Iconic 'modernist' bakery
One of Palma's best known and best loved bakeries which closed some while ago is to live again. Forn des Teatre's (forn = oven or furnace) fame was gained for two reasons; the quality of its products, and its beautiful modernist facade.
Opened as a bakery over 100 years ago by Jaume Alemany, it is housed in a 19th century building whose facade was altered in the art nouveau modernist style popular in Barcelona and Palma at the time. The wooden shop sign and panels which frame the entrance to the bakery feature the rich colours, wavy lines and floral motifs so popular in the early 20th century and which are now an officially protected feature of the building.
Named for its closeness to the Teatre Principal on the same street, the Forn was famed for its gatós (cakes) and ensaimadas (local pastries) and in fact when the very first airmail service by hydroplane from Palma to Barcelona was started in 1920, an ensaimada from Forn des Teatre was on board!
The shop has stood empty and forlorn for over a year now, and doesn't make for such a good photograph with the shutters down, but the good news is that it will live again, restored to its former glory as....a bakery!
Tomeu Arbona, a master baker who has a massive reputation in Palma, has taken over the lease and will soon move into the premises. He is moving his well respected Fornet de la Soca (photos) from its present home in Calle Sant Jaume to the new shop.
He's built up an enviable reputation since 2010 for producing both sweet and savoury pastries, pies, and bread in traditional Mallorcan style using locally sourced and ecologically produced products and my goodness, they are good! A meat pie I had there one late afternoon was good enough for Jehovah, and that's saying something!
His plan is to spruce up the interior using all the original fixtures and fittings and he will maintain, as a matter of some pride and goodwill, the original name of the bakery so that it will once again become one of the most visited, and photographed bakeries in Palma.
Good luck to Tomeu Arbona in his 'new' venture.
Read more of the story of Forn de Teatre