Eduardo Daniel Mooyah stands behind the counter at JMB Bakery on 16th Street. Photo by Juan Carlos Lara.
Eduardo Daniel Mooyah has been working in his uncle's bakery since October. Photo by Juan Carlos Lara.

“I’ve gained a lot of weight working here the past six months,” Eduardo Daniel Mooyah said gleefully of his new posting at JMB Bakery, his uncle’s shop. 

The bakery, which opened in October, 2020, at 2907 16th St., offers empanadas, pastelitos and tutis, Mooyah’s favorite. 

But his weight gain can also be attributed to the fact that the bakery near South Van Ness Avenue, is right next to Cocina Mayah, a restaurant owned by Mooyah’s mother. 

“You know how moms are,” Mooyah said, “They overfeed you.”

Aside from giving the 24-year-old steady access to good food, Mooyah said the bakery also helped him provide for his wife and two girls.

Mooyah lost his bartending job at the beginning of the pandemic, and was struggling to find work until his uncle offered him a place at the bakery.

Compared to bartending at Zuni Cafe on Market Street, working at the bakery is much less stressful. 

“Everybody gets along here. It’s not like where you work in other places and people are talking stuff behind your back,” Mooyah said. “We all support each other in everything.” 

The job has also pushed Mooyah, whose family is from Mexico, to improve his Spanish. 

“Where I used to work is mostly whites, so I used to not practice it,” Mooyah said. “Now that I’m right here in the Mission, and a lot of Hispanic people come in, my Spanish started getting better.”

Despite opening not long before San Francisco’s stay-at-home order, Mooyah said the bakery has had steady business from construction workers at the two fully affordable building projects on Folsom Street and from healthcare workers at the Mission Neighborhood Health Center on Shotwell Street. 

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Juan Carlos Lara covers business and development in the Mission. Juan Carlos, a San Francisco State alum, is as much a photographer as he is a writer and previously worked as the campus news editor at Golden Gate Xpress, SF State’s student paper.

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