A Dallas dessert concept dedicated to flan has found a home: Bella Flan, a dessert shop-within-a-shop located in a Garland Corner Food Mart, is taking the next step with a storefront all its own.
The shop will open at 819 W. Arapaho Rd. in Richardson, in a center anchored by a Tom Thumb supermarket, and will open in October.
Bella Flan specializes in flan, the ultra-smooth custard, plus flan cakes, the luscious two-layer dessert with a layer of cake on the bottom and flan on top. It was founded by Siv Lopez, a longtime baker, in the throes of the pandemic.
She does choco-flan, probably the best known flan cake which combines flan with a base of moist, devil's food chocolate cake. But also innovative flavors such as ube flan cake, featuring the vivid sweet purple yam that's so popular in Asian desserts; and coconut pandan, pandan being a popular ingredient in southeast Asian cooking that adds a pleasing floral flavor.
"I started Bella Flan as a Cuban bakery specializing in flan — I have a love of Cuban culture, from my mother-in-law who is Cuban," Lopez says. "The stand in Garland is doing well and we'll continue to sell flan there. But I also wanted to offer savory food, which is not possible with that space."
The new spot will be called Bella Flan Bakery and Cafe, and it'll do prototypical Cuban dishes, including what she hopes will become her signature: the Cuban dish called papas rellenas, AKA potato balls.
"It's mashed potatoes that have some kind of filling, then get breaded and fried," she says. "Traditionally, they're filled with piccadillo — seasoned ground beef — and we'll be doing that, but also options such as the Kicking Crawfish Potato Ball which will have crawfish etouffe inside."
She'll also do Cuban sandwiches and Cuban coffee, which she promises will be strong and sweet, as well as Cuban coffee drinks such as cafe con leche. And of course her flan.
The location used to be a boba tea place, to which she's adding patio seating, so essential during these times.
"As much as I want to share these dishes, I also want to create a sense of community and family, where people can sit over coffee and gather," she says.