In the ever-expanding world of indie startups that have sprung up around Dallas since the onset of COVID-19, few are sweeter than Bella Flan, a new dessert shop-within-a-shop located in Garland inside the Corner Food Mart at 4460 W Walnut St.
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.
The concept was founded by Siv Lopez, a longtime baker, who has a stand inside the market, which is managed by her brother.
"It's a fun market, they already have a fruiteria and a taqueria and were wanting to add new offerings," she says. "I have a little case where I sell flan. We have mini-flans that are available every day, and if you want a party size, you can order and we'll have it ready in 72 hours."
She does choco-flan, probably the best known flan cake which combines flan with a base of moist, devil's food chocolate cake.
But she's also serving 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've been making flan for 20 years, ever since my mother-in-law shared her secret recipe," Lopez says. "I'm Chinese and my husband is Cuban, so I like to combine elements from both of our backgrounds."
Original flavors of flan, chocoflan, vanilla tres leches, strawberry tres leches, and arroz con leche are available at Corner Food every day. Order by calling or texting 214-566-3656. For ube or pandan orders, pick up in Garland at Corner Food Taqueria Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, from 9 am-9 pm.
For the holiday, she's doing a limited-edition seasonal pumpkin flan cake, with a moist pumpkin base that's like a cross between pumpkin cake and pumpkin pie.
Lopez is a longtime baker who believes in the transformative powers of dessert.
"Before this, I had a bakery called Meringue Bakery in Farmers Branch, but I sold it 10 years ago when my kids were young," she says. "I am crazy about desserts and making people happy. When you have the right dessert, it makes people happy. I think it sparks memories of a happy place."