By Blake van Koesveld
Ever thought of joining the proud and industrious ladies of San Pedro by becoming a bread vendor? We asked veteran Maria ‘The Jackal’ Mendoza to give us the low down on the subtle art of pan-slinging.
Tools of the Trade – A basket, tea towel and good posture are essential. A cute six year old sidekick is optional but highly recommended.
The Sales Pitch – The tried and tested technique is to open with a simple “¿quiere pan?” before quickly hitting them with a barrage of “¿pan de banano? ¿pan de canela? ¿pan de manzana?” That said, don’t be afraid to mix it up by leading with a cheeky “¿pastel de chocolaté?”; you might just take them by surprise!
Tone of Voice – Within each phrase, you want a nice steady rise in pitch. Our research indicates this gives you the best chance of tapping into your customer’s subconscious neurological pastry frequency.
Our Philosophy – Gringos WANT baked goods. They NEED them. ALL the time. But they can beforgetful, distracted or play hard to get. If a customer responds with a polite ‘no gracias’, its likely that (a) they misheard you (b) they haven’t been taught “si, por favor” at Spanish school yet or (c) they’re waiting to be shown the pastel de zanahoria you’ve got hidden in the back of the basket. Similarly, just because someone didn’t want anything when they passed you in the street 90 seconds ago, go ahead and presume that they have developed a deep craving for bread since then. You wouldn’t leave a pinata in peace just because no candy came out on the first whack, would you? No! So keep your chin up and keep whacking those gringos until the quetzales spill to the floor.
Cross Promotion- In a new joint venture with the boys near the dock, I’m proud to announce the San Pedro Happy Meal. In addition to two baked goodies of your choosing, you also get 3 hours of kayak rental and a ¼ ounce of weed. Let’s see if those fisherman-pant sporting mochileros can resist that!
Where to Sell – Ladies, the world is yours! Streets, restaurants, schools and bars are reliable, but nothing beats the 6am knock on the hotel door. Go for it!