Dulce Artisanal Pastry shop in Collingswood offers sweet baked goods with a Hispanic flair
Josue Santiago-Negron has used his journey in pastries to discover the world. Now he does the same for all who visit his shop.
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Josue Santiago-Negron grew up in the tropical, laid-back area of Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
For him, food wasn’t just something he consumed, it was a cultural tradition and his whole family was in the food business, which inspired him to go to culinary school.
“My grandparents had a blood sausage business in the back of their house,” Santiago-Negron, owner of Dulce Artisanal Pastry in Collingswood told AL DÍA News. “My dad also had a farm in our backyard.”
Despite the family sausage business, baking became his true calling and he decided to venture out in search of new opportunities.
“I was 21 when I moved out of my parent’s house and went to the mainland,” he said.
Along with a new environment, Santiago-Negron had to grow accustomed to the major culture shock of moving to the U.S. mainland.
Instead of the go-with-the-flow attitude that he lived before, he soon found out that people here are more serious and fast-paced.
“I also found out that Miami had so many different cultures,” he said. “We are all Hispanic, but different countries speak Spanish differently and it was difficult talking in English.”
After he graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Miami, Santiago-Negron started to make a name for himself in the pastry scene.
“After Miami, I moved to Orlando, and after Orlando, I moved to Pittsburgh,” he said.
He soon settled in Collingswood, NJ, in hopes of opening up his very own spot.
“I worked at hotels, restaurants, convention centers, I even worked for Steven Starr in Philly, and Parc,” he said.
With all of the cultures and flavors that Santiago-Negron inherited from his life experiences, he wanted to open up a bakery that resonated with everything that he has learned. So he opened up Dulce, a quaint spot in the heart of Collingswood’s restaurant row.
“I want to give people a chance to try new flavors,” he said.
A certain pastry that has been captivated by locals is the guava and cheese danish, a nod to the traditional guava and cheese empanada that many Puerto Ricans grew up eating and loving.
“Our baguettes are also really popular,” he said.
Another staple that Santiago-Negron is known for is his macarons and pecan sticky buns, made with flaky danish dough, rolled with cinnamon sugar, topped with chopped pecans, and drizzled with sweet sugar caramel.
“A lot of people come in and they see that some of our pastries are unique but delicious,” he said.
For his success, Santiago-Negron gives thanks to the people he met when he first came to the mainland and he met many people who were from different parts of the world and introduced him to their traditional flavors.
“I realized that I was just one piece of the entire world,” he said.
Dulce is just a bridge away from Philly locals.
So make the trip to see this unique spot and be amazed at all of the delectable hand-crafted treats made by this Latino groundbreaker!