One of the most unifying pastimes for world travelers is our sweet tooth, especially in Pereira. Fluffy, smooth, creamy and sweet, we bake or buy a bread, pastry or cake to soothe our cravings. No matter where you go in the world, if there is a semblance of civilization, there will be something sweet or bread-like. This is no less true in the capital of the coffee region, where we will give you the insiders peek on the Best Pastry Shops in Pereira.
First, a Brief Spanish Lesson
Antojo (pronounced Ant-Oho) the root of this verb is Antojar: Say it with passion because it means “craving” The proper phrase to say is “Tango antojos para pan!” or I have cravings for bread. Never would you say, “I am craving bread“, that wouldn’t make any sense.
Pancito: a little bread (roll)
Dulce (Dool-say): Sweet, or candy.
Dulcecito: a little sweet.
Por favor, un pancito. Please, a little bread (roll)
Pastel: Pastry. You can say, I want a pastel de… It would look like this. Por favor, yo quiero un pastel de queso y guayaba. Or, Please, a Guava-Cheese Pastry.
Miloja (mil-Oha): A famous Colombian pastry that must be experienced to be appreciated. It can be found in most pastry shops and bakeries, but especially in one of the shops we are going to present to you. It’s absolutely scrumptious!
The Best Pastry Shops in Pereira
Pereiranos are well-traveled, well-educated people who are working hard to educate the local population. Especially as they introduce what they learn abroad, slowly, to people of simple country origins. And, as more expats trickle into the area, the demand continues to rise for these special niche businesses.
In Pereira, there are a couple big-box pastry-coffee shops, much the same as Starbucks, or Panera Bread in the United States. If a corporation is big enough to sell assets on Wall-Street, then they are no longer supporting the local community. These are people who are only pursuing their bottom line at this point, or they are voted out of the ballgame.
We are pleased to bring you two shops who stand head and shoulders above the pack. They have a unique and sincere vision, Their product isn’t commonly sold, and may even come from the carefully learned artisan techniques of other places. We chose two pastry shops that have a distinct vision and passion that is evident in every product sold. They are places we tasted and felt with all our senses to define for our audience.
Pereira City Guide is dedicated to creating a healthy community by supporting locally owned family businesses which are helping to support the local economy and not groups of shareholders or overseas interests. This is a universal truth that we so often forget to follow, even in our own travels.
Buy Local! Eat Local! Support Local!
Let’s show our love for each other by always fostering a community of people who love and take care of its small family businesses. If you are a small family business with a unique product then we would love to hear from you. Just send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pasteleria Saint Michel
This French-style bakery shop has a long-standing tradition in Pereira. Its owner, Mario, started the business after studying the French Pastry in Bogota and then came back to Pereira to start his business. This shop has longevity and experience, combined with taste and quality.
Now, 25 years later, his pastries continue to enchant the inhabitants of Pereira who are fortunate enough to experience them. A local business of integrity and quality, Pasteleria Saint Michel offers a limited but always fresh selection of classics which they excel in making.
We recommend their Miloja (for this writer, it’s the best one in Pereira!). A Colombian tradition the Miloja is a must! Some of their specialties are Merengue Tarts, Fruit Tarts, and smaller pastries like Cream Puffs, Lemon Merengue Tartlets and especially the Almond Pastry or Pastel de Almendra. Mostly a take-out sort of place, they do offer the usual array of basic coffee, soda, water etc and a couple tables for customers who want to linger a bit and relax.
When asked about his motivation Mario says “It began as a personal interest and vocation. Today, I still love what I do.”
We also learned that Saint Michel does not use food coloring, corn syrup or preservatives. Everything is made from scratch using standard sugar and natural honey – locally sourced. They do use gluten. While they can’t guarantee organic, they can guarantee great quality with simple origins. And, while their store-front is simple, and a bit plain, don’t let it fool you. Behind these doors is a great Pereira tradition that has endured the test of time and quality.
Information: Ask any taxi-driver for Pepe-Ganga, Avenida Circunvalar. Coming up from Invico, go left at Pepe Ganga (in the direction of Dosquebradas) and you will find Pasteleria Saint Michel, on the right hand side.
Hours: 9 am – 6 pm M-F & Sat
Call: +57 (036) 333-4520
No website available. Don’t let this slow you down though, they will still be there. Guaranteed!
Pereira Has Undiscovered Potential!
Especially for expats and locals who would like to serve a wider audience, Pereira can present some unique opportunities. In Bogota there exists wonderful bakeries in many different options. Here, the market is what you see in this article. A few brave souls are taking the risk and venturing outward to blaze new trails. Slowly, the local population is starting to evolve their food culture to desire these special food preparations.
We had also hoped to include an artisan bread bakery, but we discovered there weren’t really any worth mentioning. It’s basically an untapped market. This would be a great opportunity for an expat retirement business or as a local who can rise to the occasion, offer exceptional value and quality, but most importantly with an instinct for making good bread.
Pereira is a place of great potential, especially for certain niche markets. Good bread is definitely one that could use more variety. Another grand opportunity is Gluten-Free bakery breads, cakes and goods. There ARE several small home-based businesses that operate via Domicilio, or home delivery. A few vegetarian restaurants also offer some gluten-free or flourless alternatives, even as they cut corners on other ingredients. For physical bread/bakery locations with good options, we are still a bit limited in opportunities.
We will continue to bring you information and topics that will help you find what you need. Whether you are here to stay temporarily or on a more permanent basis, we are here to help! Feel free to leave comments or suggestions for future content and information gaps that we can cover!