Sharing a love of alfajores
When Jasmin Riquelme was growing up, her family would visit Argentina and Paraguay, where she looked forward to indulging in alfajores: a South American treat made of two soft cookies with dulce de leche sandwiched in between. The treats came prepackaged, dipped in chocolate, sold in bakeries but also made at home. Riquelme said the sweet is even delicious prepackaged. “I know that growing up, going to Argentina and Paraguay, I’ve always loved alfajores in packages,” she said. “It’s much better, even in the package. It’s just so good.”
She first started making the rich dessert during her sophomore year of high school. Around that time, she enrolled in the culinary arts program at the King Career Center, now known as King Tech High School. Part of the program was to make a cookie and another type of pastry. The menu was up to Riquelme, who chose to make the alfajor. She would bring them to school and share them with her friends, who told her she should start selling them.
In the pandemic, Riquelme decided it was time to start sharing her love for alfajores with Alaska. In the summer of 2020, while spending more time at home, she launched Alfajores Alaska on Instagram. Selling the cookies on Instagram helped her get by while she was waiting to return to her hospitality job. “I didn’t even really think about selling them, people suggested it,” she said. “2020 hit and I didn’t have income except unemployment, so that really helped a lot.”
It started with sales from her friends, and over the holidays she experimented with more festive-looking cookies. In the new year, she decided to open a website, and make the order process easier for people. She said business has been more consistent ever since.
Looking forward, she said she would like to add more options for alfajores, like chocolate-covered or even new desserts like pasta frolas, which are a common sweet tart where her parents are from in Argentina and Paraguay. She describes it as a jam pie.
To learn more, visit alfajoresalaska.bigcartel.com or on Instagram @alfajoresalaska.