From Family Tradition to Brno’s Best: The Sweet Success of Miroslav Bukovsky’s Family Legacy

Living Journalism

From Family Tradition to Brno’s Best: The Sweet Success of Miroslav Bukovsky’s Family Legacy

Bukovský confectionery is famous in Brno for its original desserts that are so beautifully crafted that they appear almost too good to eat. The bakery's success can be attributed to Moravian-born Miroslav Bukovský, who turned his family's baking traditions and his love for baking into his own successful business.

Upon entering Bukovsky Confectionery, one is immediately enveloped in the irresistible aroma of freshly-baked desserts. A cosy spot by the window beckons and a cappuccino is ordered, ready to indulge in some of the shop's famous treats. Suddenly, the door swings open and in walks Miroslav Bukovsky, the mastermind behind the bakery's mouth-watering delights, dressed in his crisp white pastry chef's shirt. He looks flustered, fearing he is late to the meeting. "It's quite a rush in the pastry shop today. It's kind of our Easter classic, we're preparing a lot of things to be ready on Wednesday," he explains apologetically. The cappuccino is left on the table, with a cloud of steam leaving its surface.Despite his busy schedule, Bukovsky generously offers a glimpse into the kitchen where his team is currently whipping up their Easter creations. Together, he leads the way down to the "pastry lab," a pristine white room filled with pastry chefs dressed head-to-toe in white, all hard at work creating delectable sweets.Bukovsky explains the intricate details of their Easter egg dessert: a mango-macao yolk, coconut foam, and caramel chocolate shell. "Over the past eight years, I have been both inventing and creating. I have a strong passion for crafting, and it's a field that I don't see myself stepping away from anytime soon," he says.

A Cappuccino, Croissant and Espresso

As the sun rises over the sleepy city of Brno, Mr Bukovsky is already hard at work in his pastry production. He is a man of routine, waking up at the crack of dawn to dive headfirst into the world of confectionery. But before he begins his day, there is one essential item on his morning menu - a cappuccino and a flaky croissant. The ritual sets him up for the day ahead and gives him the fuel he needs to create magic in the kitchen. They used to make their own croissants, but it is an art form that takes up too much time, which is why he settles with someone else’s creation.

Surrounded by a team of talented pastry chefs, Mr Bukovsky spends his days creating exquisite desserts that are almost too beautiful to eat. They start by mapping out the day's desserts, taking into account the orders they have received and the ingredients they have available. And then the real fun begins - making and decorating the desserts to perfection.Despite the demanding nature of his work, Mr Bukovsky relishes every moment he spends in the production kitchen. His only complaint is that he doesn't get to spend as much time there as he would like. With a packed schedule and a never-ending list of orders to fulfil, he manages to squeeze in just three days of production each week but dreams of spending at least five days lost in the art of dessert-making.

With over 25 products in the showcase every day, Mr Bukovsky and his team work tirelessly to ensure that every dessert is made fresh and ready to delight their customers. It's a gruelling task that requires them to be up and running early each day, but the end result is worth every second of lost sleep.

Then! Another coffee around 10 o'clock - but this time it is espresso!

As the clock strikes noon, Mr Bukovsky takes a break from production to deal with the operational side of the business. Emails, dessert deliveries, and other administrative tasks fill his afternoons, but he never loses sight of the passion that drives him. Every day, he strives to create desserts that are more beautiful, more delicious, and more unforgettable than the last.

The Love of Baking Runs in the Family

Certain words, smells, and tastes have an extraordinary power to transport us to beautiful moments of the past. Imagine the aroma of your grandma Bukovska's cakes wafting through the air, and the feeling of carrying them home from the bakery across the street, still warm and fragrant on a baking sheet. For Mr Bukovsky, these scents and flavours from his childhood sparked a lifelong passion for pastry production. Baking has always been a cherished tradition in his family, with his grandmother, affectionately known as "starenka" (old woman in English?) in Velké Bílovice, and his mother passing down their recipes and techniques through the generations.

