Por María Sonnenberg
Para AL DÍA TODAY
PALM BAY— Finding a Latino bakery in Miami is a piece of cake, but in Brevard, that is another story. Fortunately, former Miami residents Tuniesky Hurtado and Sayli Hernandez decided to bring their Miami vibe bakery to Palm Bay in June of last year and thus was born Tree of Life on Malabar Rd.
Named to evoke the growth they hope, Tree of Life thrives, in large part because of Hurtado and Hernandez’s desire to make their customers happy.
To keep things simple, the couple opted for a cozy location with just three tables for seating, since they envisioned their shop as a to-go bakery for authentic Cuban bread and pastries, plus sandwiches, empanadas, croquettes and coffee. The basic tenet at Tree of Life is freshness.
“We take great pride in making everything fresh,” said Hernandez.
Tree of Life specializes in both the sweet and the savory, with a menu that includes the classic guava and cheese pastries, available for one dollar a piece, the same price the store charges for beef pastries. Empanadas, $1.65 each, are just $1.65, except for the top-of-the-line Spanish version, prepared with ham, cheese, chorizo, mayonnaise, mustard and pickles for $2. The croquettes go for 75 cents each, and make perfect hors d’oeuvres in the smaller version that Tree of Life serves in what Hernandez calls their “buffet” of pastries and cake. This $39.99 party tray includes 25 ham croquettes, plus 25 little tea sandwiches known as bocaditos, plus additional sweet pastries and a square cake.
The café also offers a daily breakfast that includes Cuban toast with ham and cheese($2.50). Coffee is a big deal here at any time of day. Cortaditos are $1.25 and a perfect infusion of caffeine. Also on the menu is café con leche for $2 and cappuccino, priced at $1.75.
“All our coffee drinks are very popular all day,” said Hernandez.
Tree of Life serves a Latino lunch that includes traditional Cuban sandwich, available for $3.50 for the mini version and $5.50 for regular size, as well as the media noche ($5.50), the Cuban late night (Medianoche) staple snack with roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and dill pickles inside a semi-sweet, soft roll.
Tree of Life Cuban Bakery is at 1200 Malabar Rd. SE, Suite 2, Palm Bay. For additional information, call 321-327-5315.