A young baker, who arrived in the Fair City at the end of last year, has brought some of her home influences with her by way of Mexican-inspired doughnuts.
The late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, was a painter best known for her portraits, self portraits and paintings inspired by her surroundings in the North American nation throughout the first half of the 20th Century.
She’s also about to be well known for her association with doughnuts in Perth. That’s if 27-year-old Gabriela Cerda has anything to do with it.
The young trained chef moved to Scotland from Mexico in October 2020 having grown up on the same street as Frida’s house, which is today a public museum.
In homage to her home and the artist who has inspired her much of her life, Gabriela decided to set up her own business called Frida’s Doughnuts.
“I moved to Perth from Mexico City in October and there was still a lockdown sort of going on, so finding a job was getting a bit difficult,” she said.
“I’m a trained chef so I was trying to find something to do where I could be my own boss and do something different.
“After doing some research I noticed that there was nowhere in Perth which had doughnuts, so I thought it would be nice to create something like that.
“I’m Mexican and the area in Mexico City where I’m from, and where my parents still live, is two houses away from Frida Kahlo’s house. So I always feel like it’s something that’s very close to home and she’s one of my favourite personalities – I even have a tattoo of her on my arm.
“It is close to home and I thought it would be nice to bring something that’s mine, or has meaning to me, to represent the business.
“A lot of people think I’m called Frida because of the name of the business – whenever they come over to my stall or collect an order they’re like ‘Hi Frida!’ and I just have to go with it!”
Without a premises at the moment, and creating her baked goods from the kitchen of her small flat, Gabriela has been selling her popular doughnuts at Perth Farmers’ Market after first posting them out across the UK.
“I’ve been quite lucky as, for the first two or three months I was doing mostly postal deliveries across the UK and there was nothing really happening in Perth with them,” Gabriela continues.
“Then I was lucky enough to get a stall at Perth Farmers’ Market and the next one, on September 4, will be my fifth market with them.
“They’ve been really well received at the markets, which is lovely. People seem to really enjoy them and I do vegan options as well. There seems to be a massive community of vegans in Perth and I had no idea! They seem to be very happy that they can enjoy a treat like a doughnut.
“The number of doughnuts I make for the market really depends on how the weather is going to be. If it’s going to be nice, I try to make around 250 to 300 but if it’s going to be a rainy, quieter market then I do about 100 to 150, all from the small kitchen in my flat.”
Bringing it back to home
The links to her home nation don’t just stop at the branding however, as Gabriela tries to incorporate her native flavours into her products as well.
“I’ve had a couple of Mexican-inspired doughnut flavours. For example, I’ve done churro doughnuts and the Mexican version of churros are sometimes filled so I made the doughnuts filled with condensed milk.
“I’ve also made Mexican hot chocolate doughnuts, and I’ve been trying to create something a bit more different – and I’m still tweaking it – which is a spicy mango doughnut. It still needs a bit of work because my level of spice is probably a bit higher than a lot of people would like!
“There’s also a Mexican family in Perth who contacted me to ask if they could get a box so I also make them some Mexican pastries to order whenever they want any.
“Hopefully by the Day of The Dead on November 2, which is a national Mexican holiday, I will try to make some Mexican pastries for the market that month as well, just for something different.”
Getting orders made
No flavour of doughnut is beyond Gabriela’s capabilities with her experience of making doughnuts for some of Perth’s hottest coffee spots also a notch on her young business’ belt.
She adds: “I tend to switch certain flavours according to season.
“The doughnuts can be customised depending on what people want. It can literally be ‘I want a buttercream coffee doughnut’ and I’ll make one for them.
“I do have a classic selection of flavours I tend to make for markets but if people want something customised or they want to know the flavours before the market – they can drop me a message on social media and I can send them the list.
“I do some vegan and gluten-free treats for 269 Vegan, a cafe in Perth, and I’ve started selling as well for Little Bird cafe in town too, so there are lots of places you can find Frida’s Doughnuts in the city!”
To order for delivery UK-wide, send Gabriela a message via Instagram here.