Fran dough by Laura Macías
Fran Makes Bread
Francisco Seubert doesn’t consider himself a baker. Even though the owner of Atelier Fuerza has been making sourdough bread for 3 ½ years, he believes he needs many more years of dedication to truly master his craft.
The former community manager for political campaigns wanted a change in careers, and after he learned how to bake bread by watching Youtube videos, he started selling the bread he made in his home outside coffee shops around the city. Today he owns Atelier Fuerza, one of the fastest-growing bakeries in the country.
Fran masa by Laura Macías
100% Organic Sourdough
The team at Atelier Fuerza felt that Argentina’s rich panadería y pastelería culture had been lost, so they wanted to put it in the spotlight. AF honors traditional Argentine breads and pastries, and every product -- whether bread or medialunas -- is made with organic flour and a sourdough starter.
Fran Pablo oven by Laura Macías
5 AM Wake Up Call
“At 5 am we turn the ovens on and prepare all the breads. We never make the same quantity, it depends on the daily demand of our clients. Then, at 7 am another person comes to make all the different doughs, and begins preparing bread for the next day. Between mixing and kneading, tending to the sourdough, and baking, that’s 40-50 hours of work,” Fran says.
The House Turned Bakery
Fran and his team refurbished a dilapidated 4-room house into the bakery. At first, they thought the house would be too big for their operation. Now, it’s too small. Here, they produce all the bread and pastries for their other locations and clients, which include some of the best restaurants in the city.
Workload by Laura Macías
Bread: A Craft and Commitment
“Baking is a pure craft. We are laborers working all the time. We work while people sleep, while they eat. Winter is crazy, we start working at 4 am and don’t see the sun. We leave at 6 pm and don’t see the sun. 3 months without seeing the sun. We make a product that’s the first thing you eat when you wake up, and we can’t mess around with that. It’s a commitment,” Fran explains.
Pablobaking by Laura Macías
“When I first started I didn’t like baking. I studied computer engineering and I wasn’t feeling it. After I studied pastry, cooking, and baking, and that is when I really realized my path. In my day to day I’m a cook, pastry chef, and baker, but where I most define myself is where I am, where I became a professional, as a baker.” - Pablo da Costa
Baking bread by Laura Macías
The Bread Baking Dance
“We open the doors at 10 am and that’s when the van comes to take the bread to our other locations. We close our doors around 4 pm, but our bakers are still working in the kitchen. Baking is a solitary job, but within a team. It’s important to do everything with calm so that everything flows for other team members. It’s a cycle, a dance,” Fran says.
Light dough by Laura Macías
Masters of Water, Flour, & Fermentation
“We don’t run like most cooks do in kitchens and we don't make hurried bread. We take our time, there’s another rhythm, a different mood. I see us more like craftsmen who make wine or cheese. We know what we have to do, there are never surprises: water, flour and fermentation. That’s the art,” Fran believes.
Sourdough Fran by Laura Macías
Atelier Fuerza believes in responsible production. They’d rather honor their product and sell out early than have extra at the end of the day. “Everything we make takes a lot of time, days to make, so when we don’t sell everything, that makes us very sad,” Fran explains.
Medialunas painting by Laura Macías
A Different Philosophy
While most bakeries in BA have a large selection of products to choose from, AF tends to sell out every day. “People couldn’t believe we’d run out of medialunas in the morning. They’d get mad. But when we sell out, we sell out. We prefer our clients to try the medialuna when it’s fresh, tasty and perfect, made with lots of love. If there are no more, relax, try something else! Now, they understand our philosophy and know to arrive early,” Fran says.