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Looking for something new this holiday season? Lucky for you, there is usually plenty of parking space too. This can be a deciding factor, especially in this busy traffic season. Convenience aside, step into another country through this charming little corner market. There aren’t enough places like this around here.

Nine Islands Bakery is a treat like no other in the county. You will find such unique items loyal to Portugal, that you will probably start to introduce all your friends to fun tastes. Owner-operator-bakery, Liduina Sousa, is from São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago.

She makes a lot of delicious pastries. The fresh flavor is unbeatable. Definitely worth a try and if you’re like me you’ll have to keep coming back for more. I need my regular intake of some delicious ones, like the jaw-dropping chocolate macaroon pudding. Tasty and creative – this is definitely my favorite. Sweet breads are also amazing and versatile.

In addition to pastries, breads and other fresh products, you will find a nice selection of products that you might find in a Portuguese grocery store. You can choose from refrigerated, frozen and shelf-stable items and enjoy them later at home. I’m a fan of passion fruit soda, linguica, Pão de Queijo (cheese rolls) and quince jam.

An important thing to remember when entering a new space is to keep an open mind to explore a different culture. Connecting through food is one of the best ways to find out more about someone. Be curious and ask questions. Try to avoid making judgments based on your own culture or social education. Go out and try it!

Find this gem at 1 Padre Parkway Suite D, Rohnert Park, CA. Hours are Tuesday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are closed on Sunday and Monday. The next nearest Portuguese bakery is about 90 miles to the southeast. You have nothing to lose!