A new family owned business recently opened in Athens offering a taste of culture. Panaderia Athens, owned by Rojeio and Yolanda Romero and Adriana Alarcan grew tired of having to visit neighboring towns for a taste of home, so they decided to open up their own Mexican bakery and juice shop locally.
“We are all from Mexico, but have been in Athens over 20 years now, we were inspired by our Mexican culture,” said Erika Cerillo, social media manager. “We didn’t have a Mexican bakery here and we had to go to Tyler or Dallas to find these types of breads and juices.”
Alarcan had been working at a job that taught her to bake three years ago and she developed a passion for the process which was their inspiration. After some brainstorming and a long process of preparation, the family and their friends got to work on making the dream a reality and preparing the space located at 505 S. Palestine St. Ste. 101 near Save A Lot. Once the building was close to ready the pandemic hit, which set them back.
“We had been working on it over a year. It took us a very long time to get the building ready and the pandemic of course slowed us down,” Cerillo said.
Most of the items in the store, including some of the furniture, artwork and counters were made by family and friends. The festive and bright signature orange color livens up the wall and they have cozy places to sit and enjoy your coffee or snack.
Panaderia offers a juice and coffee bar along with their traditional Mexican baked goods and desserts.
“Juices are 100% fruit, nothing is fake,” she said. “You can make your own from an a la carte option with up to four choices included. We also have a book you can look through to find juice recipes that meets a certain need such as detox. There are over 20 items you can add including chia seeds etc.”
Coffee, latte’s, iced coffee, and frappes are also on the menu.
"Our specialty is seasonal frappes,” she said. “ One month we offered cookies and cream and a peanut butter one that was popular. We try to feature a new one every month and have alternative milks including almond and soy. If we get requests we will bring more options. There are currently 12 flavors and chai tea lattes.”
Need real food? They offer a few items that may help satisfy and have plans to expand the menu.
“We try to offer healthy options like salads, healthy sandwiches, breakfast items such as avocado toast, croissant sandwiches and plan to expand our menu,” she said. “All of the items here are made in house and with real food.”
Follow your meal with a fruit cup, cookie, cheesecake or tres leches cake.
“It is an opportunity to share our culture with our community,” she said. “We saw an opportunity here for growth, it is very unique here in town.”
Panaderia, which means bakery in Spanish caters for events and all baked goods can be made in mini servings. They also are starting a delivery service. Orders over $50 can be delivered for free in Athens, under $50 will require a small fee.
Panaderia is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. If you would like to learn more call 903-804-9196.