Category Archives: Small Business in Mexico

Buying Baked Goods in Mexico

Learning to shop has been an ongoing goal for me. I can’t say I know exactly where to get everything yet, but I feel that I’ve made some progress. Today I’d like to highlight the ins and outs of buying baked goods.


Rolls, buns, sweet bread, and doughnuts can be bought at the local panadería (bakery). The items are on shelves behind glass, or sometimes plastic sheeting.  To select the items, you pick up a pair of tongs and pile a tray high.

Our baker makes an assortment a good stuff and has others brought daily from a larger panificadora (bread maker).


Cakes are not sold whole at either of these establishments, although you can often find sheet cakes cut up to purchase by the piece. If you want a whole cake, you’ll need to to go the pastelería (cake shop).  Be aware that unless otherwise specified, any cake you order will be of the tres leches variety (sponge cake soaked in condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream)  which needs immediate refrigeration.  You can pre-order your cake if you have a particular flavor preference otherwise there are usually several options made that morning for you to choose from.  Some pastelería offer “American cake” which is yellow cake but often has fruit or jelly instead of frosting between the layers.


If you are looking for something a little fancier, you might try the repostería or postería (pastry shop). Not only can your order cakes, but you can often find cupcakes, cookies, pies, empanadas, and jello.

Then there’s this place to take your baked goods to a whole new level. Here you’ll find artisan bread. And yes, they are displayed as if you were at a gallery.


So where do you get your baked goods?



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jesustortillasDid you know that you have options when buying tortillas?  Of course, you’ll want to buy them from a tortilleria rather than from the cooler in the aisle at Bodega because they just taste better. But, a true tortillas connoisseur is even more selective when it comes to the staple food product of Mexico.


Tortillas de prensa are hand pressed tortillas. As you can see on the sign above, this establishment also sells taco tortillas which are smaller than regular tortillas, large huarache tortillas, sopes which are smaller, fatter tortillas with a lip to keep food on top, gorditas, which are smaller, fatter tortillas meant to be sliced open and stuffed, and tostadas (toasted tortillas).  Ladies who run tortillerias de prensa are also your best bet to order corundas (triangle shaped tamales) and tamales in large batches.


My sister-in-law makes tortillas de prensa. Actually two of my sister-in-laws make tortillas, but one makes much better tortillas than the other. My husband’s aunts also make tortillas. They have one of their children delivery tortillas to homes all around town by bike.  I’ve seen tortillas motorcycle delivery in small towns as well.


If you don’t have a tortilleria in your immediate area, look for a table and scale set out in front of a house.  Tortillas de prensa are sold there!

IMG_20180412_094619_4CS.jpgThis tortilleria de prensa also offers totopos which are fried tortillas chips.



This is a tortilleria that provides tortillas that come out on conveyor belts. You’ll know if you hear a constant squeaking sound from within. More often, men are in charge of these tortillerias. If you look to the left in the back you can just see a milling machine.  Most of the ladies who make tortillas de prensa bring their nixtamal (corn and lime mixture) here in the wee hours of the morning to have it ground. These would be the ladies you see with two or three paint buckets on a handcart.  Each tortilleria has a slightly different way to make tortillas and you may have to try a few in order to see which place you like the best.


This tortilleria has specialty tortillas, de harina (flour), integral (wheat), de nopal (cactus), de chipotle, and tortillas for buñuelos which are huge and served fried with honey.  Tortillas here will cost more than regular old tortillas de maiz.

IMG_20180416_120511In our area, the current price for tortillas de prensa is 16 pesos per kilo. Tortillas from the conveyor belt stores are 14 pesos per kilo. Flour tortillas are 22 pesos per kilo. Some tortillerias will knock a peso or so off the price if you bring your own napkin to wrap them in.  Others won’t. You can buy a certain amount rather than kilo, say 10 pesos worth. Considering when we moved here, a kilo of tortillas was 6 pesos, every little bit of savings helps.

Where do you get your tortillas? How much do they cost?


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Small Business in Mexico–SMA Walking Tours by Joseph Toone

Today’s featured business is Joseph Toone Tours run by Joseph Toone, naturally.  Not only does he provide walking tours of San Miguel de Allende, but has done extensive research on customs of the area and compiled them into several books.  He’s definitely someone to look up your next trip to SMA.

Captura de pantalla (99)

How did you end up in Mexico?
Grace of God.  Came down ten years ago with 3 kids in HS, bought a house the first time here and moved here.  Best move ever!

Where do you live now?
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.

Have you experienced any defining moments since settling in Mexico?
Many and they all started with a grandmother in my volunteer English class asking me to be her danzon partner despite not speaking Spanish (then) or knowing how to dance. That led to my introduction to Mexican history and culture by performing at festivals. That led to writing articles which led to now being TripAdvisor’s number one private guide for my town and Amazon’s best selling author on Mexican History and Travel for a series of books called San Miguel de Allende’s Secrets.

Would you say that you changed?
Yes.  More patient and understanding of faith’s role on history and culture.  Less controlling and worried about the future.

When did you get started?
3 years ago

What prompted your business choice?
A need to express to foreigners Mexican history, faith and culture to better understand what is going on around them during their stay.

How do manage?
My kids are grown and gone so the business is just me.  Business is a bit grand of term. Tours supply the money to allow me to print books based on articles I’ve written for both local press and international publications.  I sold my high tech company providing the income for me to live off investments in Mexican companies.  I consider the tours and writing a time consuming and fun hobby explaining the indigenous and Spanish roots to modern traditions.

What do you offer?
Top rated tours and bestselling books on central Mexico.

Is your business local or are your products/services available online?
Books are for sale on Amazon but tours are local.



San Miguel de Allende Secrets: History and Culture with Virgins, Barbies and Transgender Saints


San Miguel de Allende Secrets: Easter with Plagues, Prison, Piñatas and Popsicles


San Miguel de Allende Secrets: Day of the Dead with Skeletons, Witches and Spirit Dogs


San Miguel de Allende Secrets: Christmas with St. Nick’s Nudes, Devils and Jesus’ Doppelganger

How can you be reached?
Joseph Toone Tours

Joseph Toone

Catholic SMA

History and Culture Walking Tours




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