Posted by: luisabaldwin | September 13, 2011

SUGAR AND SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE, BOQUETE, PANAMA

Richard and Yarina Meyer, Owners of the Sugar & Spice Artisan Bakery in Boquete, Panama

Richard and Yarina Meyer
6967-7933
rmeyer113@gmail.com
Sugarandspiceboquete.ning.com

Hours: Closed Wednesday
Daily 8:00am – 6:00pm (except Sunday)
Sunday: 8:00am – 4:00pm

NOTE: For your convenience, I have included the Sugar & Spice breakfast and lunch menus and available breads and baking schedule at the end of the article.

Location: As you walk or drive on the main avenue towards David (Main Street), Sugar and Spice is one block down from Global Bank on the same side of the road.  Look for the Tera Cotta colored building with the picket fenced flower garden in front.

Richard specializes in high-end European artesian hand crafted breads

OK everybody.  I’m going to make your mouths water with this one!  And by the time I get through with this publication, your olfactory senses are going to make you get in your car and drive straight to the bakery.  For Boquete has a big treasure now and it’s called Sugar and Spice. It’s a thriving success for a very good reason.  Bread and pastry doesn’t get any better than this.  Everybody who lives here in Boquete knows Richard Meyer because he has managed to transform our breakfast, lunch, and dinner tables with his specialty high-end European artesian hand crafted breads, cakes, pies, gourmet muffins, brownies, cookies, and empanadas.

How about a loaf straight out of the oven, some special cheese and a bottle of wine down by the River Caldera? It doesn't get much better than that, does it?

...And for dessert? Well, how about cakes, pies, gourmet muffins, brownies, cookies, and empanadas? It's a nice way to spend an afternoon!

And to those of you who come to Boquete, stash a copy of this article in your Panama file folder for this stop has to be on your bucket list and it won’t cost your wallet too much.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Richard has been cooking since he was 12 and has been baking professionally for the last 24 years.  That’s twenty-four years of experience.  No wonder everything’s great.  He says that there is no end to learning and is always searching for new techniques, processes, and recipes.  He left a fantastic and secure job with the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group in Atlanta, Georgia where he was the Corporate Pastry Chef.  Why?  He came to Panama to marry the woman of his dreams and start his own small business.  Buckhead isn’t just one restaurant; it is a consortium of fourteen top restaurants in Atlanta.  As Corporate Pastry Chef, Richard was intricately involved in developing creative desserts and Artesian breads for a majority of the restaurants.  He also was the go-to guy whenever a problem arose.  Additionally, he played a large part in developing a majority of the breads and pastries served to the guests. He was also responsible for training new Pastry Chefs within the company.  As an ex-small business owner, I can safely say that Buckhead misses Richard to this day and we, who live in the little town of Boquete, Panama get to enjoy the fruits of his labor and a top notch artisan baker.

Richard met Yarina, fell in love, moved to Panama, got married and launched Sugar and Spice in March of 2008.

Sweet raisins go on top of sugar and cinnamon for Saturday morning cinnamon rolls with your coffee - mmm,mmm good!

Then, one spring day in March of 2008, Richard’s life changed forever.  For that was the day he laid eyes on Yarina and it was love at first site. Richard knew instantly that Yarina was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.  There was only one snafu and boy was it big; Yarina was from Panama and only visiting Atlanta on vacation.  Big decisions were on the horizon and Richard started formulating the idea of a bakery in Panama to support his new family.

Rolling up the cinnamon roll pastry dough

Cutting the cinnamon rolls - getting hungry yet?!!

It’s amazing what we do for love but how many times are we blessed with it in our lifetimes?  Big sacrifices are well worth it when you find love.  Richard resigned from his wonderful job, moved to Panama, married Yarina, and launched Sugar and Spice in December of 2009.

Richard knew he was taking a big risk and had no idea of what to expect.  He also knew himself and was aware that he had what it takes to make his small business a success.  When he opened his doors for business he was working sixty hours a week.

Ready for the oven! Can you smell it yet?!!

