(Editor’s Note: This feature focuses on immigrant-run businesses in NH. If you know someone we should spotlight, please contact Editor Matt Mowry at mmowry@BusinessNHmagazine.com.
Angela and Jose Mojica, and their children, Jose, Viviana and Daniella. Photos by Christine Carignan.
Angela Mojica was a stay-at-home mom who enjoyed baking treats for friends and family. Her husband, Jose, would bring those tasty treats to work, sharing them with his co-workers at Jet Blue in Boston. Soon Angela started getting requests, and Jose, seeing the response, urged Angela to open her own bakery.
In 2015, the couple opened Dulces Bakery, which ran for two years from an 800-square-foot space on Manchester’s West Side.
Angela, who has 12 years of experience making custom cakes and pastries, is the baker while Jose, who eventually left his day job, manages the business. They’ve juggled the new business with a growing family.
Initially, the first-time business owners found success until they were dealt a blow in 2017 when the landlord sold the building and they were given 30 days to vacate the premises.
It took them three months to find a new space with a commercial kitchen and another year before the extensive renovation was complete.
Jose took on several jobs to make ends meet while the couple worked to reopen. The couple says there were times they were ready to give up. “We didn’t think we would be able to open again. Our kids were devastated that we closed,” Angela says. But customers kept asking them when the bakery was reopening as they missed their pastries, which kept the couple motivated. “It had to do a lot with our faith, our kids and our customers,” Angela says.
They reopened in November 2018 as Dulces Bakery & Cafe on Amherst Street in downtown Manchester. By March 2019, they had expanded to include a dining area. The bakery is now double the size of its original location, and the couple have added a dessert truck to sell their confections at festivals and events.
The key to the bakery’s success has been incorporating their heritage into it. Angela was born in Columbia and immigrated to Staten Island, New York, with her family when she was four. Jose was born in Puerto Rico, moving to New York to live with his grandmother to pursue gymnastics when he was teenager. They moved to NH in 2002 for Jose’s job. “We fell in love with the state. It felt like home. It’s family based,” Angela says. “We love everything about it.”
Of the bakery, Angela says, “We have things from both our cultures and things I grew up with in New York City. It’s a mix of Spanish and American culture. Everything is made fresh here.”
Dulces’ top sellers are tres leches cups (pictured) and cakes that come in 18 flavors including vanilla, mango, and salted caramel. But they also offer items like cupcakes, whoopie pies, French macarons, cake pops, cheesecakes and pastries. Dulces also has quesitos (which Angela describes as a Spanish Danish), Pastelitos de Guayaba, (a Puerto Rican puffed pastry stuffed with guava) and tornillos (also a Puerto Rican pastry). And there are savory items as well.
“We want to invite everyone to our table. This is our family and our culture,” Angela says of the bakery. “We want people to take a piece of that and enjoy it.”