A UKRAINIAN actuary is counting on a new career in confectionary after arriving in Limerick.
Kristina Koval came to the city two months ago from Irpin, near Kyiv and immediately set about trying to find work.
A qualified accountant, she realised opportunities working in this field here would be few, so she focused in on her passion of making cakes.
Now, she is working in the Soda Cakes cafe at Thomondgate providing sweet treats to people across Limerick.
She said: “In Ukraine, I worked as a professional accountant. But it was a hobby, a passion of mine. I started making cakes for my friends. Then I had family who became my customers. My hobby has become my main job.”
“Most of all I love making cakes for children and making their dreams and wishes come true in cake decor,” she said.
Billy Fitzgerald, who owns Soda Cakes beside Fitzgerald’s Pub in Thomondgate’s High Road said: “It’s something I’d been thinking about branching out into for a while, but trying to get a baker these days is difficult. Kristina just arrived on the day and it kicked in. It’s as if it was meant to be. I jumped on it when she arrived, and we are delighted she is on board, and she’s doing a great job.”
Kristina admits she still gets people writing to her from Ukraine seeking her cakes for special occasions.
“Three of my friends have birthdays this week – one yesterday, one today and one tomorrow,” she said, with Billy joking: “We should get into exports really!”
Opportunity also knocked for Kristina – who is now living near the maternity hospital with a host family – when she was approached by one of the large cafe chains in the Kyiv district to work with them.
But her focus is on Limerick!
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