Since Fátima García began to travel from Ecuador to Los Angeles, and her son took her to eat at the Porto’s Bakerythe famous Cuban-style bakery, began to dream of its own “pancitos y bocaditos” business.
And although just 4 months ago she launched her bakery from the kitchen of her home, it has been so successful that the day is not far off when she can become a baker at the level of the founder of El Porto’s, or why not, even better. .
“I have always admired Port’s. I love their quality and work. When I looked at the picture of the lady founder and read her review on the box, I said, “I want to be like her. So I can be me. If she can, I have to be able too.”.
And it’s not too far from reality. Her pancitos and bocaditos, as she calls traditional Ecuadorian breads, have been very well received among the Ecuadorian community of Los Angeles, and even among immigrants of other nationalities.
Only that dream was kept deep inside her, and she did not share it even with her closest loved ones, her two children and her husband.
Fatima came to live in the United States after her eldest son arranged her US citizenship.
But it was in his native Guayaquil, Ecuador where he learned bakery and pastry.
“About 35 years ago, I learned at Oscus, an aid institution in Guayaquil, which teaches women, pastry and making snacks.”
But she says that when she finished her studies, she didn’t dedicate herself to pastry because her profession was actually a stylist, and she had her own salon.
“I kept it for more than 25 years with a lot of clients to help my children study, and to help with household expenses, while my husband was studying to be a lawyer.”
However, he never stopped going to oscos with the idea of continuing to prepare in the bakery, and also began to study at the renowned artisan bread factory fleschmannalso in Ecuador.
“Everything I did in Ecuador was for a hobby. I made Easter breads and threads for Three Kings Day, and little by little I perfected myself in the bakery”.
With her two children living in Los Angeles, and having become a United States citizen, she emigrated to the country to be near her children and grandchildren, and was soon joined by her husband.
The idea of dedicating herself to confectionery arose last February when her daughter-in-law, Herlinda Vásquez, asked her, do you know how to make alfajores? (some traditional cookies in South America and Spain).
Let’s do meetings to sell on February 14”, proposed Herlinda.
Although Fatima was enjoying her retirement and resting from having worked hard all her life, she was motivated by her daughter-in-law’s proposal, since she wanted to do something, but as a hobby.
This is how both women, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law began to announce among friends and co-workers that they would have alfajores for sale for the Day of Love and Friendship.
And together they began to knead the alfajores, and bought boxes and labels to make their products look more presentable.
“That first sale was a complete success,” says Herlinda.
But the baking instinct had already taken hold of Fatima.
“One day I realized that my son and his wife used to buy croissants (cuernos or medialunas, cachos in Ecuador) at Costco, and most of them were lost. It made me sad to look at the bread that no one ate.”
Determined, one day she got up at 5 in the morning and began to make rolled bread, a type of Ecuadorian bread very similar to Croissants. “Everyone loved them.”
When Fatima’s homemade bakery really started to shine, it was when another Ecuadorian friend posted a photo of her snacks on Fatima’s Facebook page. Socal Ecuadoriansa group of Ecuadorians living in southern California, of whom there are estimated to be more than 10,000.
“In four months that we have been, we have done more than well. Every day we bake. We already have regular customers. There are people from Las Vegas, Orange County, the San Fernando Valley, and Anaheim asking us for orders.”
But to move her bakery forward, Fátima has had the support of her daughter-in-law Herlinda and even her husband, the lawyer who came from Ecuador.
“I showed my daughter-in-law that she was a great baker, but also my husband because my hands were not enough. My son helps us with the marketing and orders.”
They baptized the business with the name of ‘dulcisfame‘.
Herlinda explains that Dulcis is Latin for sweet; and Fama came from the names of her mother-in-law who is called Fátima Marisol.
“It’s a nice name. I told my mother-in-law that with that name, she is going to become famous”, she says smiling.
And the demand is so great that sometimes they wake up making bread.
“We have gone to bed at 3 or 5 in the morning. At first, we had only one oven in the house, and we would fight over the oven. We didn’t even have enough trays to put the bread, but little by little we organized ourselves and bought what we needed”.
Herlinda is an accountant by profession, and as such she works from 8 in the morning until around 5 in the afternoon, but when she gets home at night, she walks into the bakery.
“The truth is that I de-stress with the dough.”
Fatima’s bakery includes a variety of traditional Ecuadorian breads, which is why it has been a resounding success among Ecuadorians living in Los Angeles who are its main customers.
“We make sweet bread, salt rolls, rosquitas, cachito bread that is more consistent than the croissant type, loja bread and ambato bread (bread from the mountains), water bread such as bolillo, Galo Plaza bread, fruits of Marzipan”.
Herlinda explains that Ecuadorian alfajores are different from those made in Argentina or Peru.
“The dough of the Peruvian alfajores melts in the mouth.”
And he says that seeing that the work grows every day, they sat down with his mother-in-law to ask her if she wanted the bakery to continue being just a hobby or that her name transcend beyond.
“I don’t want to make my bread to eat it by myself, but for my family to enjoy, and for it to remain as a legacy for my grandchildren.”
At 62 years old, Fatima feels full of energy and enthusiasm.
“I want people to see that at the age that one arrives in another country, there are opportunities, and that it is possible, as long as they have the courage to move forward”.
Her daughter-in-law Herlinda encourages her and tells her that she is going to be like Colonel Harland David Sanders who, at 70, achieved fame and wealth by selling Kentucky Fried Chicken as a franchise.
“We thought it was going to be just a hobby for my mother-in-law, but the number of people who have come to buy the snacks has been incredible.”
Fatima says that she is very happy that her home-made bakery is doing well.
“I like to share and make people feel good,” she says, full of happiness.
To contact Fátima and order her snacks, you can call:
424-344-8997 or write to email@example.com You can find her on social media as @DulcisFama