Baking Dreams: My 9 step Gluten-Free Journey in Panama

Hey there, fellow adventurers! I’m Amy, and I want to take you on a journey through my gluten-free baking adventure right here in Panama. This is a story of dreams, determination, and the incredible flavors of life. Join me as we explore the steps of my gluten-free journey, from a humble kitchen to a thriving business.

Step 1: The Beginning of My Gluten-Free Baking Odyssey

In 2017, I decided to turn my passion for baking into something extraordinary. I wanted to create delicious treats for people with dietary restrictions, and thus, my gluten-free baking journey began. Let’s start with the very first step – my decision to open a bakery in Panama City.

Step 2: The Humble Beginnings

I kicked off my baking adventure in my cozy kitchen. Armed with just a few recipes and an unwavering determination, I was ready to make treats that everyone could enjoy. The initial days were tough, with a steep learning curve, but every setback only fueled my determination to make my bakery a reality.

Step 3: Expanding to a Shop Front

By 2020, my home-based bakery had outgrown its space, and I took a leap of faith by opening a shop front in Panama City. This step came with its own set of challenges and opportunities, but it was an essential move in my journey.

Step 4: Navigating the Pandemic

Just as my business was starting to flourish, the pandemic hit, bringing uncertainty and challenges. I share my experiences of facing this formidable adversary and how I adapted to the changing circumstances, just like many small business owners worldwide.

Step 5: Discovering a Loyal Following

During the pandemic, I found a loyal following among hotels and restaurants in Panama City who appreciated the unique flavors and textures of my gluten-free treats. This heartwarming discovery made all the challenges worthwhile.

gluten free bakery goods

Step 6: Making a Tough Decision

As we emerged from the pandemic and the world stabilized, I found myself at a crossroads. I made the tough decision to sell my bakery to a partner who shared my values and vision for providing delicious, health-conscious food to the community.

Step 7: A New Beginning

With my new partner, an expat, we embarked on a new chapter, blending our passions and dreams. This partnership allowed my bakery to thrive, and my partner could pursue his residency under the Friendly Nations Program for those who are entrepreneurs and want to start businesses in Panama– a win-win situation.

Step 8: My Minor Role Today

Today, I play a minor role in the business, focusing on recipes and enjoying the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve created a niche market success story. My small bakery has become part of something much bigger, contributing to the culinary landscape of Panama.

Step 9: The steps I took to start a bakery in Panama

  1. I chose a legal structure for my business. The most common legal structures for restaurants in Panama are sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.
  2. I registered my business name. You can do this online through the Panamanian Public Registry.
  3. I Obtained a business license from the municipality of Panama City. You can apply for a business license online or in person at the municipality office.
  4. I Obtained a sanitary permit from the Ministry of Health. This permit is required for all restaurants in Panama.
  5. I registered my business with the Social Security Fund (CSS). This is required for all businesses in Panama that employ staff.
  6. I obtained a pest fumigation certificate. This certificate is required for all restaurants in Panama.
  7. I obtained a fire safety certificate. This certificate is required for all restaurants in Panama that have a certain number of seats or serve alcohol.
  8. I collaborated with a knowledgeable legal advisor who specialized in assisting with the establishment of restaurants.

Conclusion of a Gluten-Free Journey in Panama

My journey in Panama has been nothing short of amazing. It’s a place where dreams can take root and flourish, where passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of dreams can lead to extraordinary success. I hope you’ve enjoyed this step-by-step tour of my gluten-free journey in Panama, and I encourage you to chase your own dreams, no matter where they may take you. Feel free to visit our little bakery in Marbella. Expat-tations specializes in establishing corporate structures, contact them for any questions that you might have in regards to starting your own business and possibly even receive residency through it.


contributed by Amy Doherty

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