Funky Bakers is new in town. A small take away corner shop with big ideas. That’s commonplace enough, you don’t open up a food business with a myopic view of the future. No, you dream big and then take your shares of knocks until you (hopefully) hit your stride and make some money. Things get tricky when people who love going to cafes or restaurants confuse that with thinking they will love to have their own place. The two could not be more different – if you applied the grit and savviness you need to run a successful food business to just about anything else you would be sitting pretty on a beach somewhere.
Which is why I breathe a sigh of relief when Seyma, the Turkish born owner tells me that she was the owner of Pinhan Cafe in Turo park before selling the business to get involved in this project. She is an industrial engineer by profession and worked in marketing for a telephone company in Istanbul for 10 years before decamping to Barcelona. (Yeah, that’s how smart you have to be.)
Her idea for Funky Bakers is to get the best of everything and everyone. Damian her Australian head chef was previously the chef at Greenhouse. His sous is British. Her concept manager is one of the original founders of Federal.
Despite the bakery’s tiny footprint, it is heaving with things to eat and drink inspired by, well just about everywhere. Pretty chia pots, Scandinavian Smorebroet, British sausage rolls – “Australian.” She corrects me smiling “because our chef is Australian”. Their carrot cake is made with burnt butter and decorated with rosemary. The bread and butter pudding is made with rich croissants instead of bread. They sell bread from the Cloudstreet micro-bakery and a Catalan baker – Elias.
She is most proud of her San Sebastián style cheesecake.
Have I tried it?
“In Istanbul, San Sebastián style cheesecake is as famous as tiramisu was but in Barcelona, no one seems to know about it even though the famous La Viñia restaurant that makes the best version is only hours away.”
“Coffee?” Seyma asks me.
I hesitate. Cafe Magnifico is 2 minutes away and I am loyal when in the neighborhood.
“It is from El Magnifico,” Seyma adds unprompted.
So yes, I have one. It’s as good as if one of Salvador’s baristas has made it. I take it, in its funky packaging and my rosewater frangipane tart and sit on a stone bench outside.
Impressed, I stop back by the shop to tell them it was all delicious. Damian is putting out salads for lunch. The sous chef is making a cake. The little kitchen in plain view of patrons. Come back soon Seyma tells me, we will have Picnic boxes and Beach boxes.
Small place, big plans.