Nibble Business: Elena’s Kitchen

John Medina & Sebastían Londono 

THEIR STORY

Where they’re from

Both John Medina and Sebastían Londono hail from Medellin, Colombia. It was a circuitous journey to Boston, by way of Italy, Spain, and New Jersey. The business duo has now lived in the Boston area for seven years. “When we first went to East Boston,” John recalls, “we felt like we weren’t in the United States; we heard so much Spanish!”

A pivot to baking

Both John and Sebastían worked in the service industry back in Colombia. They only turned to baking during the pandemic when the entrepreneurial duo realized it would be a good way to earn money during a difficult time. They also saw baking as something that would translate well abroad, as they had dreams of living overseas. So the duo honed their baking skills and started selling cakes via Facebook. They chose the name “Elena’s Cakes” as a tribute to their moms, both called Elena. Sebastían explains, “Our tagline is: ‘From our moms’ oven to your heart!’”

Business experience and the dream

While in Boston this dynamic duo worked front of the house at both Papagayo and Tatte. “Tatte inspired us a lot,” says John. “We liked how they focus not just on food, but on ambiance.” Next they launched their own baking business, which was especially popular with all the Colombians in the area.  After their Nibble residency, their business dream is to own the best Colombian bakery in Massachusetts.

Favorite ingredient

“I think it’s important to use authentic Colombian ingredients,” says John. “So, for example, we use dulce quemado (baker’s caramel) imported from Colombia. The most important ingredient according to Sebastían? “Amor,” he says with a smile. 

In their words

“I love Somerville,” John proclaims. “And I’ll tell you why. It’s so diverse and artistic. And people love artisanal food.” Sebastían chimes in, “So it’s a good fit for us.”