  For those of you who feel mathematically challenged, let me do the math for you.  That’s a ten-hour workday, six days a week.  He and Yarina are still keeping that grueling schedule with Yarina handling the retail operation and guest relations.  She’s been working so hard that she can’t even find the time to learn how to bake and she really wants to.  Richard started his bakery bare bones with scant used equipment and planned on baking pastries. One day, he decided to bake a few loaves of his specialty bread and put them into the display case.  From there on in, he couldn’t keep the bread on the shelves for you see, as ex-pats living in Boquete, our only choice for bread was a Panamanian version of spongy Wonder Bread but not any more.  Slowly, as the business could finance capital equipment upgrades, a new oven would show up in the bakery or a bread slicer for the customer’s convenience.  I have to say, Richard and Yarina are very customer service oriented, very friendly, and very sensitive to their market.  These are three essential traits a small business owner needs.

Richard & Yarina in front of Sugar and Spice - a happy and hospitable meeting place for friends and tummies

It wasn’t too long before the top chefs in town discovered his quality baking and now you find his pastries and specialty breads in all the best restaurants.

The best restaurant chefs of Boquete know just where to go for their artisan breads.

Richard has developed his business into a full service bakery and has expanded into serving breakfast and lunch. There was, however, a space problem so an addition is being built for the restaurant customers.  The target completion date is November 1, 2011.  In the future, Richard has plans to expand his breakfast and lunch offerings.  He also has plans to have a deli service where people can select items to take home for dinner.  Personally, I can’t wait for the take out.  Cooking gets old seven days a week.  Go figure.  I love seeing this talent, creativity, hard work and ambition pay-off with success.

                                 

I asked Richard if he had any advice for a person entertaining the idea of a small business.  He did have some ideas and I’d like to pass them on to my readers who use this site to get ideas for possible career directions.

*  Don’t jump into a business you know nothing about.
*  Know everything there is to know about your business.
*  Pick something you’re passionate about.
*  Take baby steps
*  Grow your business from your revenue stream.
*  Be willing to give it 110%
*  Don’t go out and take out a loan to buy a lot of new equipment
*  Start out with used equipment and then slowly replace with new from your revenue stream.
*  Get into a business that you can afford.
*  Try to stay away from outside financing, and that includes family and friends.

I owned a small business at one time.  I completely agree with each of these pearls of wisdom.  If you follow his advice you’ll be able to save yourself a lot of heartache.

Richard only uses very high quality and the freshest of ingredients for an extremely reasonable price.  He bakes with traditional European techniques and the proof is in the loaf; crunchy on the outside and moist inside. It doesn’t get any better than that.  I really enjoy the friendly customer service.  Sugar and Spice has become a regular stop every time I go into town.  On the drive home I take deep, pleasing olfactory breaths with the smell of fresh-baked bread in the car but its nothing compared to the delicious tastes in the slice.  I think I can safely say, on behalf of all the Boquete ex-pats and villagers that love what you and Yarina do – thank you for all your commitment, hard effort, and talent.  We celebrate your success.  And, if you’re visiting Boquete – don’t hesitate.  You and your pocketbook won’t be disappointed.  For your convenience, please continue to scroll down for the Sugar & Spice Bread Menu, Breakfast Menu, and Lunch Menu.

Sugar & Spice is one block towards David from Global Bank. Bring your taste buds.

BREAD MENU

Sourdough:
Authentic Sourdough flavor using all natural ingredients. Made with two different cultured starters and allowed to age to obtain a natural sour flavor.

Country Italian:
Soft and tender inside with nice hole structure. Made with 100% white flour and Olive. Coated with corn meal and baked to a Golden Brown.

Ciabatta:
Known as “Slipper” Bread in Italy.  Made with 100% white flour, milk, and Olive Oil. Lightly dusted with flour and baked to a Golden Brown.

Rustic Sourdough:
Similar to Sourdough but with the addition of 10% wheat flour. Made using three different cultured starters. Slightly moister inside than our Sourdough bread.

Multigrain Bread:
Wonderful bread loaded with wheat flour, cracked wheat, flax seed, rolled oats, cracked corn, poppy seed, and bran flakes. Lightly sweetened with Miel de Cane and baked to a golden brown with rolled oats on top.

9-Grain:
Full flavored grain bread loaded with cracked wheat, flax seed, sesame seed, poppy seed, caraway seed, bran flakes, cracked corn, wheat flour and lightly sweetened with natural cane sugar.

French:
Traditional French style dough made with 100% white flour and cultured starters and yeast.  French dough is used for French Baguettes, Rustic French Loaf and French rolls. Baked to a golden brown with a crunchy crust.

