The capital of the Balearic Islands has a new attraction: in a playful building in the centre you can get delicacies from the traditional baker Fornet de la Soca!
It is a building that is truly worthy of a master baker: Can Corbella, a four-storey house built in the neo-Moorish style at the end of the 19th century by the architect Nicolás Lliteras, right at Palma de Mallorca Town Hall Square. This place has fascinated him ever since he was a child, says Tomeu Arbona, who has been running a second branch of his Fornet de la Soca on the ground floor since this week. “At that time there was a shop with art supplies here. It was the first of its kind in Palma and we used to buy coloured pencils or modelling clay for art lessons at school.
Now there are delicacies for sale: Squid-filled empanadas, onion-sobrassada-pine nut cocas, apple varieties, coconut cones with chocolate, chocolate merengue biscuits or ensaimadas. All specialities are based on traditional recipes that the “archaeological baker”, as Arbona also calls itself, has found in ancient writings. Can Corbella is a unit created by Lliteras, which is actually three houses, with a wave-like façade and horseshoe-shaped arches on the ground floor, stained glass windows and an octagonal tower on the roof. Arbona has long dreamed of having a shop there. Now it is reality – and in the middle of Corona times. Arbona, who worked as a social worker and psychotherapist in previous lives and only found his current vocation after the economic crisis of 2008, had already taken over the venerable Forn del Teatre. Now he found out about the lease of the Can Corbella shop. After some doubt, he and his family agreed. “Above all, my son Adrià thought we couldn’t miss it.”
They didn’t have to invest a lot, but rather cleared out and painted – the last place they rented was the Real Madrid fan shop. The family bought old lamps and chandeliers – as always at flea markets or antique shops. “The landlord came to meet us and we also made arrangements for emergencies (another lockdown, editor’s note).” Arbona is now looking hopefully to the future: “With shops like ours, or even the neighbouring Colmado Colom, we are bringing character back into the centre, which is actually dominated by tourist shops. I think people want more of that: intimacy, personal sales, more proximity, more Mallorcan – especially at a time when we are officially distanced and have to find new ways to survive beyond tourism.
Many thanks to the Mallorca Zeitung for the article!