TULSA, Okla. — "Pan dulce" or sweet bread is a sweet tradition that has been keeping the Pancho Anaya Bakery in business for more than 100 years.
“In the Hispanic community we like traditions, pan dulce is a tradition,” Francisco Ejler Anaya said.
“Our story begins in 1912 with my great-great-grandfather when he opened the first bakery in Sahuayo Michoacan,” Anaya said.
The bakery originated in Mexico, but for the past 23 years, it's made a name for itself here in Tulsa.
Francisco E. Anaya is the Chief Operating Officer and fifth generation of the family of bakers.
“We love the Tulsa community it’s an amazing place to have a business,” he said.
Anaya said when the pandemic shut everything down, PPP loans helped them keep going and keep their employees on the job.
“I think one of our biggest accomplishments last year was that we didn’t have to let anyone go,” he said.
This year, the bakery isn't just maintaining operations. It's rebounding with renovations and more expansions.
“Right now what we’re doing is we’re trying to separate our manufacturing facility from the local retail…so that we can always have a retail presence here in Tulsa and then have a separate building to focus on the manufacturing side,” he said.
Their bread isn't just sold at their three bakeries in town anymore. It's also sold at local restaurants such as Burn Co. and Society.
They are even sharing a piece of their history with multi-national corporations like Walmart, Sysco, and H-E-B.
“It’s amazing for us, I think I set out to really get the family name out there so seeing it on the shelves…seeing it being sold outside of Tulsa it’s just an amazing feeling that I get to share our family history with the United States,” Anaya said.
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