Padaria Brazilian bakery at 5 Manor Rd. E., just south of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue, opened during a difficult time for businesses — in 2020 in the middle of a pandemic.
But despite the challenges that arose due to COVID-19, Padaria’s owners say they couldn’t be more pleased with the positive reception they have had from the community.
Padaria, which means bakery in Portuguese, is co-owned by Fabiana Del Bianco, her brother Tiago, and business partner Maira Tozzi.
Their story began a few years ago when they were all living back home in Brazil. When Del Bianco and Tozzi met on Facebook, they discovered they would both be coming to Canada to attend the same culinary school.
In 2019, soon after Del Bianco and Tozzi graduated, Del Bianco’s brother Tiago, who is also a trained chef, decided to come to Canada with his family.
They all got jobs at different restaurants, but knew they wanted something more. They knew they wanted to open some kind of restaurant. They just weren’t sure what kind.
They put their heads together and asked themselves how they could best share some of the Brazilian culture with different communities.
“We wanted to showcase the Brazilian breakfast food and street food,” Del Bianco said in an interview.
However, they realized there were already many Brazilian steak houses and other Brazilian restaurants in Toronto, but no actual Brazilian bakery. As all three parties had a passion for baking, opening a bakery made a lot of sense, Del Bianco said.
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COVID presented many obstacles, but they persevered, Del Bianco said. “We had the rent and we had the kitchen running, so we had to make it work.”
They started with takeout, as well as opening an online store, so people could order and eat in the safety, warmth and comfort of their own homes.
Now that some public health measures have been lifted, Del Bianco said it has been heartwarming to welcome people back.
As there is a large Brazilian population in the neighbourhood, and because, as Del Bianco said, people in Toronto are not afraid of tasting new food, they were confident the business would be successful.
Word spread and once they were allowed to open for in-person shopping, customers were lined up around the corner.
“We felt the acceptance, not only from the Brazilian community, but also from the other cultures,” Del Bianco said.
Made with love and authenticity
Padaria also carries products from other merchants to showcase Brazilian vendors who don’t have their own space.
Another way Padaria helps the local community is by recognizing the Too Good to Go app. People can order through the app during the last hour the restaurant is open each day. “They pay for $20 value, but only pay $5,” which Del Bianco said is a nice way to prevent food wasting.
Padaria also offers a variety of sweet and savory items, including croquettes, gluten-free cheese buns and empanadas, as well as a small mini market which “sells only Brazilian products.”
Everything at Padaria is made fresh, every day and in-house, using only the finest quality ingredients. Del Bianco said that is because they have a lot of respect for the food and the way it’s made.
“We make everything with a lot of love and authenticity — the same way we make it in Brazil.”
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