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Our Story

Inspired by ancient customs in Spanish pastry-making, La Colmena was born from our love of Spanish gastronomy. It arises from time-honoured family traditions and our fascination with old cookbooks.


Familiar aromas from baking old family recipes magically transport us home. This nostalgia for Spain, was the inspiration for the creation of La Colmena. Our curiosity for the complexity and precision of pastry making led us to intricately explore these classic recipes.

We are passionate about authentic Spanish flavours and La Colmena reflects that. We create traditional pastries to entice you into the sweet world of Spanish cuisine. We hope it may even transport wistful souls to Spain!

La Colmena is a celebration of Spain, its cuisine, its history and its heritage right here in Melbourne. 

La Colmena literally translates into English as The Hive and is a nod to the first artisans, the bees, producers of the most ancient natural sweetener. A hive also refers to a bustling place where people are very busy, such as the hive of activity that is an Obrador: the artisan workshop where pastries are made.

Who We Are

Cristina is La Colmena's founder and pastry chef.

Born in Menorca, she lived in Barcelona before moving to Melbourne in 2009. A self-taught pastry cook, she has been baking traditional family recipes for decades. Cristina has expanded her expertise and knowledge in the world of pastry with training from leading culinary institutions, such as Le Cordon Bleu Melbourne.

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Her passion for the arts brings a visual aesthetic note to all her creations. Whilst her baking skills are influenced by recipes from different regions of Spain, in particular the Balearic Islands -where she was born, Catalonia -where she grew up, and Andalusia and La Mancha, both homelands of her ancestors.

Cristina's passion for pastry and her nostalgia for Spain were the catalyst for the idea of opening a Pastelería  in Melbourne.


History of Pastry in Spain

Spain’s history has been written through its gastronomy. Spanish pastry-making goes back to a centuries-old tradition that has evolved to create the unique and recognizable flavors that define the classics of today's Spanish cuisine.


Since the Middle Ages, there has been a strong link between baking and monastic cuisine, and the creation of many Spanish desserts happened within the walls of convents, where the nuns used the products offered by parishioners to develop new sweets.

For centuries, the mixture of cultures in Spain -Christian, Jewish and Muslim-, caused a boom in baking to celebrate the festivities of different cultural calendars.


With the arrival of Spanish explorers to America, further new ingredients were incorporated, including vanilla and chocolate. These were first introduced to Europe through Spain, with Chistopher Columbus bringing cocoa beans from Mexico to Spain in 1502, a new ingredient that revolutionized European pastry-making.

La Colmena is a tribute to the art of Spanish pastry-making, a homage to a cuisine forged under the influences of the different cultures that populated the Iberian Peninsula over two millennia giving rise to Spain’s unique gastronomic identity. Passed down from generation to generation, Spanish pastry-making is so rich that each region has developed its own characteristic flavours, creating a culinary diversity worthy of admiration.

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From the first civilizations of Spain, honey was the natural sweetener and its use is an ancient activity. With the arrival of the Romans in 206 BC, new products for sweetening purposes were introduced such as wine syrup. The arrival of the Arabs in 711 led to the introduction of a new revolutionary substance: sugar cane, which significantly changed the course of Spanish pastry-making, with Spain becoming the first country in Europe to incorporate the use of sugar in its pastries.

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