My wife and I had the chance to travel to the island of Mallorca in February and spent some really enjoyable days in the Spanish sun. On our last day there we decided to do a city tour of Palma. Whether by luck or providence, we stumbled upon an establishment called “Bits of Glory.” What caught our attention was something that looked liked a croissant but was shaped liked a muffin. We were so fascinated by it that we just had to try it. The taste and flavours in my mouth cannot be explained in words. This encounter lead me to get in touch with the owners and as result, a friendship has developed.
How and when was the idea born of opening a bakery or “bakehouse” as you call it?
Bits of Glory was founded last January by Daniel (the baker) and I, Silvana (the designer). We are partners and also a couple. A convincing proof that work and love can go hand in hand to form a great tandem.
We met in Madrid almost seven years ago. There, we had a homemade & ecofriendly restaurant for two years: Motha Madrid. The restaurant was a hit, but life in the big capital did not fill us at a personal level. We are lovers of nature, the sea and for us it is super important to enjoy moments of disconnection, nourish body and mind, and be able to develop our work with the quality standards in product and service that we want. That is why we left our comfort zone and decided to launch ourselves towards the adventure of starting over from scratch on this wonderful island: Mallorca.
We are declared foodlovers and wanted to innovate in a sector like the bakery. Create a new concept around it and offer a new, differentiating experience where people and the quality of the product are the fundamental values and authentic protagonists.
Daniel, since you originally come from Argentina, I would like to know what lead you to move to Spain and how has your experience been in Europe as a chef?
I’ve always been a restless, self-taught person. When I finished studying gastronomy and culinary arts in Argentina, my mind could not stop thinking about living new experiences, trying new things and continuing to learn from other cultures. I have had the opportunity to travel a lot and that has made me a better professional and I think (hopefully), a better person.
My experience as a chef in Europe has allowed me to develop my entrepreneurial side: to listen to what people want or need, to detect market trends, to learn to develop new creative concepts around gastronomy, to be able to innovate and offer a more global experience, not just in a culinary sense. I believe in an honest kitchen, where the raw materials are respected and where the experience becomes memorable.
And Silvana, I know you previously worked in “advertising,” so can you tell me what the transition was like going from a corporate career to having your own business? Was the process difficult?
After working many years for advertising agencies in Madrid, the idea of developing my creativity and turning my experience into a single brand seemed to me the most natural way to continue professionally. In addition, another important change in my mind occurred with the entry of social networks. When the world was only offline, I often had the moral dilemma of developing campaigns for brands that promised or said things that were not true.
But social networks made the world of marketing and advertising more honest. At last, the message was not unidirectional, now there is a dialogue and this makes the companies/brands have to be more conscious, more real, more human, closer. Everything I did not like about my profession took an unexpected turn. Now, doing things right in this field does not depend on the money or level of investment you have or may have. It depends on how true you are and the passion you are able to convey. And what better way to do it than to develop your own project! There can be nothing more authentic, no more personal or more from the inside. It is something magical and highly recommended.
As our site is dedicated to art, I would like to know where the inspiration for your new culinary creations comes from?
We find inspiration in our trips, nature, talks with friends or unknown people in markets, books, suggestions from our clients, photographs, moments in our memory with relatives or friends…
What is the process for deciding what to prepare for the next day?
We like to listen to our clients, their suggestions or opinions are the soul of our project. We have even made flavor updates with ideas suggested by them (like including cinnamon in the dough of some of our cruffins).
Each evening, after finishing the work day, the two of us meet and discuss everything that happened throughout the day. We analyze it, try to improve processes or incorporate new ideas… The bakehouse is a living organism, constantly evolving like life itself, people, society.
What is the purpose of this project that you have started? What do you intend to achieve and how do you intend to achieve those goals?
The beginning of all change is to begin to think about it (a lot of people do not even get to do this kind of transcendental question). That means that there is something inside us that wants to flourish, that we feel like communicating things, expressing ourselves, to feel useful and to continue learning and improving day by day. That feeling is the soul of feeling alive.