Oatmeal Wheat:
Sandwich loaf made with white flour, wheat flour, rolled oats and a little natural cane sugar to add a hint of sweetness. Great soft bread for making sandwiches or toast it with butter for a nice breakfast snack.

Daily Specials:
Monday: Spanish Green Olive with Rosemary
Lightly sour in flavor and studded with Spanish Green Olives and Rosemary.  The addition of a little wheat flour gives it a earthy flavor.

Tuesday: Pumpernickel
S&S version of German Pumpernickel. Made with dark rye flour, cracked wheat, miel de cana and chopped fresh onions. Darkened with a natural caramel color, lightly sweet in flavor.

Wednesday: Jalapeno w/ Cheese
Using a classic Italian dough as the base S&S then spikes the dough with chopped fresh Jalapenos and grated cheese. Lightly dusted with flour and baked to a rustic brown.

Thursday: Rye w/ Caraway
The best rye in all of Panama. Toasted Caraway seeds along with dark rye flour and cracked wheat give out Rye a wonderful full flavor.

Friday: Herb Bread
Coated in semolina flour and baked to a golden brown, infused with fresh garlic, oregano, rosemary and dried chili flakes. This bread has a wonderful flavor with a little kick!

Saturday: Focaccia
Traditional Italian Focaccia made with rosemary and oregano in the dough. Baked to a golden brown with caramelized onions and a touch of salt.

Cinnamon Rolls
Wonderful rich Danish dough scented with ground cinnamon, transformed into cinnamon rolls with juicy raisins. Baked golden brown and topped with Lemon sugar glaze. Yummy!

Traditional Challah by request only

BREAKFAST MENU

2 Eggs cooked to order
Country Toast, Coffee or Tea
$3.00

Frittata
“Spanish Omelet”
(Eggs, onions, peppers, ham & cheese)
Country Toast, Coffee or Tea
$4.00

Huevos Rancheros
Made with house made ranchero sauce and cheese
$4.00

3 Cheese Omelet
(Swiss, Monterey Jack and Mozzarella Cheeses)
Country Toast, Coffee or Tea
$4.00

Egg Sandwich
(Fried eggs, cheese, lettuce & tomato)
$3.00

Egg Sandwich with Bacon
(Fried eggs, cheese, bacon, lettuce & tomato)
$4.00

Side Bacon $1.00
Juice $1.00

______________

LUNCH MENU

Roasted Chicken Salad Sandwich
Made with fresh roasted chicken pulled off the bone, diced onions and celery, mayonnaise and a pinch of salt. Served with lettuce and Roma tomato on a fresh baked Hoagie Roll $3.00

Tuna Salad Sandwich
Made with diced onions and celery, mayonnaise and a pinch of salt. Served with lettuce and Roma tomato on a fresh baked Hoagie Roll $3.00

BLT
It is what it says it is. Crispy hot Bacon, fresh lettuce and sliced Roma tomato’s served with house made Honey Mustard Mayonnaise on a bakery fresh Hoagie Roll. $3.00

Hot Ham & Cheese
Sliced Ham and Mozzarella Cheese served warm with fresh lettuce and sliced Roma tomato on a bakery fresh Hoagie Roll. $3.00

Fried Egg Sandwich
Fried Egg served on a toasted fresh bakery Hoagie Roll with lettuce and Roma Tomato. $3.00 – add Bacon for $1 more.

Peanut Butter & Jelly
Gobs of peanut butter and loads of grape jelly served on a toasted Hoagie Roll. $2.50

Hot Volcano Sandwich
Smoked Chicken Breast, White Onions, Red Pepper Aioli, Pepper Jack Cheese. Pressed HOT on house made Ciabatta Roll $3.50

Boquete Hot Pressed Turkey
Thin Sliced Turkey Breast, Honey Mustard Mayonnaise, Caramelized Onions and Jack Cheese. Pressed HOT on house made Ciabatta Roll $3.00
*All sandwiches are served on fresh bread baked daily in house.
Gourmet Soup
Made fresh daily, served with crackers.
(bread served upon request $0.50)

He will do special orders for special events
He also has NY Style Cheesecake
He bakes Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing
You can find Key Lime Pie
And French Coconut Pie

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Superb article, Luisa and Jim!! Well written and very informative! Now I know when to stop into Sugar and Spice to get my loaf of Pumpernickel!!

    And you’re right. Richard is simply the **best** pastry and bread ‘chef’ in Panama!!!

    Thanks for the article.

    L0


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: