a little overwhelming and everything looked so good. I decided on an apple croissant and navigated my way through the early morning coffee crowd who buzzed like bees from croissant tray to brownie basket to cookie stack and back again. I found my way to the end of the counter where the coffee is served, ordered my small Americano and took a seat on one of the benches lining the wall outside.

I had arranged to meet with owner and general manager Martin Hofman and he joined me on the bench to give me a little background on The Bake Shop. Martin is from Boskovice in Moravia but moved to Australia in 1998. It was in Australia, working various jobs that Martin learned his bar and restaurant management skills and also where he met his wife and business partner Carolyn.

Bakeshop Praha Exterior
After about five years in Australia Martin and Carolyn move back to the Czech Republic. At first trying to make a life for themselves in Martin's home town but ultimately landing in Prague. Martin went to work at different hotels and restaurants around town before finally taking on the manager position at The Bakeshop in 2010 and buying it in 2011.

The Bakeshop first opened in 1998 and expanded over the years to finally reach its current size in 2007. Martin and Carolyn opened a small version of The Bakeshop in Mala Strana, U Lužického semináře 22, but otherwise have not changed the physical business since taking control five years ago.

In a broad way The Bakeshop has remained the same over the years but Martin is constantly changing what's on the menu. Constantly adding and subtracting items and changing recipes while maintaining old favourites like their luxury cakes, cheesecakes and croissants.

Bakeshop Praha Interior
Almost everything is made right there; not just the croissant but the jam you put in it. Not just the bread but the beef in your sandwich was roasted right there in the back. The Bake Shop obviously places a lot of importance on freshness and quality. Variety too is a prominent consideration, along with good service and a comfortable environment but if you ask Martin what's his main goal, he'll tell you, he does not want The Bakeshop to be like anywhere else. There's no question Martin and Carolyn have achieved that goal. The level of quality, freshness, comfort and good service puts The Bakeshop in a class of its own. The Bakeshop is the original.

The Bakeshop is open from 7am to 9pm. It’s not easy to find a decent breakfast in Prague so it’s a safe bet i’ll be back again in mornings to come but The Bakeshop is busiest at lunch time. I went back for lunch another day and was impressed by the selection. A great variety of old favourite lunch items and a few choices that border on the exotic. Breakfast lunch or dinner, The Bakeshop is a winner.

Steve Meyers

         
  Bakeshop PragueBakeshop Prague
Kozí 1, Prague 1


Opening hours:
MON - SUN 7:00 - 21:00

TEL.: +420 222 316 823

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: www.bakeshop.cz

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