Under Stay-at-Home Orders, Alum Launches a Bakery from His Apartment

Image courtesy of Meghan Dhaliwal for the New York Times

Stay-at-home orders have given some people time to start a new hobby or two. For David Ayala-Alfonso (MA 2015) and his girlfriend Andrea Ferrero, they started a brand new business. After buying a toaster oven for $42 on store credit, artists Ayala-Alfonso and Ferrero began baking from their Mexico City apartment. They soon realized they might be good enough to join Mexico City's blossoming culture of "ghost kitchens": food crafted exclusively for delivery from people's homes. And the community agreed. Thanks to popularity driven by their Instagram page, Cuarentena Baking (Quarantine Baking) upgraded to a bigger apartment—with a real oven—to expand their gooey confectionery menu to brownies, doughnuts, babkas, cakes, and sourdough bread. Their entrepreneurship has not been without some growing pains. Ayala-Alfonso is a curator and Ferrero is a sculptor, so spending days filling hundreds of food orders, stocking enough ingredients, and researching "why is my cake falling down" on YouTube was not always in their career trajectory. They're getting better, though. And best of all, they're forming their own network of dessert lovers. “You’re already interacting on social media more because of quarantine, so people actually talk to us,” Ayala-Alfonso said in an article for the New York Times. “Our account is a support line.”