Text Ethne Mudge
Swakopmund has many surprising facets. For one, there is the phenomenon of loud Italian music blaring out of a brand-new bakery in Mondesa. So what is the connection between Italian music and a location that personifies ‘building together’?
Hilya Luhuna from Ruacana received her training at an Italian pastry shop that at one time was frequented by locals and tourists alike in the midst of the many other quaint eateries in Swakopmund. Pane Fresco has since closed, but fresh croissants are still readily available to those who remember them from those days, not to mention those of us who enjoy one of these delectable French pastries with our coffee. When the owner closed Pane Fresco down, she gave all the amenities of her shop to Hilya, making her former employee the proud owner of an array of baking utensils, chairs and tables and even a stack of CDs – lock, stock and two smoking ovens.
However, Hilya lived out of town and had no premises. Transport to and from town to buy the ingredients was another of many difficulties. She resigned herself to asking for ironing work from Roos Deege. Knowing of Hilya’s situation, Rose politely refused – offering to help Hilya set up shop instead.
The Daily Bakery is now selling a myriad of high-quality Italian, German and local pastry favourites, ranging from Brötchens, birthday cakes and banana bread to pizza slices, vetkoek and katkop (go ahead and ask for one, I’m not going to give it away). She also does a mean cappuccino. In addition she delivers croissants to the Hansa Hotel, one of several clients. Every morning The Daily Bakery is abuzz with patrons from the area.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.”
Asked whether she ever expected this Dream Come True for herself, she reminisces on how she loved Portuguese music when she was growing up. Its similarity to the Italian music that was played at Pane Fresco, made every working day a joy, she says, turning up the volume on her CD player. The glint in her eye tells the rest.
The slogan on the Huletts sugar packet I’m fiddling with catches my eye. It reads: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.”
You can visit The Daily Bakery at 3 Mandume ya Ndemufayo Street, Mondesa, Swakopmund or contact Hilya on +264 81 307 9744.
This article appeared in the January’12 Edition of FLAMINGO Magazine.