When the Lopes family came to this country 46 years ago, Mr. Lopes’s mother-in-law, Beatriz Caetano, noticed that no one was making the kind of breakfast muffins they ate in the Azores.
Tiberio Lopes, the Portuguese muffin patriarch, got the idea for his product while working at Chaves Market, a Portuguese market that did not sell bolos levedos. Beatriz gave Tiberio and Leonor the recipe.
In 1975 the husband-and-wife team started the baking business out of their garage. They found a distributor who brought the muffins to mom-and-pop shops in Cape Cod.
Their muffins became a hit and the demand was enough to start a mail order business. It catered to customers who got to know the product while vacationing in Cape Cod and wanted to get the muffins back home.
This led to them moving out of the garage and into their first and smallest bakery on South Main Street.
In 1988, the Lopes’s got their first big break. A story in the New York Times featured the family and their product. The muffins were already being sold to restaurants in the city including high-end eateries like Balducci’s.
Another publication called “Food Finds” also featured the muffins. Today the Food Channel has a show based on the book which looks at local specialty foods.
The Bakery only makes Portuguese Muffins, which they brand as 3-meal muffins due to the fact that they are not just considered breakfast food by their customers. The branding is also a way of shaking off the competition that has followed the names they have given the product since introducing it. They wanted to separate themselves from everyone who tried duplicating their muffins.
The Central Bakery family is proud to be baking the Original Portuguese Muffin since 1975. credits (http://3mealmuffin.com/our-distributors
You can find Leonor Santos’s recipe for Bolos Levedos here.