Despite making a career in digital media, Chris von Batenburg longed to go back to the job he most enjoyed - working as a barista at a cafe.
The career shift saw von Batenburg obtaining a role at a cafe, re-learning the skills he needed to start his own business. Not long after, he impressively opened up a string of hospitality businesses, including Marua Road Cafe, The Chosen Bun, Hello Stranger, and most recently - Perfect Circle.
Located in Glen Innes, Perfect Circle serves freshly baked bagels and great coffee, using von Batenburg's special bagel recipe which was developed after his recent trip to New York.
"I've always loved bread baking, but visiting New York gave me the push to experiment with my own bagel recipe and 'go pro' with it."
All of Perfect Circle's bagels are made in small batches, which undergo a slow fermentation process overnight.
"I make sure that each bagel gets the care and attention it deserves."
In the future, he hopes to be able to have his oven running throughout the day so that Perfect Circle guests can grab a bagel straight out of the oven when they walk in.
"Seeing someone's face as they try a bagel fresh out the oven is so rewarding. We're so used to the supermarket ones here, but nothing compares to a fresh bagel."
His best advice for anyone looking to start a career in hospitality is to build up slowly.
"The industry is going through a rough patch right now so if you're keen to start your own shop, or buy a new business, there is time to learn. Get a job at your favourite cafe or restaurant and learn the skills."
When von Batenburg is not working, he likes to spend time with his wife and dogs as well as exploring Auckland's cafe scene.