SAN ANTONIO — Work days for Alexia Nadler Mendez start with a check in around the Nadler's bakery & deli. For these San Antonians, running the family bakery comes with big shoes to fill.
"You have to love what you do, to do it all the time, and like I said baking and decorating are arts and not just anybody can do it," Nadler's Bakery & Deli, Director of Operations, Alexia Nadler Mendez said.
Those are shoes that she's all too familiar with.
"I remember growing up in the bakery and my parents being there for hours and I would be sleeping there in the office waiting to go home," Mendez said. "I just knew that this was my heart. That this was where I wanted to be."
Her father Hans, a European trained baker, and mother, Minerva starting the bakery in 1963.
"My dad and my mom worked so hard and it was something that they loved to do together," Mendez said.
The 1976 World's Fair in San Antonio put them on the map.
"In the very beginning my Dad did a lot of the European style pastries which is what he knew best," Mendez said. "San Antonio was a little bit slow at accepting it, so he had to kind of Americanize a little bit of everything that he did."
Their strawberry whip cream cake is what Nadler's Bakery is most noted for today.
Mendez's parents both retired from the business now, and while she's not the baker her mother and father were, it's now it's her turn to fill those orders for their loyal customers.
"I feel honored that I can fill this need of taking over for my dad and mom," Mendez said.
She is continuing the more than 50 year tradition of serving the San Antonio community.
"And hopefully I'll have my next generation come around and start working with what I love best, you never know," Mendez said.