5417 Airport Pulling Rd. Naples, FL 34109

Phone: (239) 254-8115

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The Flavor of Ingenuity
Local restauranteurs adapt to thrive.
BY: TIM ATEN
Gulfshore Life Magazine
Many local restaurateurs have embraced the necessity of change in recent months; some have even adapted new business models that made their operations more successful. Recent creativity to meet a need or solve a problem proved ancient Greek philosopher Plato’s proverbial belief that necessity is the mother of invention. We certainly have local proof that where there’s a will, there’s a way—as entrepreneurs stepped up efforts to survive and even thrive during an unprecedented business disruption this year.
 
Adapting to new business models requiring extra safety precautions, third-party delivery apps, smaller menus, increased alcohol sales, more outdoor dining and the introduction of other amenities, some local restaurants were able to buck the national trend and actually grow their business during the pandemic.
When sales dropped 92% at Gustitos Peruvian Bakery & Cafe immediately after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis temporarily closed restaurants in early March, the Torres family leapt into survival mode to figure out how they could successfully change their longtime business in North Naples. “We have to do something. We have to make a move,” says co-owner Gonzalo Torres.
 
The pandemic crisis pushed the Torres family to add something new and reach new customers. It was the perfect impetus to improve the Gustitos concept, which became a pandemic success story. “We adapt- ed,” says Gonzalo’s brother and Gustitos co-owner Rodrigo Torres.
The local entrepreneurs made more than temporary changes, which most businesses had to do to survive. In April, they remodeled the entire interior to streamline social distancing, improve counter service and better showcase their menu items. They also added a take-and-bake empanadas case and a new consultation and display station to order custom cakes and view them being decorated.
 
To expand their family business model, they launched Gustitos Late Night, an on-demand service that delivered empanadas and baked goods to customers’ homes from 9 p.m. until midnight every day. The free late-night delivery they began in April proved to be so successful that they continue to offer it Fridays and Saturdays. They even started bottling their popular yellow pepper sauce condiment.
 
The strategic changes were perfectly timed and executed. The delivery service and the drastic increase in business necessitated the hiring of nine more employees, Gonzalo Tor- res said. “We got to a point that we couldn’t respond. I think the change we made is the change we had to make. It literally activated my business again and we are doing better than before. I’ve tripled sales at the moment,” Tor- res said in mid-June, noting that the eatery’s average ticket tripled because their cakes, pastries and empanadas are better displayed now. “When you walk in, that’s the first thing you see. Our cake orders are nonstop. We are doing cakes like crazy.”

 

 

By: Tim Aten

(Naples Daily News)

 

Nearly every culture and nationality has its version of a turnover or a “hot pocket,” so to speak. The pastry pillows are filled with meat, cheese, fruits or vegetables to create Italian calzone, Polish pierogi, Jamaican beef patties, Asian wonton, German strudel and Cornish pasties.

Latin America’s version of the turnover is an empanada, a crimped pie that is shaped like a half moon and features a variety of fillings. Peruvian empanadas are not only unique from “hot pockets” found in other cultures, but they are slightly different than empanadas found elsewhere in Latin America, said Gonzalo Torres, owner of Gustito’s Bakery-Peruvian Cafe in Bed Bath & Beyond Plaza in North Naples.

The local family behind Gustitos Peruvian Bakery & Cafe has a Christmas gift for the community this year.

On Saturday, Dec. 22, the local bakery is giving free cake slices to the first 400 people to visit the business from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day in Bed Bath & Beyond Plaza on the northwest corner of Airport-Pulling and Pine Ridge roads in North Naples.

Gustitos will have slices of its four best-selling cake flavors: marble cake tres leches with dulce de leche, red velvet filled with cream cheese, chocolate cake filled with dulce de leche, and vanilla cake filled with vanilla cream.

 Also, photographs with Santa Claus are available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gustitos, 5417 Airport-Pulling Road. The family-friendly event is the Torres family’s way of giving back and showing customer appreciation during the holidays.

“We love to give back to the community and what better time than Christmas week,” said co-owner Rodrigo Torres-Giusti. “We will love to see all of you to enjoy a nice day at Gustitos Bakery with cake and pictures. Let’s make this a tradition in Naples and celebrate a cake day every year.” For more information call 239-254-8115 or go to GustitosBakery.com. Follow Gustitos on Facebook at facebook.com/GustitosBakery to know about future events.

 

 Los peruanos somos sangucheros, qué duda cabe. En el desayuno, en un lonche o saliendo de una fiesta el sanguche nunca falla, y si son criollos, mejor. Este tipo de panes son objeto de culto en nuestra gastronomía con variedades tan sabrosas como contundentes. Aunque seguramente usted ya tenga su preferido este listado quizá le haga cambiar de opinión y estan disponibles todos en Gustitos Peruvian Bakery & Cafe en la ciudad de Naples, Florida (USA).

Pan con chicharrón. Si desea comenzar su día con un desayuno contundente, una de sus opciones podría ser el clásico pan con chicharrón, acompañado por algunos trozos de camote y una salsa criolla. Su fama no solo es nacional, el año pasado fue elegido como el mejor desayuno del mundo por la página web española 20minutos.

Pan con pavo. Las rodajas de pechuga de pavo en pan Frances, acompañadas de lechuga y tomate es uno de los preferidos por el público. Además, son fijos los 25 de diciembre y los 1 de enero tras las celebraciones de fin de año. Acompáñelo con cremas.

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