Every weekday, Nahum and Rufy Benavides bake platters of warm, crusty bread, croissants, donuts, sweet shell-shaped breads and churros at their Fountain City store, Rufy’s.
The couple opened their Panaderias and Pastelerias (bakery and pastry shop) 2½ years ago on the same shopping street as Party City and have won many loyal customers for their homemade Mexican sweet breads.
“We realized there weren’t a lot of Hispanic bakeries,” Nahum Benavides said. The bakery and patisserie was named after Benavides’ wife, Rufy.
“I used to run a restaurant in Pigeon Forge and before that I worked at two bakeries owned by my uncle and always wanted to open my own,” Benavides said.
“We get a mix of customers. I was just going for everyone when we opened, including Hispanics.
Mexican baked goods aren’t too sweet, according to Benavides. La Concha is a sweet bun covered in a cookie crust. Traditionally, it is flavored with vanilla or chocolate. “Concha” refers to its shell shape. Some conchas are split open and filled with cream or custard.
By far the most popular baked goods are Conchas and Tres Leches, Benavides said. But the real scene-stealers are Rufy’s personalized cakes for birthdays and other celebrations, which fill refrigerators at the end of each week.
Rufy’s also sells a variety of individual slice cakes, including a cake with layers of puff pastry, cream and fruit and another chocolate and vanilla layer cake with a thick layer of cream filling. soft strawberry.
“Our recipes are all homemade, they don’t look commercial, and we use ingredients like real butter,” he said.
Customers are invited to help themselves, from the shelves of fresh bread in the pastry cabinet. Just grab a tray and a set of tongs from the front counter and help yourself to whatever takes your fancy. There’s no price list, but pretty much all baked goods are about $1 each, individual cake slices are $4.50 each, and Tres Leches are $3.99 each.
Around Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) – a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico – Benavides is particularly busy making Pan de Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead).
“Dia de Muertos is like the movie ‘Coco’,” he explained. “People start celebrating from October 31 to November 2 and believe their (deceased) family members are coming back, so they bake their favorite dishes,” such as Pan de Muertos, a traditional sweet yeast bread sprinkled with cinnamon.
This holiday, Benavides plans to try making a candy cane-shaped bread decorated with fruit on top.
It also provides breads for some local restaurants and stores. And some families choose to buy his Tres Leches cakes and flan rather than making their own. “There are ladies who come and say they were making it, but they prefer to save time,” Benavides said. “Time is expensive.”
Rufy’s also sells a wide range of Mexican candies and sodas and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.
More: 2911 Tazewell Pike, 865-210-9065, https://www.facebook.com/pg/rufypasteles