Michelle Ford has visited the Mayflower Bakery five times since the Linthicum business opened Oct. 21.
Along with supporting a local business and the community, Ford frequents the establishment because it allows her to enjoy her first bakery-made dessert in over a year.
Ford suffers from Celiac Disease, a condition that prevents the proper digestion of gluten, a substance found in wheat, barely and rye. Not only is eating ingredients that are often found in baked goods — like all-purpose flour — troublesome, but those with the autoimmune disorder typically aren’t able to eat food that is even prepared in the same area where ingredients with gluten are used.
The gluten-free empanadas at the bakery, however, contain ingredients that those with Celiac Disease and other gluten sensitivities are typically able to tolerate. They are also made in a separate space that doesn’t come in contact with gluten-containing foods.
For Ford, the family owned business enables her to share a snack and spend time with her oldest son, who doesn’t have any gluten intolerances, in between picking up her other children from school. The former New Jersey native said the shop reminds her of where she used to live.
“Every town had its own little bakery, and it kind of gives you that small-town feel, which is really nice because it’s not even five minutes away from my house,” said Ford of the bakery. “My son and I can stop here and he can get a snack and we can sit and catch up. So, it’s a good hangout spot and the people are super, super friendly.”
Catering to the dietary needs of the community, while creating delicious, from-scratch baked goods is the premise by which owner Pablo Mantilla operates the Mayflower Bakery.
Wanting to ensure he created a “bakery for everybody,” Mantilla bases the majority of his menu off of what the community asks for, including items that are sugar- and gluten-free.
He began this practice eight years ago when he opened the Flor de la Mayo Bakery in Landover Hills and was receiving requests to include treats that didn’t contain sugar or gluten, as well as wedding cakes that adhered to certain dietary restrictions. Instead of making an entire cake based on these demands, Mantilla suggested a compromise: making one tier of the cake for those with the sensitivities and the rest of the cake made with typical ingredients.
“So this way when people come to your wedding, everyone can enjoy a piece of cake,” he said.
Along with the gluten-free cherry, apple and blueberry empanadas, the bakery plans on expanding its selection of gluten-free goods. Until then, customers can enjoy all of the freshly-baked goods the business offers, as well as some of the treats that are in the works.
Mantilla and his brother Flaviano use their years of combined experience in the restaurant and hotel industry to create original recipes made with high-quality ingredients that everyone can treat themselves to. Along with Mantilla’s wife Francisca, they run the bakery and are continually doing what they can to meet the needs of their customers, including working on baguettes, pumpkin and apple pie, dinner rolls and other goods.
Mantilla thought of the name of the bakery after learning about the historic ship that transported pilgrims from England to America. Emigrating from Mexico to the United States when he was a teenager, Mantilla selected the name because of the freedom it represents.
“So that’s why eight years ago when I was reading about American history, I figured that’s a beautiful name for a business with a beautiful future,” he said.
The Mayflower Bakery is at 529 S. Camp Meade Road in Linthicum. For more information, call the store at (443) 883-3441.
Families Supporting Families
The Brooklyn Park Community Library, 1 E. 11th Ave., will host Families Supporting Families, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. Sponsored by Community of Hope and the Department of Social Services, the program is a safe space where families can learn and grow, while receiving support and encouragement from other families and a trained meeting leader. Transportation, child care and dinner are provided. Families must RSVP by calling Rosalind Hill at 410-421-8410 or Takiya Green at 410-421-8481.
Email your North County news from Brooklyn Park, Pumphrey and Linthicum to Heather Vecchioni at email@example.com.