As the days passed after that first batch of cookies sold, the orders from the community grew. Our barbecue area became a production line. In time, when the Pandemic ended, we put together a work team. We purchased equipment and formalized the project.
CONCORDIA, Argentina ꟷ I started making alfajores [Latin American sandwich cookies] with my family during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our little project became an award-winning business called “La Maga” or the magician.
It all began when my children and I decided to make sweets during quarantine. As we cooked in the kitchen, I looked out the window. With the Pandemic in full swing, the streets laid empty and quiet. As we enjoyed the kitchen in our new house, my youngest daughter made a mistake with the quantity of ingredients.
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We ended up creating a much larger batch of alfajores than we anticipated. I had to decide what to do with them. With the entire country on lockdown, we could not go near our neighbors so we put a sign on the door: “Alfajores for sale.” The response surprised us. We began selling cookies and more orders came in.
Every morning when we awoke, we heard the birds singing, the crickets chirping, and toads croaking outside. Far from the center of town, we loved to live this way in our new home. The kitchen connected to all the main living spaces and became a common gathering area for the family. Large, comfortable, and spacious, it filled us with warmth and connection. Outside, we could see a paradise of trees and earth.
On the patio, natural aromas wisped about under the sun. The Pandemic confined us there, so we began creating fun projects to pass the time. I wanted my children to experience love, passion, and a commitment to finishing tasks. Baking alfajores felt like magic, so we named the project “La Maga.”
As the days passed after that first batch of cookies sold, the orders from the community grew. Our barbecue area became a production line. In time, when the Pandemic ended, we put together a work team. We purchased equipment and formalized the project. In doing so, I left behind traditional work hours and offered employment opportunities to people in my town.
As the company grew, we got word of the first-ever Alfajor World Cup Championship in August 2022 [a juried competition to recognize the best alfajores from around the globe]. We decided to enter our triple black alfajor.
In one of the happiest moments of my entire life, we took second place in the competition. My children jumped up and down with joy. In my acceptance, I thanked my kids because they played the protagonists in this adventure. It never would have happened without them.
Meeting others who are passionate about alfajores filled me with happiness. A sentimental and passionate person, tears fell down my face as my emotions overflowed. Reflecting on the process from that first day when I made cookies with my children in the kitchen, I felt a deep sense of gratitude. We sowed the seeds of all that effort when we won.
Taking second place for the world’s best alfajores makes me feel like a millionaire – rich and strong. Even more significant, I get to share the win with my kids. As a result of our recognition, the city of Concordia’s Deliberative Council named me “an outstanding person.” Yet, the prize that made me happiest was seeing my son’s face during the ceremony. He watched me with pride and his emotions came to the surface that day. That was the best reward of all.
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