Sofia Belova

Monica's Eatery

When you step into Monica’s Eatery you will no doubt be greeted personally by Sofia – she is hard to miss with her gorgeous bright hair, thick Russian accent, and warming smile often sporting a bright lipstick. Sofia joined Monica’s Eatery as Restaurant Manager and has recently celebrated her 1 year anniversary there. In her words she is now a real ‘West End Girl’.

Born and raised in Vladivostok, Russia, she learnt English from the age of six and in 2013 at only eighteen moved to New Zealand. Hospitality was her chosen field to study and the internationally renowned PIHMS course meant her first stop on leaving Russia was New Plymouth.

Her first thoughts on New Plymouth? Shockingly small and how would she get out of here. That soon changed and despite working and living in both Auckland and Wellington during her time at PIHMS, New Plymouth quickly became center-stage and won her heart for making it home.

Sofia likens New Plymouth to a playground – “A small space that reveals lots of opportunities once you apply your imagination to it, which I kind of like.” She sees how far the city has come since her arrival in New Plymouth in 2013, casually pointing out that this end of town now known as the West End Precinct didn’t exist. It’s a great reminder to us all on how much has changed and that New Plymouth is still in a massive development stage, growing and changing all of the time.

Her love of literature and art has meant Sofia’s role at Monica’s Eatery enables her to encompass hospitality with her passions. It’s not hard to imagine Sofia Belova and the late Monica Brewster enjoying lunch at Monica’s Eatery together. The conversation would be fluid. Sofia would recommend the pea fritters and of course the ‘Bloody Monica’ cocktail.