FANCIES BAKERY, MARKET & CAFE is a hive of activity. People pop into the airy Corrales café for a fresh-baked pain au chocolat, Cubano sandwich, or other delectable fare. Others browse the European-style market, picking up tinned sardines from Portugal, French jams, and ceramics made in Latvia. They return for dinner or Sunday brunch at the upscale Restaurant Forty Nine Forty, named for the address (4940 Corrales Road) where all this deliciousness takes place.
“I’ve been baking since I was nine,” says co-owner Paola Savastano, who was born in Argentina. She grew up in Paraguay and attended culinary school there. When she married her husband and moved to Albuquerque four years ago, she brought along a passion for adding guava, dulce de leche, and other South American flavors to her creations.
Savastano offers me one of her warm chipas, a soft yet chewy bread ball that’s a traditional Paraguayan street food. After one bite, I’m already wondering if I can take a dozen home—but that’s doubtful. “We have problems in the morning when people come in and find out that we’re out of things,” she says. I can see how a regular run on Fancies’s chipas, flaky croissants, and green-chile-cheddar scones could cause trouble.
Luckily, Fancies offers other delicious options, including bourbon-maple-drizzled chicken and waffles. The lunchtime Big Island Bowl layers flavors like teriyaki chicken, spicy cabbage, and pineapple rice. Chef Javier Montano creates the innovative fare for the café and the restaurant, which is known for its rib-eye au poivre, aged in-house for 21 days.
“We wanted to provide a place where the community of Corrales could gather for pastries, and a market to buy gifts from around the world,” says co-owner Erin Williams, a 20-year resident of Corrales, who curates the market’s products. “Every time I went to a new city, I’d seek out specialty markets. I loved discovering new things I could cook with at home.”
Fancies marks a new chapter in Williams’s career, which began in Southern California, where she was a product designer. After moving to New Mexico in 2001 to raise her son and be close to family, she became a designer and builder of custom homes.
Williams was contemplating a gourmet food business when she met Savastano’s husband through a family connection. It was his idea to bring the two together. In 2021, they held a Thanksgiving pop-up, selling pumpkin pies from a parking lot. Fancies Bakery, Market & Cafe opened in February 2023, followed by Forty Nine Forty in April. “People lined up on the first day,” recalls Savastano.
The pair see big things for both their business and the community. “Ultimately, I’d like to see Corrales become a dining destination with wineries and breweries,” says Williams. “It has that old-world charm.”