Sunday Baking Workshop

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Today, we put ideas into action! Creativity reigned supreme in the kitchen, where members of Pushaq Warmi, under the tutelage of WGC’s very passionate volunteer Anne Catherine Mora, spent about six hours trying out new recipes for breads, muffins and cake pops. The treats could become products in their developing collective bakery business here.

A lively group of about 18 women from Pushaq Warmi and Women’s Global Connection worked in Rosalia Huertas Merino’s home in Nuevo Chimbote to learn from Anne Catherine about healthy baking practices. Anne, who lives in San Antonio, is a world traveler who has resided in countless countries and loves to tackle all kinds of cuisines in her kitchen. We had great fun making cake pops, which are tiny cake morsels on sticks that are dipped in chocolate and decorated. They are all the rage in the United States, and the women here are eager to introduce the trend in Peru to generate interest and income.

Everyone agreed that one of the best breads produced today came from the healthy and indigenous quinoa grain. Anne Catherine showed how adding bananas, or platanos, made the loaves extra moist and delicious, with no need for artificial or unhealthy sweeteners. This is in line with Pushaq Warmi’s business plan of offering healthy snack and treat alternatives in their town of Chimbote, where panaderias are common but using all-natural and healthy ingredients is not the norm.

Some of the next steps will be for the women of Pushaq Warmi to determine what it will cost them to make their desired products and how much they will need to charge to make a profit. Yesterday they shared their business plan with us, where they have identified their target market and made projections on sales and storefront development. They also provided us with approximate costs of some infrastructure and supplies. WGC will use this information immediately to help apply for grant funding in San Antonio for business startup microfinancing for Pushaq Warmi’s baking business. The grant application is due before the end of the year.

Of course no day of baking and tasting is complete without dancing and yoga!! As we waited for the dough to rise and during breaks, we moved furniture in the living room and danced to lively salsa music! It was certainly a day full of joy, sharing, and fun for all!

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