Mia’s Panaderia brings Hispanic ‘pan dulce’ to Charleston

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — What was just a baking hobby for one Charleston woman has turned into a full-blown business for her and her family.

Jayde Akers, the owner of “Mia’s Panaderia” which is named after her daughter, says baking has helped her connect with her far-off Hispanic roots.

“Being so far away from my family, they live in different places; New York, Belize, Honduras. It’s hard to visit them, so baking traditional sweetbreads is my way of connecting with that,” she said.

Akers may not speak Spanish, but she can bake conchas, cemitas, and other Mexican and Honduran sweetbreads.

“A lot of times they’re kind of just ‘what is that’? And then I have to explain to them; it’s basically a round cloud of happiness and you dip it in your coffee,” said Akers.

It’s basically a round cloud of happiness and you dip it in your coffee.

Jayde Akers, Mia’s Panderia

Her seashell-shaped sweetbreads, or conchas, have been a hit among Charleston residents.

She now distributes them at four different restaurants and says she bakes about 40 to 50 a week.

Akers is a former painter who incorporates bright colors in all of her baking, which she says helps make them attractive to customers.

But her bright colors aren’t the only twist she’s putting on the traditional sweetbreads, they’re also vegan.

Akers insists you can’t tell the difference.

“Take a bite of it and you’ll see — you’ll fall in love with it like I did,” she says.

And like her bakery’s slogan says, she’s keeping life sweet, or in Spanish – Manteniendo la vida dulce.

You can find Mia’s Panderia sweetbreads at Mea Cuppa Coffee, Cafe Melange, Cozumel, and Zeganz Smoothie Bar.

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