Candela Arepa Bar LLC Story
The first arepas in Baltimore were made back in 2004 at Café Azafrán, Irena Stein's first café located at the Space Telescope Science Institute on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus. When served on occasion as a menu special, arepas would sell out in half an hour no matter how many were made that day and people always requested that we make them more often. The euphoria, response, feedback and excitement were such that we created Alma Cocina Latina in 2015 for people to enjoy arepas and much more on a daily basis.
Alma since then has received numerous accolades, awards, and articles in magazines and newspapers all over the country as noted in the Press page on our website: almacocinalatina.com/press
In September 2020, Alma moved from Canton to Station North. The neighborhood of this Arts District adopted us with full love and support. And we love our neighborhood.
To share the arepa with the world, Irena Stein wrote the first comprehensive Arepa recipe cookbook titled Arepa, Classic and Contemporary Recipes for Venezuela’s Daily Bread. It was published in late July 2023 and is distributed by Simon and Schuster. The front cover has her name, and under it, Alma’s name and the city of Baltimore, our home.While completing the writing of the book at the end of 2022, the retail space on East Lanvale Street next to our restaurant Alma became available. We asked our landlords if they would let us build an arepa bar there, and they enthusiastically agreed and here we are!