PAN y MÁS: More than just bread
- Published on Monday, 12 March 2012 11:17
- By Enrique
Around noon on a Saturday, the first thing you may notice about PAN y MÁS, the new bakery located at M. Bravo 408, are the customers who linger just inside the doorway, out of the sun's reach, but in range to catch the smell of baked goods wafting from the back room. The reason many of them stick around to chat may be because of the inviting scents, the measured pace of a weekend in Oaxaca, or because it takes a few minutes really savor a cinnamon roll. Or, it could be that in just a few weeks of business in its new location, PAN y MÁS has already become the kind of place where visitors stop by not just for bread and muffins, but for the extra dose of camaraderie that the bakery and its owners radiate.For Alex and Susana, the bakery's proprietors, PAN y MÁS is much more than a business venture; it's a way to serve the community, to participate in Oaxacan culture, and to make a growing list of new friends. "We really like serving the public," says Susana, "and the combination of Oaxacans and visitors from around the world has given us a great dynamic." For the couple, the bakery also represents a fresh start on a more personal level: the two were just married in January. Alex comes from Oaxaca, and Susana from the United States. Though the couple has some experience both in baking and in business, both will tell you that one year ago, they'd never have imagined running their own bakery as a pair of newlyweds. Rather, opening PAN y MÁS was a way for Alex and Susana to take advantage of a sweet and unique opportunity. And the fruits of their labor have been just as sweet, and just as unique. Currently, the bakery consists of a cozy entryway where the goods are displayed, and where customers stop to chat awhile. This room opens to a enclosed courtyard area that is washed with sunlight and accented by the pink flowers that sprout from bushes lining the property. If all goes to plan, in several months Alex and Susana will have converted this sunny area into a open-air cafe where patrons are invited to relax and sip a beverage as they enjoy their breads, cakes and pastries. The courtyard pipes into the bakery's kitchen, where all the magic happens. So, what do you want to eat? "Right now our whole grain muffins and whole grain breads are taking off," Susana told me. Each day, Susana adds a different fruit to these items, such as cranberries or mangoes. Alex would later add, "We've had people tell us that our cinnamon rolls are the best that they've had." As patronage has risen, more than a few regulars have suggested new items for the menu, which the owners have not hesitated to attempt. Now, a few friends even come to volunteer in the kitchen. "It's fun" says Susana. "We like to think of it as a place where friends can come to stop by, and where people can participate." On the bottom of their business card, the owners of PAN y MÁS have written, "Dénos el gusto de servirles" ("Give us the pleasure of serving you"). The delight they take in their craft is not only evident, but contagious, and it's nearly impossible to leave the bakery without a cinnamon roll and a smile. There must be some secret ingredient. Visit PAN y MÁS at M. Bravo 408 in Oaxaca's Central District, or call 951.217.4527 for more information.