Tuesday, February 15, 2011

French Baker...right outside!

One of the amazing elements of Barra is the French Baker.  Having eaten our fair share of Mexican baked goods we were happy to try this industrious gentleman's baked goods and boy, were we pleasantly surprised.  Little did we expect to find such authentic croissants, quiche, and pies in Barra de Navidad.

Each morning the French Baker loads his bakery items into his panga and motors through the lagoon, selling his delectables to cruisers.  We always smiled when we heard his announcement over the VHF radio that he was, "entering the lagoon".  The mango pies, almond croissants, and ham and cheese croissants were only a few of the many delicious items that regularly sold out so one would either have to be anchored at the front of the lagoon (which we weren't) or pre-order certain items if you wanted them on your breakfast plate.  His bakery was in town so if all else failed and we weren't able to buy what we wanted when he was in the lagoon, we would pick up some croissants at the bakery and try not to eat them until the next morning, if at all possible, which was rarely the case.

As he approached our boat each day we would hear, "French baker right outside" over the VHF. Immediately I would scramble for our pesos and the kids would gather up the empty plastic containers from the previous days baked goods (recycling of course) to return to our French friend. Chandler got so good at imitating his "French baker right outside" comment, we thought she could easily pass for a French national herself! 

Wanting to know how he got to Barra and how he came to open a French bakery in town, let along a delivery service to cruisers, we would ask him question upon question for the first few days. He would graciously answer one or two and then explain that he must be on his way to deliver the rest of his goods to other boaters.  We admired his ability to go to a foreign country, set up a business, learn the laws and local protocol, and actually make a profit. He explained that it hadn't been easy but that he and his wife enjoyed the lifestyle in Barra and that he was most grateful for being able to buy his own panga a few years back enabling him to make more profit instead of having to rent a boat to do his cruiser deliveries each day.

The "piece de resistance" was when, on Valentine's Day, he delivered a single red rose to ladies on each boat, regardless of them buying something from him or not. Pure genius...how could you NOT buy something from this wonderful gentleman who so clearly enjoyed his work, worked hard, and loved his life?

French Baker..."right outside" our boat

Scrumptious croissants and other delectable items

French Baker on his way to another boat in the lagoon.

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