Update, Dec. 3:
It’s finally here. Diletto Bakery has set its grand opening for Friday, Dec. 6. The bakery at 528 Bradford St. SW will be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. The shop will be closed on Sundays but open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
During the grand opening, owner James Velez said you'll be able to try some of the breads that became so popular at the Gainesville Farmers Market as well as their cookies, empanadas, cheesecake, flavored mousse and coffee.
To celebrate the opening on Friday, Diletto will be giving away free 12-ounce coffees from 6 to 10 a.m. and free sweet bread buns filled with guava or dulce de leche from 1 to 4 p.m. or until they run out. On Saturday, you’ll be able to get a free cookie from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We’re excited and relieved, too, that we’re finally open,” Velez said.
The day is drawing near that Gainesville will have another place to indulge in those long-loved carbohydrates. Diletto plans to open its doors in midtown the first week of November and owner James Velez is excited to share some of his breads and pastries for more than just one day at the Gainesville Farmers Market.
“We're going to have the breads you can find in any bakery, but we're also going to have stuff that is different,” Velez said. “We're going to start making it and just explore with it and see what comes up.”
When it comes to the names of the different breads Diletto is taking the same sort of approach — just see what comes up. Most of what Velez plans to offer doesn’t have a name.
“We're working on names,” he said.
There’s no doubt, though, that a favorite at Diletto will be the cheese bites. They’re small, bite-sized domes of cheesy bread. The bottom is a layer of cheese the consistency of cream cheese with an air-filled dome rounding things out on top that tastes a little sweet and slightly tangy.
“Ninety percent of the recipe is cheese,” Velez said. “It took me probably over seven cheeses to try until I got to this one.”
It also took about nine months. He was so determined to find the perfect cheese because he had to match the family recipe to what his father used to make as he was growing up.
Velez couldn’t find the same cheese in the States that his father used in Colombia, so he had to do a little trial and error work until he found the perfect one.
If you like the sweet side of things a little more, Diletto will have plenty of cinnamon rolls. But they’ll also serve golfeados, a Venezuelan pastry.
They're similar to cinnamon rolls, but with some other spices rolled up with the cinnamon inside. And there’s no icing or glaze. Velez said they’re traditionally served with cheese on top, although that’s not how they’ll be serving them.
They will be using the traditional sugar, though.
“The sugar cane, when they process the actual cane and they melt it and take all the juice out to make the sugar, they make this big brick of pure cane,” Velez said. “From there, we grind it and put it inside. We get the full brick and grind it.”
Another sweet bread Velez hopes will be a staple at Diletto is a bun-looking bread that is filled with caramel. There’s another pastry with the same sweet dough but with a guava paste inside.
If you’d rather sweetness on the more mild side, Diletto has an oval-shaped bread — like a really, really small baguette shape that isn’t a sweet bread. The bread is more in the savory direction with still a bit of sweetness, but stuffed with mozzerella and Fresco cheeses or guava paste.
If you’re wanting that classic baguette, though, Diletto will have that, too. And it’s not just an off-the-cuff offering. Diletto is serious about its sourdough baguette.
“With the sourdough, the key is the starter,” Velez said. “And the San Francisco sourdough is the famous one … So I was just like (trying to find) a place where you can get it.”
Turns out, he found it. He got a 150-year old starter from someone in San Francisco that Diletto will be using to make its sourdough bread.
They’ll also have your regular breads like French loaves and bagels for sale.
All the breads, baked fresh every day, will be packaged and lined on shelves inside the shop made by Velez and his team. There will be other items like cheesecake, macarons, flan and a special tres leches-with-coffee combination cake Velez is excited about. And of course, a bakery wouldn’t be complete without cookies.
The new space is ready to be filled with people and the smell of fresh-baked bread. And if you’re looking to try something a little bit different — or very different — Diletto has what you need.
“We're excited to bring something different to Gainesville,” Velez said, “It's something we’re hoping people will enjoy.”