When Mr Bukovsky's sons Ales and Milan finished high school, they knew they wanted to start their own business. With a deep love for confectionery, they decided to pursue their passion and go into the pastry business. Mr Bukovsky himself had worked in a food technology store, and his extensive knowledge of ingredients and equipment proved invaluable in launching their venture.

In the beginning, the Bukovsky family travelled extensively, seeking inspiration from the world's best pastry shops. They visited family businesses in France, Benelux, and of course, Italy, where they were captivated by the artistry and precision of the country's pastry chefs. Mr Bukovsky claims that the Italians truly know how to do it right, and his motto is always to strive for improvement.

When the family felt confident in the spirit with which they wanted to run their pastry shop, they began searching for the perfect location. While Velké Bílovice would have been a natural choice, Mr. Bukovsky and his sons knew that their ambitions required a larger market. They believed that Brno, a bustling city in South Moravia, was the ideal place to make their mark.

To their surprise, the family-run pastry shop quickly became one of the best businesses in Brno, with its reputation spreading through word of mouth. Literally, through the mouth. Almost everyone who lives in the city now knows the Bukovsky name and their delectable pastries. In recognition of their excellence, they even received an award from the prestigious gastronomic guide Gourmet Brno, which recognizes the best culinary projects in the city.

The Stroke of Luck: Finding the Right Building

The Žabovřesky confectionery building is a stunning structure that never fails to captivate visitors with its charm. Intrigued by its story, Mr Bukovsky shares its tale. With a dreamy glint in his eyes, he begins narrating how they came to acquire the space.

It was during the frigid months of January and February in 2015 (?) when they embarked on the search for the perfect location. They scoured every nook and cranny of Brno in search of a space that would meet their needs. While strolling down Minská Street, they stumbled upon a restaurant that piqued their interest. "We thought to ourselves, this place would be absolutely perfect," reminisces Mr Bukovsky wistfully. The expansive courtyard, while inaccessible in the winter months, left them in awe. They took a tour of space on Stefanik Street with a real estate agent but remained hesitant. The courtyard was not up to their standards.Eventually, they decided to take their time and contemplate their options. "As luck would have it, a few days later, the real estate agent called us with an offer for a new space that he thought would be the one. He didn't even need to advertise it. And he was right. It was the space of our dreams, on Minská Street," he exclaims excitedly. It was a stroke of good fortune that they couldn't believe. The rest, as they say, is history.

15 Eggs a Day

Jumping back to the contemporary age, we see Mr Bukovsky immersed in his work. One can't help but notice the passion and joy he exudes. With a team of ten dedicated employees and a growing base of loyal customers, the success of their confectionery business has exceeded their wildest dreams. "I never expected it to be this good," Mr Bukovsky reflects. "I'm so glad my sons and I took the leap of faith." Today, his sons take on more of the operational responsibilities, overseeing both the original Žabovřesky location and a newer store in Řečkovice that opened last year, where they continue to delight customers with their delectable creations.

The desserts are almost ready. How intricate they are! It must have been challenging to prepare! And the suspicions are confirmed as Mr Bukovsky chimes in, "I can only make about 15 of these eggs," he admits. "Otherwise, something could go wrong, or they could defrost." But despite the challenges, these are the desserts that he enjoys the most. He loves to challenge himself, and when he comes up with a new dessert, he experiments with it until it's just right. "Sometimes you get it on the first try, and sometimes it takes three tries! That's the beauty of this craft," he chuckles.​​​​​​​But which dessert is his favourite? He pauses for a moment before replying, "I love all the desserts on our menu. We never bake anything that my sons and I don't enjoy." But he admits that his personal favourites are the ones that combine sweet and sour flavours, as he's not fond of desserts that are overly sweet. However, he does have a soft spot for their chocolate desserts, which he says he can never tire of.

Those pastry eggs look absolutely mouthwatering. "May I have one to take back to the pastry shop along with that cappuccino which I'm sure has already gone cold?" I ask Mr Bukovsky. "Certainly, let's go! I was just about to put them in the showcase anyway. And don't worry, we'll prepare a fresh cappuccino for you so that you can enjoy it piping hot," he responds with a warm smile.