Bits of Glory is a bidirectional project: both at the public/customer level (with product quality and a global differentiating experience) and at the company level. We would love to see this venture grow, to have the opportunity to transmit our values as a company to our workers, train them, take care of them, give them new opportunities and show them that with passion and effort they can achieve all of their goals. And to be able to transmit all this in other cities, other countries… Create a great community! You should never stop dreaming, you know?
One of the things I learned from our previous project is that we always have to think big. It’s the only way to be prepared to grow. Thinking small only puts limits. So never stop thinking big.
Maybe this is also linked to the other thing I learned from our first venture. You have to have resources to deal with failure but you have to be even more prepared to face success. Plan growth, try to be as exponential as possible, evaluate the operations both in terms of production and the attention to the public. Know how to diversify the business, be open to collaborative ideas, coworking, innovation. Only fate knows how far we will reach, but our eyes are always on the horizon.
Do you have any ideas on how to create collaboration or coworking with other people? What are some collaborations you have already made with other entrepreneurs or artists?
We have many collaborations in mind but not all have come to fruition. It is necessary that both parties have the same disposition and share the same spirit of collaboration and unfortunately, many times this does not happen. But we have other ideas that hopefully we can put into action soon: such as home deliveries in a limited area by bicycle, in collaboration with some bicycles in the neighborhood. Even a small foodtruck that in the summer season approaches the beaches of the city. We would also like to fill the walls of the bakehouse with works by emerging artists and illustrators, and so on.
In Madrid, we made collaborations that were very satisfactory, both at the business and personal level: We made a breakfast kit for a course given by the photographer Álvaro Sanz; we started bread workshops, participated in the Celebración of DecorAcción and other events.
We are always open to new ideas and to support and help projects with soul.
What are some of the difficulties (challenges) you faced when starting this business?
One of the main difficulties that we have found in developing this business, perhaps no one is expecting this answer, was to find a house in Mallorca. When we arrived last June we had to stay at a campsite in Esporles (Sierra Tramuntana) because there were no places in hotels or hostels. But since we are nature lovers and into camping, we did not care. We thought that in a couple of weeks we would find something, but that was not the case. Not even through real estate agencies was it possible. The real estate market on the island is very complicated for social housing (non-tourist) and after spending two and a half months in the campsite, we finally found a home, but only thanks to an English teacher we met at the campsite. He is from Barcelona and comes to Palma in the summer to teach. One of his students told him that her father had just bought a flat and offered to rent it out. Were it not for this friendship, I do not know if we would have succeeded in finding a suitable place to live.
Another challenge has been the marked seasonality of tourism on the island. Here, the season is very long: it starts in April and ends in early October. But even with that we had enough courage to open in January, because the local public is also very important to us and it seemed to us that it was essential that we began to know and pamper them as well.
At the administrative level, it has been infinitely simpler to realize the undertaking here than in Madrid (much faster and cheaper).
How are you doing with the business in the first few months of getting started?
Opening in a low season month has allowed us to finish designing our products and preparing the production mechanics for the most intense months. In addition, in order to find an outlet for the daily production that is not sold, we have put into action our social-civil responsibility. We donate what is not sold each day to the Church Of the Capuchinos who are responsible for delivering it to people who do not have resources or are going through difficult times. It is our particular granito de arena to create a better world!
Our balance of these first few months could not be better. The vast majority of customers who try us repeat! And many have become regulars, so we even know their names and are now friends. We still can not say that our business is profitable but we know that by giving people time to know us, become familiar with the novelty of the products and the business model, try us and enjoy the Bits Of Glory experience in full… Everything will come! We continue to work day by day to improve, overcome and offer the best of ourselves. We believe in the project and we will give it our all!
You two are an inspiration and a positive force in this world. The Heart and Mind community wishes you much success and prosperity in all of your endeavours.