Interview with Justyna and Tomasz Kosmala, co-owners of “Charlotte. Bread and Wine”, a French-style bakery and bistro.
While conducting her business, Justyna Kosmala is able to use her ability to notice potential in a product as well as being once step ahead of the current trends. The creation of such an easily-remembered bistro like Charlotte is the result of the experiences she acquired while working on the “Polska” brand for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as her studies at the College of Europe in Natolin. Thanks to her travels across Europe, she gained the confidence to graft her extraordinary business ideas onto her native Warsaw scene. She believes that many of Poles’ daily needs remain unsatisfied. Her idea to open Charlotte was successful. At the same time, she managed to break down the typecast that Poles don’t like to integrate by installing one big common table at the bistro.
For Justyna and her team, building a brand around bread was a challenge. Despite warnings, she didn’t give up, spending almost a year working on a concept with her business partner and family. In order to learn French baking methods she teamed up with a Polish baker and headed for France, where they made their leavening agent with yeast cultivated on the skins of organically-grown grapes. She works on new ideas with her team, and doesn’t pay attention to random opinions which may distract the concept’s coherence. She is a proponent of working with close family and friends. She advises to stay true to one’s own idea and to not give up when given pointers to the contrary. Justyna explains how she left her comfort zone, and how, since there’s been creative revolution in Poland, she isn’t scared of shedding light on and undertaking new ideas here.