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Ecuadorean Family Opens New Bakery in Ossining

OSSINING, N.Y. – In Ecuador, Byron Sanchez and brother-in-law Freddy Fernandez grew up with families that ran bakeries, and it was always their dream to one day open up their own business.

Two weeks ago, the brother-in-laws fulfilled their dream by opening up Sabor Ambateno, a bakery on Spring Street near Broad Avenue. The small business has two glass cases filled with bread and cookies made using recipes from their hometown, Ambato, Ecuador, and another glass case filled with cakes including "tres leches," or "three milk" cakes, and "brazo gitano," a type of rolled cake.

"I've lived in Ossining for 11 years, and it was my idea to open up the bakery here in Ossining," said Fernandez. "The key to success for this place is that there are a lot of Ecuadoreans here."

Fernandez, who works in construction in addition to working in the bakery, said in all the years he lived in Ossining, he never liked any of the bread that was sold locally.

"I said to myself, 'I'm going to open a business where people will notice the difference (in the bread)," he said.

Sanchez lives in Brooklyn and works as a limo service chauffer, in addition to working at the bakery. He learned about bread after he graduated from high school and a friend offered him a job working for his bakery in Cuenca, Ecuador.

"My friend was a chef and baker and we grew up like brothers in the same village," said Sanchez. "I would go to pick up all the cookies from the cookie manufacturer and bring them to his bakery."

Sanchez has now lived in the United States for 17 years. He said the ingredients, including even the water here, is very different from the ingredients in Ecuador, so the bread comes out different despite being made using the same recipes from Ambato.

"It's different, but this is the closest thing you'll get around here to Ambato-style bread," he said.

Ambato-style breads sold at Sabor Ambateno include "allulas," a crumbly, salty bread, "pan mestizo," a mixture of salty and sweet bread, "biscocho," a square-shaped bread, and empanadas filled with cheese and topped with sugar. The bakery also sells Mexican-style breads called "conchas," that have a sweet crust on top, and cakes made to order for special occasions.

To accompany breads and cakes, Sabor Ambateno sells Ecuadorean dessert drinks, including "morocho," a thick, milky drink made with corn, hot chocolate made using Ecuadorean chocolate, and on weekends, "colada morada," a purple drink made using purple corn.

Sanchez's wife and daughter work at the bakery, as does Fernandez's wife.

"We're a group of friends and family here," said Fernandez.

The bakers begin making dough at 4 a.m., Fernandez said, and the bread is ready by about 6:30 a.m.

The bakery is open from 7 a.m. to approximately 9 p.m.

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