For the past decade, bread has taken on all comers: the low-carb diet fad and the gluten-free movement. But now bread is making a comeback, thanks to rising consumer demand for whole-grain breads and interest in the delicious flavors of different breads and sweet breads.
Hispanic bakeries such as Azteca Bakery, which has 10 locations, witness a surge in demand for bread, and owner Alfredo Sanchez believes that carrying a wide variety of choices is the key to success.
Azteca Bakery offers a full range of Hispanic breads such as traditional orejas and cinnamon-flavored twists, as well as whole grain conchas made with ingredients from BakeMark.
Whole grain baked goods have gained significant traction since going mainstream at the turn of the century. Today’s shoppers gravitate toward packages making “made with whole grain” claims, and ancient grains are now part of the momentum.
Customers also are seeking out new flavors, and distinctive Hispanic breads are gaining popularity as a result.
Borrachos are a customer favorite at Carnicerías Jiménez and Bravo Bakery, leading Hispanic retailers in the Chicagoland.
Borrachos, canasta de pina, perico de freso and rebanada de platano showcase the wide variety of fresh breads and traditional flavors available at the Jiménez store bakery, which goes by the name of La Perla Tapatia. The bakery is carrying more Guatemalan breads, such as hojaldras, in response to a great number of customers of Guatemalan descent shopping their stores.
Pan Artesanal opened in Chicago in July 2018, offering a new experience to the Windy City. The bakery, run by sisters Marisol and Lizette Espinoza, has quickly become a favorite for those looking for Hispanic inspired breads and pastries.
Marisol Espinoza was trained at the French Pastry School, and she has used that training mixed with her Mexican heritage for exciting baking mashups. For instance, the bakery offers a scone that is filled with corn, cactus, and Cotija cheese. There is also a cruffin stuffed with peach and sweet cheese for an exciting flavor combination.
Additionally, Pan Artesanal specializes in breakfast and lunch sandwiches such as its chorizo-egg sandwich and its mango ham sandwich, as well as cakes and coffee.
Hispanics make up nearly one-third of the total population of Chicago. This has influenced many businesses in the area, and Pan Artesanal represents a shift towards more Hispanic-influenced bakeries popping up in neighborhoods throughout the city.