Supporting former refugees, one loaf at a time

We are dedicated to supporting former refugees to start their new lives in Aotearoa through sustainable, practical means. Our aim is to facilitate resettlement through the provision of education and training in a safe, supportive environment, leading to a pathway to employment or further education.

Through our partnerships with the AUT School of Hospitality, local supermarkets and bakeries, as well as organisations who support the refugee community, we have come together and are committed to the success of this initiative. This collaborative approach has given us the opportunity to incorporate the voice of the former refugee community and to hear from future employers, helping us tailor our programme to teach the relevant skills sought in the industry.


Combining a passion for people and a love for baking


Having migrated to New Zealand from Yugoslavia in 1995 with her family, our founder, Ana Djokovic, has experienced the difficulties faced integrating into a new culture, learning a new language, and forming a new home. In the 1990s, many of those entering New Zealand as refugees were from Yugoslavia, in response to the humanitarian crises following the ethnic conflicts and wars of independence.

In an effort to help the refugee community in New Zealand, Ana started to research sustainable approaches to integration. Through conversations with local communities of refugees and the organisations who support them, and as evidenced by Government reports, it was clear that connection to employment was a key barrier.

With that in mind, The Bread Collective was created as a way to support those who have arrived to New Zealand as refugees into employment, through the art of baking.


"If baking is any labour at all, it's a labour of love. A love that gets passed from generation to generation"


The concept of bread and pastry is something familiar across cultures; every culture has some form of baking and bread is one of the oldest edible creations. With care, precision, and time, as well as a bit of patience and knowledge, we can create a range of nourishing products, which can be shared amongst communities.

New Zealand is also in need of quality bakers to keep our existing bakeries going. We have a skills shortage of bakers and it is an industry which needs ongoing labour support. The Bread Collective will connect our graduates to employment opportunities in the baking industry, helping both our communities and our economy.

Beyond the art of baking, the addition of tailored English language lessons and mental health support are those additions that will help our students to flourish. With our encouragement, the support of the collective group, specialised support services, and professional baking oversight, our programme will create proficient bakers and empowered members of the community.

We are excited for you to join us in our venture and can’t wait for you to taste what our brilliant team produce! We will let you know where you will be able to meet our bakers and buy our products soon!