Guatemalan bakery-cafe brand opens first U.S. location

San Martin Bakery & Restaurant settles into Dallas, plans expansion

Guatemala-based San Martin Artisan Bakery & Restaurant, with 50 locations in Central America, has set its sights on expansion in North America.

The family-owned bakery-restaurant concept opened its first location in Dallas in December and is looking for more locations in the area.

The 7,800-square-foot new construction features a two-story-high gallery, with the upper levels showcasing a live fern and greenery wall garden, above a seating area that separates a bakery and pastry shopping area on the left side and a dining room and kitchen on the right. The location offers more than 200 seats.

Both sides of San Martin offer areas for ordering Guatemalan coffee to consume on premises or to go.

“We hope to open additional operations in North Dallas and beyond, perhaps later this year,” said Gabriel Castillo, the younger son of founder Andrés Castillo, who purchased a bakery started in 1974 and expanded it into the bakery-restaurant-coffee shop hybrid. Gabriel Castillo heads the brand’s U.S. operations for the brand.

The younger Castillo said his older brother attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas and his sister, who helped design the restaurant, attend art school in the area, so the family was familiar with the Dallas area.

The company has 42 locations in Guatemala and eight in El Salvador. The first U.S. bakery opened in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood in December, along with a commissary in the city’s Design District.

The menu features a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and pizzas.

“We’re finding the U.S. customers really like weekend brunch,” Castillo said at the restaurant. Beverages include wines, beers and sangrias. Prices for pastries start at 50 cents each and decorated cakes are around $26.99.

The shop also sells Guatemalan crafts and coffees and serves from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. most days.

All photos by Ron Ruggless 

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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