Thursday, 9 August 2007

A day in the life of a Corfiot

Anastasia runs a bakery. Her shop is located in Corfu town, in Alexandras Avenue. It’s a small bakery but it’s got practically everything a customer would expect and a lot more! Her products include bread and cakes, pies and biscuits of all kinds. She also sells milk and a small range of dairy products as well as soft drinks and water.

Her day starts at 6.00 am. Anastasia has to cook and do some housework before she gets ready to go to her shop, which is just a hundred meters away from her house. She’s got a family and two kids and she also takes care of her elderly mother.

“I have to get up early and start moving around to tidy up and cook” she says.

“My kids are still sleeping when I leave for the shop. I must be there at 7.30, just when my first customer arrives. He is an old man who likes going out early in the morning to do his shopping. The other customers come a bit later on. Nearly the whole neighborhood comes to my bakery to get their fresh bread every day. In Greece we love fresh bread and people buy lots of it.

The best selling product is brown bread, especially the handmade one. It is made in a village stove and is sold very fast. I’ve got a big variety of bread. Some customers like smooth bread, white bread or toast bread. This is soft and suitable for the old who have a problem with their teeth! The fresh croissants vanish in a few hours, kids love them!

I also bring some spinach and cheese pies every morning. Sometimes people want cakes with chocolate or fruit. The apple cake is my favorite. It comes from a village bakery, as well as other homemade cookies and ‘pasta flora’, which is Corfiot pastry filled with jam. At Easter, and then all the months that follow, I sell the traditional ‘fogatsa; which is a Corfiot sweet bread made from eggs, flour and masticha essence, and is puffy and sweet. It can be eaten at breakfast or for dessert at all times.

I close the shop at 4 pm and I go home. I am exhausted by then, I only have something light to eat and go to bed to have a nap. At 6, I do my housework, see my mother and sleep, not later than ten. I sometimes watch some TV, but when I am very tired I just go to bed and sleep. On Saturdays I keep the shop open only till 2 at noon, and then I have a free weekend. But sometimes I have to open the shop in the afternoons to refill it with products. My husband helps whenever he can , but this is my bakery and I love it!”

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