Ameema Ahmed

It’s hard for Veronica Regueira (pictured) to talk about baking without getting emotional. For Regueira, Pampas Bakery, her Phoenix business, is more than just a business — it’s the way she connects with her Argentinian heritage. “It’s a very special and personal thing for me,” she says.

Regueira, who was born and raised in Buenos Aires, grew up playing at her grandparents’ bakery. When she moved to the United States 20 years ago, she had to leave behind not only her family, but also the comfort foods that held her favorite memories. “I’ve been really spoiled growing up with good pastries,” she says. “Here in Arizona, there were no Argentinian bakeries.”

After a visit to see her family last year and eating all the delicious foods, Regueira decided to start selling some of the pastries she had already been baking for friends and co-workers. In September 2023, she attended her first farmers market, and the community response was overwhelming. “It blew my mind; I didn’t expect the great feedback,” she recalls. “I wasn’t sure people were going to be open, but locals really love trying new things.”

Pampas Bakery sells medialunas, traditional Argentinian croissants, as well as cookie sandwiches called alfajores. Argentinian croissants differ from French versions in their texture and depth of flavor. According to Regueira, the process for laminating the dough and making the pastries is the same, but the ingredients she uses set them apart from the croissants most people are used to eating.

“I actually use a lot less butter and put honey in the dough, and a little citrus,” she says. “Even though they’re flaky on the outside, they’re a lot softer on the inside and a little more dense than a French croissant.”

Regueira finishes each croissant with a homemade, orange-infused syrup to add sweetness and a shiny top layer. The finished product is hard to resist, and that’s OK, because Argentinian croissants are smaller than French versions, so people can eat two or three, instead of just one. 

Alfajores, the cookie sandwiches, originated in the Middle East and made their way to South America, where they now vary by region. Argentinian alfajores are made with a dulce de leche filling, and Regueira also makes some with fruit filling, which is more traditional in the country’s Patagonia region. “Baking is a way for me to teach people a little bit about a different culture,” she says. “We’re nothing like Mexican or Venezuelan cuisine, so it’s my honor to introduce people to our foods.”

Zack Cleary met Regueira and discovered her pastries at a neighborhood farmers market. He says he wasn’t familiar with Argentinian food until he tried Pampas’ baked goods. “Veronica’s positive attitude and constant smile meant that I could trust her to lead us into another cuisine,” Cleary says. “I especially like her Croissant Supreme, which is large enough for our family of three to share, and she’s always iterating on fillings, so they’re never boring.”

In addition to putting Argentina on the map, Regueira is honoring her grandfather, who was killed during a robbery at his own bakery a few years ago. “My grandpa was the sweetest and kindest person,” Regueira says. “He was an example for me, and when I bake, I connect with him.”

Despite being nearly 6,000 miles away from her family, Regueira still uses her baking to feel close to them. Whether it’s her sister, who’s also a bakery owner in Argentina, providing advice on running the business or her grandmother complimenting the photos she sends of her creations, Regueira’s family is supporting Pampas in multiple ways.

“It’s hard when you’ve been away from your family and country for 20 years,” Regueira says. “I do this baking and I connect with them, and then I share it with the locals and it’s full circle for me.”

Pampas Bakery’s baked goods can be found at the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market on Saturdays and the Ahwatukee Farmers Market on Sundays. 

Business Information

Pampas Bakery
Phoenix, AZ
United States