It’s been 10 years since Griselda Marquez first started baking Mexican craft bread; however, it hasn’t been a year since she started doing it in Calgary.
With her husband having a work offer from a freight truck company, Marquez came all the way from Torreon, Mexico to Canada with a work permit and many doors open to opportunities.
When she first arrived to the city, she found an available position at UniMarket, a Latin store.
When the owner asked her about her skills, she told him about her ability on baking Mexican craft bread, which interested him, so he decided to hire her.
“Conchitas” are one of the most popular Mexican craft bread.
When Griselda started working at UniMarket in a full-time position, she baked Mexican craft bread only, which was the customer’s favourite.
However, the store gave her the opportunity to expand her knowledge, and she learned how to bake Colombian and Venezuelan bread and Chilean empanadas.
According to Marquez, even though Colombian and Venezuelan breads are tasty, they’re very simple to make.
On the other hand, Mexican bread is harder to make since its craft and has a wide variety.
After having worked at UniMarket, Marquez decided to run an online business by herself, where people on Facebook tell her what kind of bread they want and she bakes it at home.
Every eight days, customers ask for a certain kind of bread. She only works on Friday and Saturday mornings, and every request takes about three or four hours to prepare.
Customers can pick up their bread at her home by the afternoon.
“I enjoy doing this. It projects me and I also transform myself when I’m baking.”
When it comes to ingredients like bread, flour, butter, eggs and milk, Marquez said they’re easy to get, but ingredients like cinnamon or vanilla, she gets them at Mexican stores.
“The flavour, I give it myself,” she said.
“The ingredients can be the same but it is the process that changes.”
When there are lot of requests, Marquez is helped by her roommate, Brenda Hernandez and her husband, Marco Hernandez, who is a professional chef.
“Griselda is a very talented woman and I’m looking forward to keep working with her ,” said Brenda Hernandez.
Marquez says that she doesn’t like to commit to something she can’t do.
She said that she has never said “no” to a customer but asks them to give her time.
“I never stress, and I think that is one of the main reasons my bread is tasty. I’m very relaxed,” Marquez added that she likes to do things quietly and with time in order to provide a good product and service.
“I want to bring something tasty and with a high quality to their mouths.”
Apart from the craft bread, Griselda also bakes muffins, cookies, and cake.
Not only Mexicans but also Canadians enjoy the Mexican craft bread.
“They ask for Mexican bread because they’re used to go to Mexico for vacation, and they like the food and the bread.”
Marquez also mentioned that all of her costumers have become her friends.
“It’s always nice to have a good conversation when I pick up my bread. It feels as if I was in Mexico, ” said Ximena Sanchez, a frequent customer.
The fact that there’s people who have told her that they’ve been in Calgary for 10 years and her bread is the first authentic real Mexican bread made by Mexican hands, really inspires her.
“I’m happy, I do what I love. In fact, Canada has given me many opportunities of growing in every sense. I feel satisfied with what I do.”
For her future plans, Griselda wants to get a business licence and to partner with her roommate and her husband in order to open a Mexican bakery not only in Alberta but also in Yukon, because the product has good acceptance and she’s sure it’s going to be a success.
Griselda also mentioned that she would like to have more support since she uses the best materials, and for people to give themselves the opportunity to try her product.
“They will not regret it,” she said.