Married couple starts authentic Cuban bakery in Knoxville
Pastelito’s Cuban Bakery is making pastries in Knoxville and preparing to open a store in January.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Pastelito’s Cuban Bakery makes several authentic Cuban pastries like guava & cheese, chorizo and spinach with feta.
It is the only authentic Cuban bakery in East Tennessee. The bakery got started in October 2021 by Ernesto and Lyana Rodriguez, a married couple from Miami that moved to Knoxville. However, they faced several years of setbacks before they could start baking.
Their first restaurant closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic after only seven months opened.
Lyana Rodriguez was getting her work hours reduced and then she was diagnosed with Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body.
“My wife fell into some depression and then we started baking out of our house,” Ernesto Rodriguez said.
They baked together, hoping it would allow Lyana Rodriguez to focus on something other than Lupus.
The couple first shared their puffy Cuban pastries with their neighbors and friends. After a positive response, they decided to sell some at the Knoxville Market Square Farmers’ Market and sold out in less than three hours.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to share our culture with all of Knoxville here in Tennessee,” Ernesto Rodriguez said.
According to Ernesto Rodriguez, due to the growing support from their loyal patrons at the Knoxville Market Square Farmers’ Market and online followers, they can now focus on expanding their business. In late January, they will open a store on Cedar Bluff Road where they can focus on making Cuban pastries full-time.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it without Knoxville and the support of the community that we have,” Ernesto Rodriguez said.
You can learn more about Pastelito’s Cuban Bakery by calling its phone number at (865) 278-8048 or by visiting its official website.
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