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SAPA, Mysuru

An immersive indulgent, sensorial experience

A culmination of the genesis of boulangerie - sourdough and pastry, the nomenclature SAPA is truly dedicated to the artisan craftsmanship of fine pastry and breads. Indian flour, partly milled at their in-house mill, a sourdough culture imbued with love and passion, their loaves give the distinct flavours of naturally leavened breads, each one shaped by hand.

SAPA started by Dina Weber, is located in Mysore, Karnataka.

As we arrive early on a dewy Friday morning for a cuppa, we are the first to enter the quaint cafe on the verdurous streets of Gokulam. There is a persistet cherub flurrying air kisses in the quaint corners of the cafe. The stoned pathway leading to the entrance is an inviting charm with a rectangled lotus water fill surrounded by kane furniture. We sit ourselves lavish on the lounge soaking in the aesthetics of the place and the freshness of the ambience, after a long and challenging week at the Ashtang Yoga Shala.

Even before SAPA - this chill vibe bread and bake house became this hotspot for yogi’s and others alike, Chef Dina Weber had a dream of brining her heritage of bread making to India. Her traversing journey across India, from working in a French bakery in Goa to being a pastry chef in a cafe in Ladakh, made her understand how to find deeper flavours in local grains and how this entire microcosmos works.

What started of as bread making workshops in a quaint house, attracting learners only via a discreet WhatsApp group, SAPA today is a niche, artisanal and re-imagined creative space with delectable sweet delicacies in the heart of the city.

We at TLI got talking to Dina about her learnings, inspirations and her humble culinary abode she graciously calls home. Excerpts from the interview :

Q: How did your obsession to baking start ?

A: Growing up in Germany I was always surrounded by a huge variety of bread heritage, although I truly got hooked to sourdough in India. I have worked in hospitality earlier. Across organic farms, food school in Kodaikanal etc. I would also teach food and nutrition and also take classes on sustainability. This what I have created at Sapa is a culmination of all my learnings throughout my culinary journey.

Q: When did you open SAPA and how many years have you been living in India since ?

A: We opened SAPA in 2019 just before the pandemic. I have been here since 6 years now

Q: What was your inspiration when you opened this place ?

A: Originally there was no plan as such to open a cafe.

It started off as a concept. A home kitchen for yoga students who wanted to learn how to make breads and vegan food. So we started off as a delivery place and later would operate a studio kitchen delivering freshly bakes breads. That’s how we started out.

Q: Tell us a little about this concept place you started before SAPA ?

A: It was very niche and discreet actually. We loved the personalisation and the connect with people we created with this workshop format.

There were quite a few groups coming in from Bangalore who wanted to learn baking, mostly sourdough and we kept Thursday’s as the bake classes and we would. Circulate the communication via WhatsApp and that too quite last minute. This kind of gave us the exposure and recognition and this small little step progressed into what we built here today.

Q: What are your signatures ?

A: All varieties of Doughnuts

Of course the classic SAPA sourdough make with 50% organic Indian whole wheat atta of which 15% freshly milled grains sourced from north of Karnataka made with 24hr fermentation

The seesaw caramel chocolate tart

Strawberry vanilla tart

Q: What’s your take on innovation ? Do you do experiment with food concepts or experiential concepts here too ?

A: Oh yes, innovation is where it all started for us. We have done a few pop-ups - we got a ramen chef from Bangalore. We did an ice-cream pop-up. The idea is to keep the place active, agile and just dynamic with a certain energy to its vibe. We think of doing things that exude an atmosphere of relaxation yet homely for all our guests here.

Q: Your team both front-end and back-end looks very diverse. They seem to be enjoying working here. What work culture do you foster her ?

A: Our talent hiring is done very passionately. We wanted to make a team that feels as ardently as the creators themselves. For some of our staff, they feel a sense of refuge coming and working here, they feel accepted, happy, glee and a part of a team. We have sort of built a culture of a community in this little work place where everyone feels welcome, guests and my workforce team alike.

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