Panaderia Moderna, in its 87th year of operation, was once nicely located at the heart of Oranjestad, in a busy neighborhood. It fed and educated many of the Hart, Arends and Lacle family members over nine decades. Then in time, the urban congestion started closing in on the bakery from all directions, the roads changes, the traffic flow diverted, the bus station moved, homeless started breaking windows, there was no fast in-and-out customer parking, business started slipping.
One day at a government business meeting with the owners of the local bakeries regarding the standard price of bread, Panaderia Moderna, met Bright Bakery, then Miguel Nucete and Franklyn Bareno decided to go for coffee.
Bareno wanted to sell, he said. Nucete wanted to move.
It was an exercise of trust, they were fierce competitors for 70 years, a duopoly, yet Bareno opened his books, and the banks approved, Nucete, saw an opportunity to reinvent and rejuvenate his business.
On Aug 1st, Panaderia Moderna closed. Squeezed between the courts of justice and Flor De Oriente, in Madiki, it had no room to expand, no room to breathe.
Nucete took some of his people along, the two chief bakers, the delivery guys, the office admin, the shop attendants, packers and production people, they are now headquartered in Piedra Platt.
Bareno did a good job on his business turning Bright Bakery into a community hub and Nucete explains he will be following that philosophy and format with additional cozy new places with coffee, bread and pastries, in SN and Oranjestad, a bit down the road.
For now, they bake every day from 3am to 9pm, because Arubans want their bread FRESH, right off the delivery truck, it’s part of our culture, getting the freshest-freshest bread for the morning sandwiches.
Favorite Panaderia Moderna recipes for Pan Bolo and Drigidek?
They will soon be available at Bright Bakery, under the updated Panaderia Moderna logo.
So how much bread do you bake, I asked.
A lot was the answer, and yes we deliver to all stores, and Arubans still love their pan di machine, and consume a lot of it.