We met up for drinks the other night with Frank Alameda and his wife, Fabiana. We met Frank when we were here in 2007 and have stay Facebook friends over the intervening eight years. He is from Chicago and met his Argentine wife in college there.
They moved here in 1999. Frank’s degree is in business administration. He noticed that there were no gourmet cookies here in Buenos Aires—only the argentine equivalent of Oreos and lady fingers. So he began to bake gourmet cookies out of his house and shop them around to cafes. He named his company Sugar and Spice.
After a few years, he became very successful and needed to expand. About that time, McDonalds approached him to see if he could provide cookies for their McCafes. He took the meeting reluctantly, knowing he did not have the production capacity to meet their demand. He told them of his plans to expand and build a factory if they could give him some time. Not only did they agree—they helped him redesign his architectural plans for a more efficient operation.
Frank and Fabiana bought a property in Palermo on Av. Guatemala—about 6 blocks from where we are staying. We went today to tour his facility.
Now in full operation, Sugar and Spice supplies cookies, pan dulce, muffins, and pound cakes to all of the McDonalds, Discos (supermarkets), Starbucks, and various mom-and-pop cafes throughout Buenos Aires. He explained his whole operation to us, and even gave us some lovely parting gifts of some boxes of cookies. Fabiana designed the packaging. Helen tried them and gave them her an enthusiastic get-these-away-from-me approval.
Unfortunately, we won’t see any more of Frank and Fabiana this trip, because they leave Monday for vacation in Italy and France. But what a cool thing to get to do—tour a cookie factory in South America!