By Samantha Sunne Herald Writer
EVERETT — In Los Gavilanes bakery in south Everett, a girl in pigtails and a red winter jacket holds up a grocery bag that’s stuffed with treats.
“More, more,” she murmurs to her mother in Spanish.
Her mom is holding another bag almost as full. It’s stuffed with conchas — rounded sweet breads that look like pink, yellow and white painted tortoise shells. In Spanish, “concha” means shell.
Conchas are probably the most popular item in the bakery, manager Felipe Hernandez said. Other favorites are empanadas, which are cream- and pineapple-filled breads, and niños envueltos, another kind of sweet bread with filling.
But the key to the bakery’s local fame and popularity are Wednesday sales when all bread items are 30 percent off. Hernandez said he sells thousands of pieces of bread every Wednesday.
“It’s my way to (say) to my customers, ‘Thank you,’” Hernandez said. “Everyone knows about it.”
In fact, the weekly sale became so well-known, the business started to lose money. Some were buying hundreds of pieces of Los Gavilanes bread on Wednesdays and reselling it at a higher price. Hernandez had to stop them by capping sales at 25 items per family. He said that is a decent amount, because most families buy 15 to 20 pieces that day.
“Because (Wednesday), it’s a special day for the normal customer,” he said, speaking with pride of his customer loyalty.
Los Gavilanes is a bakery that occupies one corner of a store with the same name. The store offers items as diverse as candy, phone cards and toiletries. A full 40 percent of its sales, though, come from the bakery, Hernandez said.
Most of the items the bakery produces are sweet, Hernandez estimated. One feature is the tres leches cake.
As its name suggests, the cake is made with three kinds of milk: fresh, condensed and evaporated. The spongy cake is soaked in milk and then covered and decorated with it.
“It’s very, very sweet,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said he also tries to make his customers feel at home. If someone eats a piece of bread in the store without paying for it, he won’t charge for it. Like the Wednesday sales, that’s a practice that isn’t usual among bakeries, he said.
“I work in (a) different way than other stores,” he said. “And everyone likes it my way.”
Los Gavilanes bakery offers fresh-baked goods from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, but, Hernandez said, it’s often cleaned out by 8 or 9 p.m.
Los Gavilanes bakery and store
Where: 209 E. Casino Road, Everett
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.