Diversity Sioux Falls: Manna Bakery
In this feature of Diversity Sioux Falls, Manna Bakery at 6th and Indiana is our focus. Instead of driving by and wondering what it's like inside, Adan Arteaga invites you stop and come in. Adan says many people mistake the store for featuring Mexican products, but they actually cater to another consumer group.
Manna Bakery is more than a store to offer products to the nearly 5000 El Salvador and 5000 Guatemalans living abroad in South Dakota. Although the products on the shelf are fun to discover, it's the food that will likely beckon you to stop whenever you're in the neighborhood.
Order from the take out menu of pictured items on the wall. You don't have to pronounce a single thing if you don't want to, just order by the number. The staff, fluent in English, can answer questions about the homemade tortillas, papusas, tacos and meat dishes. Prices range between under two dollars for a single Papusa to a huge meal for just over ten dollars.
The shelves on the other side of the glass bakery counter feature slices of strawberry cake with Bavarian cream, perfectly sliced and sold individually. The tre leche, or "three milk" cake is one of their most popular, with multiple layers of white cake among three layers of creme and strawberries. Pastries, including creme filled Chonchos are constantly being re-stocked by staff, all fresh from the ovens in the back room. Boxed cakes await customers to pick up their special orders.
The back story of families who move to the US and settle here are always interesting, and Adan's story is equally intriguing. Originally from El Salvador, Adan came to America 34 years ago in his quest for safety and peace amidst a war torn country. Adan's face grew heavy as he spoke briefly of leaving his country, the sadness that seemed to loom about his departure and a Mother and brother still there. He says his dream was growing a business and helping people. Now thankful customers stop in for products from home and long distance calling cards to stay connected to their families back home too.
Adan's wife Esmeralda and son Aaron are often fixtures in the store, which is open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day. Sioux Falls has been their home for 18 years and they launched Manna bakery 6 years ago with only $700. Just five months ago, a second story was launched at 1038 N. Minnesota Avenue, and another location in Flandreau will open this fall when renovations of their new location are complete.