End of the rocky-road for bankrupt celebrity baker

LAST UPDATED: 2 Mar, 2014 @ 22:01
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End of the rocky-road for bankrupt celebrity baker

IN 2004 he baked the extravagant wedding cake for Prince Felipe’s royal wedding and three years ago Pope Benedict XVI was treated to his sweet treats on flights to and from Madrid.

But now Francisco Torreblanca, Spain’s much-loved celebrity baker, has become the latest victim of the economic crisis.

Torreblanca, also known as Paco, was forced to file for voluntary bankruptcy for his firm Pasteleria Totel SL and a judge in Alicante ruled this week that it should be liquidated.

Paco, 63, has long been hailed as an extraordinary baker but achieved national recognition with his royal dessert in 2004, fit for a King- and Queen.

He held stores in Alicante and Valencia, as well as a factory in Monovar, but the firm  was unable to bake a profit.

At the royal ceremony on May 22 at Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral, all 1,800 guests were given an individually hand-made pudding.

The dessert was made of sweet chocolate and olive oil biscuits and dark chocolate- the Prince’s favourite.

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7 COMMENTS

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  1. Sad news,
    I remember in the 60s’ when bread in different regions of Spain were quite different from each other – big business wins as usual.

  2. Enna/Stuart: It’s true. From the French to the Portugese border and points in between, the so-called “fresh” bread is the same pap. Soggy torpedos, never a burnt crust to be seen on any of it. And as for Bimbo, well….
    The obvious answer would be to bake your own of course, but not many people have the time.

  3. Don Paco: Above comments are thoughtful but may not help your business situation. To profitably sell gourmet baked goods, you need ENOUGH clients who can AFFORD your items. At this time/economy in Spain, it scarcely exists. SERIOUSLY CONSIDER MOVING your gourmet baked goods business to the USA temporarily (like New York City, Boston, MA, Seattle WA, etc) where there are MANY MORE customers who would appreciate and can AFFORD your quality baked goods. Then in a few years when the Spanish economy improves, move back here/or expand with shops in Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Marbella, etc). ps. There are MANY known lucrative sale contacts in NY City!

  4. stefanjo,
    we are very lucky (until we move) as I have a real artisanal baker just 40 metres from my house. I asked him to bake a round loaf specially for us and he did. Many French customers saw it and wanted the same.

    Unfortunately it often comes with holes, sometimes large ones (anyone for caving?)but it is crispy and very tasty, all the other bakers in the main village bake bread we don’t like.

    If we move outside of his delivery circuit we will have to bake our own.

    That’s one of the plus points of French country life, vans selling everything from bread/fish/meat and vegetables, something every European country should do with an ageing population.

  5. Making good bread aint rocket science. Flour, water, yeast and most importantly, TIME. Time to prove, time to bake. Which is where modern bread falls down. Most of it is actually steamed and if you’re lucky, it may get a quick flash in the oven to simulate a crust.
    Perhaps that is what put paid to Paco the baker, the necessity to utilise that most expensive commodity, time, to do a proper job.

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