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Sunil Gupta

New Zealand Certificate in Baking Graduate

A photograph of Sunil Gupta.

Not everyone is suited to working the hours of a baker, but Sunil Gupta is happy to pull a 3.00pm to midnight shift.

While studying for his New Zealand Certificate in Baking, Sunil got a job as a baker at Palmerston North based company, Breadworks. Since graduating, he has now has a permanent position there and is thriving in his new career.  

Sunil has high praise for UCOL’s Certificate in Baking programme saying in six months he learnt a wide variety of skills. “The course was very practical and hands on,” he says. “We spent a lot time baking and covered lots of aspects. I never wanted to miss a class.”

The early morning lectures were too much for some students. “The classes were held from 6.00am to noon, so it was like being in a real bakery environment. It was soon obvious who could handle the working hours.”

Sunil’s move to Palmerston North and into the classroom a year ago was brought about by a health scare. Up until then he had lived and worked in Auckland as a restaurant owner and in other related businesses.

“I needed to get out of Auckland and lead a calmer life,” says the 39 year old. He considered other cities but decided Palmerston North could offer the lifestyle and the opportunity to upskill in a new area of the food industry. 

On his arrival he immediately enrolled at UCOL. “I have always been interested in baking – bread especially.” 

He wasn’t concerned about being twice the age of most of his fellow students and was always keen to share his knowledge and experience with them.

“The lecturers were great and recommended that I approach Breadworks for some work experience.” Sunil had a three day trial and was rewarded with a job in the Bakery. He has since ‘risen’ in the company ranks and can be responsible for up to seven staff each shift. 

Sunil hopes to expand his skills into cakes and pastry-making, and one day hopes to have his own bakery. 


Breadworks was born in 2000 to supply the wholesale customers in the Manawatū region with European inspired natural breads. They have a popular retail shop on Main Street in Palmerston North.

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