By: Niove Frangogianni
What is the human experience like? Every day we face choices, encounter situations to which we react , meet new people, loose people we love and let our lives be touched for a moment or for a lifetime.
There is an expression that we found very fitting to this beautiful story and the kindness that it embodies, " a single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees". We will come back to this in a few, now to finally tell this story!
Originally from Canada, Caryna Camerino has been in Dublin for over 19 years, she is the proud owner and founder of Camerino Bakery and Lovin' from the Oven wholesale, using UnifyOrdering in both premises to make ordering easier. This amazing woman came to Dublin on a backpacking trip throughout Europe. What was supposed to be a 2 day journey has turned into a lifetime and we are so blessed to have her!
Working in HR during the Financial Crisis of 2007 - 2008, Caryna started baking goods to take away some of the harsh realities she was dealing with. The harder her job got, the more she baked, ending up with a lot of goodies, too much for one person to consume.
Caryna decided to take a stall in a local Farmers market and sell her goods to the public. Locals started to take notice, give her feedback, enquire on new goods and eventually she was asked to supply some local cafes with her delicious creations. She finally took the leap and left her day job, registering as a student in DIT, now know as TUD, studying Baking and Pastry Arts Management, whilst focusing on her small wholesale business. Baking all night and attending classes during the day. It was exhausting work.
One day, she went to progress her visa paperwork and met a man called Jim.
Jim listened to Caryna's story, believed in what she was trying to achieve and gave her a chance. He gave her a stamp for a visa that opened all her doors and finally made it possible to get her business off the ground, even before she received Irish citizenship.
With wind in her sails, she started off sharing a space with a bread baker in Smithfield until she had enough money to rent her own production space in Terenure, where Lovin' from the Oven wholesale still is today!
Seven years ago she opened her first shop on Capel Street and then 3 years ago the second Camerino Bakery was opened on Merrion Square. Looking back Caryna is so grateful to have met and known Jim and feels so lucky to have been a part of the good that he has done.
Why is Camerino bakery, called Camerino bakery you may ask? Is it a coincidence of a tiny bakery being named 'small room' in Italian, or is there more to this name and story?
Caryna's father is from Italy, his family used to own coffee shops in Rome called Cafffé Camerino. Her grandfather, Enzo Camerino, was one of the last survivors of the Italian Jews taken from the ghetto and transported to Auschwitz. He escaped his captors and sought out help from a passing Italian truck. The truck happened to be carrying coffee beans and heading towards Rome. When the drivers heard his name 'Camerino' they recognised it as they worked with Cafffé Camerino, and transported him back to Rome, saving his life.
Caryna got the keys to her store on Capel Street on the 1st of October, however instead of opening right away, flew to Rome on the 16th of October, to be with her family for the 71th anniversary of the day the Jewish ghetto of Rome was raided and her grandfather was taken.
When Caryna saw her grandfather in Rome, he gave her money to buy her first bag of coffee, symbolic of his rescue and for good luck, she also received branded objects of the old Cafffé Camerino from her Italian family, honouring her decision to revive the family business in a new country.
Camerino Bakery was opened on the 1st of November with all the support, prayers and wishes of her family. On December 1st she spoke to her grandfather to wish him a happy birthday, tell him about her successful opening and thank him for his support.
The next day, Enzo Camerino passed away, having known all that his granddaughter had accomplished, having seen his family business restored once more and the legacy of the Camerino name being carried on.
A single act of kindness can go a long way and is echoed in the sands of time. This story is perhaps the best proof that we have of this, from the drivers that saved her grandfather, to Jim whom changed Caryna's life forever.
This amazing woman has opened two premises to date and has decided to help others, as others have done for her in the past. Recognising that a single moment can change ones life forever, she has decided to start working with the Social Enterprise Office for the opportunity to give back to others.
We cannot wait to see where this amazing business owner will be in a few years time, and are so honoured to be a part of her journey.
Returning to our analogy, the human experience is but a string of amazing coincidences that shape and guide us along a path. Caryna's path was hard and long, but was shaped by extraordinary moments. The Camerino name must be linked with serendipity as it has served those who posses it well for generations.
Caryna will be returning to Rome in January, when they will be laying a stolpersteine for Enzo Camerino and his brother in front of the apartment building where they were captured.
Grab your coat and go check this amazing business out, you will no doubt see the amazing Caryna in her element! Make sure to say Hi and keep an eye out for their amazing bake at home cookie dough and their marble shortbread on UnifyOrdering !