Bakie: Faro’s new spot for giant handcrafted cookies
The smell of delicious handcrafted cookies fresh out of the oven every day has been steadily attracting new clients to Bakie, Faro’s new cookie store.
The one-woman business is led by Andreia Santos, who is Brazilian but has lived in the Algarve since 2004.
Andreia came up with the idea for this new business after a health issue forced her to resign from her job as a property manager in Vilamoura two years ago.
“I thought about creating something related to clothing, but it’s a highly saturated market. I knew I wanted something new and different because I like to innovate. I came across giant cookies and realized that there was no such thing in Faro. I started testing recipes, and it worked. That’s when I realized that this was what I wanted to do. I fell in love with this world, and it’s the first time I’m in this field. I have no formal training in pastry,” Andreia told Barlavento newspaper.
It took her two years to perfect her recipes and find the right space in Faro, but Andreia believes it was worth it to bring Bakie to life.
There are seven cookies to choose from – chocolate chip, red velvet, Lotus Biscoff, Nutella, churro (condensed milk and cinnamon), double chocolate and Kinder Bueno, with prices starting at €2,20 per cookie – as well as special edition cookies, which for the upcoming festive season will include a ginger cookie and a white chocolate caramelised with macadamia nut cookie, among others. Fresh batches are baked in the morning and afternoon.
Another very popular option is the cookie birthday cake, which is even larger than the regular cookies and is “just like a birthday cake.” It’s a “great alternative for those who do not like traditional cakes or simply love cookies,” Andreia said.
Bakie’s clientèle has ranged from local residents discovering giant cookies for the first time to tourists who buy several to take home with them. No matter where the client is from, Andreia always tries to get on a first-name basis with them.
“I always ask them their name, because I like to have that connection. People already call me Bakie, and I take the care to get to know their name and greet them as soon as they enter. I have an endless list of names in my head,” Andreia said.
While she has already received a lot of praise for her cookies, one has stood out.
“I had one client who took the cookies back to England. Their family said that my cookies are better than a well-known English brand which has been on the market for over 20 years. That was the biggest compliment I received. It motivates me a lot,” said Andreia.
For now, Bakie’s cookies can only be purchased at the store, although Andreia’s next goal is to start mailing them to the entire country. A Bakie’s website is already being created with this goal in mind.
“Afterwards, we want to go international and ship to any part of the world, but that is in the more distant future,” she said.
Other future plans include opening more Bakie stores and “perhaps a pop-up store at a shopping centre.”
“I want to grow and expand. For now the business is just me, but my brother is already preparing to come help me and turn Bakie into a family business. I love to innovate and the truth is I have ideas for other projects which do not yet exist in Faro,” Andreia added.
Bakie is located on Rua General Teófilo da Trindade, no.10, and is open Monday through Friday from 10.30am to 7.30pm, although in December it will start opening at 11am. The store can also be found on social media (@bakie.pt).
Original article by Maria Simiris for Barlavento newspaper