Review of a coffee shop that easily made our top ten favorites list.
***** Please Note: Since this writing Moksha has moved. It is now near Centro Comercial Cedritos across from Carulla Supermarket. The address is Carrera 17 # 151 – 27 in Barrio Cedro Golf *******
***** September 2014 Update – We have been told that the coffee shop is closed and the owner is traveling. Another coffee shop that does not make our top ten list is in the location *****
Michael: We were in the Las Margaritas Norte barrio taking care of business when the daily coffee fix tugged at our insides. Fresh artesanal breads neatly laid out in labeled bins caught our attention. The fact that one of them was Quinoa really created interest. My diet includes that South American food source. Looking past the glass displays I noted decoration with attention to detail, tables and chairs of white pine. Soft music playing in English cemented the idea that this was where we were to have coffee.
Graciela: In Colombia, especially Bogotá, every barrio has one or more bakeries with each making the best breads they can. So raising the bar takes much talent. Artesanal breads are ones that combine art with great taste to create masterpieces with fantastic taste and looks. Other breads in the multi-bin display included pan de chocolate (chocolate bread), leche y miel (milk and honey), Yogurt y naranja (yogurt and orange), centeno (rye) and pan multigranos (multigrain bread).
Michael: Store owner, Thana Carvajal, says that her breads are the best sellers. However I noticed that she really demonstrates her talents with the pastries. Cupcakes are favorites. Colombia supplies 75% of the Valentines Day roses to the USA so they are everywhere. A better way to express love is something like cupcakes that say so. Rather than that large cake to wish mom a happy birthday, cupcakes could be the answer. Of course the cookies, candies and jellies and cakes had me wanting to purchase everything. Without a doubt the most delectable I have ever seen.
Graciela: While my husband drooled over the sweet things I took a seat at one of the many wooden tables inside the tastefully decorated garage and ordered us two coffees and two pieces of carrot cake.
Michael: She started young with the passion enjoying to cook for relatives and friends. Then she earned some impressive credentials. Thana studied at La Escuela Gastronómica Mariano Moreno. That was followed by working with pastry chef artist Rausch Atelier and attending Escuela de Gastronomía. To perfect her abilities with chocolate she studied with Chef Hobany Velasco.
Graciela: The coffee and cake tasted of the same quality seen with the other items. I asked about who decorated the place. Thana said she realized that branding and marketing is very important in a business. She spent time in the library researching it. Friends were also asked to help out. The idea was to create something that reflects who she is and what she wants for her clients.
Michael: My question was why did she start the business. After all it is not an easy venture to make money at. “Decidi estudiar cocina con la idea de crear un espacio para reunirme con la gente que quiero, tengo en mis memorias grandes moments de celebracions familiares alrededor de la autentica comida casera, asi que este proyecto nacio gracias a los afectos que mueve la comida cuando conservan sus procesos artesanales y en su visual refleja arte.” (I decided to study cooking with the idea of creating a space to meet the people that I love, I have in my memories times of celebracions with relatives around the authentic home-made meal, so this project was born thanks to the affections that the meal moves when the handmade processes is preserved and it visually reflects art), said Thana.
Graciela: Obviously the name of the place fascinated us because Moksha is neither a Spanish nor English word. She had chosen it after reading a book from Deepak Chopra. Moksha means liberation of the spirit. It reflects her philosophy in life. Thana said that her mission is to fill not just stomachs but also souls.
Michael: I could tell this young entrepreneur was not content with just a successful business so we broached the subject of what the future holds. She is already planning on the opening of other places that will preserve the quality, generate stable jobs for people and create spaces for social development.