La Calavera, the Mexican pan dulce bakery owned by Eric Arillo and Dale Ralston, closed Wednesday evening after five months at its new Kirkwood location, according to posts on social media and first reported by Atlanta Business Chronicle. The bakery is listed for sale by commercial real estate company the Shumacher Group.
Arillo and Ralston relocated La Calavera to Memorial Drive from East College Avenue last September, where it had been since 2014, citing low foot traffic in Decatur. The couple say they still plan to be at both the Morningside and Freedom farmers markets this Saturday and the Grant Park winter market on Sunday at Eventide Brewing.
The decision to close La Calavera apparently came down to lack of professional assistance in the kitchen and the inability to sustain production at the capacity necessary to successfully operate the bakery. Arillo is the lone baker for La Calavera.
La Calavera began as a farmers market-only operation eight years ago, before opening the Decatur location in 2014. The bakery is known for Mexican sweet breads like conchas and marranitos (pig-shaped ginger cookies) as well as its sprouted and long-fermented super sourdough breads.
Arillo, who was born in Huecorio in central Mexico but grew up in Atlanta, was first inspired to bake by watching his mother as a child. After working in restaurants around Atlanta throughout his teens, Arillo returned to Mexico to enter a culinary program and began baking professionally.
The couple named the bakery La Calavera (the skull) after one of Mexico’s most significant holidays: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Sweet breads such as pan de muerto topped with dough-shaped bones play a vital role in the celebrations.
Eater Atlanta reached out Wednesday afternoon to Arillo and Ralston for comment.
1696 Memorial Drive SE, Atlanta. lacalaverabakery.wordpress.com.