Caption: Efy in the bakery
Our colleague Efren, known affectionately as Efy, has a reputation for two things here at More? Bakery.
One is his beautifully buttery and fabulously flaky croissants, which have rightfully earned him the nickname ‘croissant king’.
The other is his cheerful demeanour and ever-present smile, which Efy, who hails from the Philippines, says are characteristics he shares with his countrymen and women.
Efy is a baker and pastry chef who enjoyed a life on the ocean wave, visiting places all over the world while working on cruise ships.
He explored parts of Asia, South America and Europe and ticked off the Statue of Liberty, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower. Visiting Jerusalem and Egypt, which brought alive his Christian faith, meant the most to him.
When he first dropped anchor in Cumbria, Efy, who is from bustling Metro Manila, wasn’t sure what to make of the Lake District, where the quieter pace of life was a surprise. But he soon adjusted and after several years here, he enjoys working close to lovely lakes and mountains.
Efy will often start his shift at 4am to ensure that freshly baked More? bread and croissants are ready for that day’s customers.
When he’s making croissants, he says the magic happens during the laminating process, when the dough and butter are folded together to create the desired layers. It’s essential, says Efy, that the dough and butter are at the same temperature and consistency or the process won’t work.
And he should know, as he calculates that he makes about 1,200 croissants each week, with chocolate, custard, almond, cinnamon and classic varieties among his repertoire.
For breakfast at home, he’s most likely to have a traditional Filipino dish, made with rice and fried egg or perhaps sausage or bacon. Because of the pandemic, Efy hasn’t been able to get home to the Philippines to see his family for some time, although one of his daughters is with him in Cumbria and is training to be a nurse.
Working behind the scenes in the bakery, he doesn’t often meet customers in our shop but he enjoys it when a colleague passes on a compliment about the croissants.
So, if you love Efy’s baking or just want to say hello, feel free to leave a message for our croissant king during your next visit.