After The Old Bread Factory closed its doors this past summer, I wondered if that was the end of a Latin bakery on Edmonton’s south side. And while I didn’t ever visit The Old Bread Factory (TOBF) for their standard assortment of sandwich breads, I was a sucker for the Central American treats I become so fond of during my time in the region. From sweet empanada’s to those heart warming sweet breads known as concha’s, I hoped it was just a matter of time before I could get my fix.
Good thing I wasn’t the only person to crave these treats, because just across the road from TOBF’s location, I noticed that La Monarca Latin Bakery opened at the start of December. Taking my cue to stop in, I pulled up this weekend and had a stroll around. The front half, where you buy your goods, is quite small with the left and right wall full of display cases, while a smaller display case sits below the register when you walk in. Just like most Chinese bakeries and TOBF, you grab a plastic tray and pair of metal tongs for your journey around the store. Simply open a display, grab what you’d like, and then head to the till for a quick exchange of money.
Noticing that opening week was Buy One Get One or BOGO as the cool kids say, I did my best to grab a lot of treats. From rich and flaky biscuits, which would do well beside any hearty Alberta meal, to the sugary cookies, to the sweet bread concha’s that I came looking for. The staff, which included a gentleman from Mexico and two ladies (El Salvador & Guatemala respectively) were friendly and engaged in a bit of Spanish banter with me. The concha’s were easily my favourite of the items on this visit, but with a desire to increase their product lineup and include bread, I’ll be sure to go back and see what else they can bake up. As there were no prices on the display cases yet, I had to wonder if it wasn’t opening week, and I’d paid full price ($30), I may not be so apt to stop in for such a huge spread on a normal basis. Right now though, I’m going to let my mind drift and pretend like it’s 40 degrees.