An Inheritance of Flour and Dreams: The Story of the Baker from the Coquimbo Region who Won the Sixth Edition of Chilean Momentum

21 •  feb •  2024
  • Michael Ávalos, 35, is dedicated to the preparation of various types of dough, such as bread, pizza bases, and desserts. The entrepreneur was one of the 13 winners in the region, out of a total of 250 selected nationwide.
  • With this edition, more than 900 micro-entrepreneurs from across the country will have gone through the Luksic Foundation program, which provides funding of up to $5 million, training, and mentoring.

On the coastal streets of Los Vilos, Coquimbo Region, an irresistible aroma of freshly baked bread envelops “Mao Pan Artesanal” bakery (@mao.panartesanal). Various types of bread, all crafted artisanally using pre-fermentation techniques, especially with sourdough, peek out from the displays. Behind this establishment is Michael Ávalos, a young man whose story is a testament to effort, dedication, and family tradition.

Michael’s journey begins in childhood, in the heart of his hometown, where his father, Analio Ávalos, worked as a baker. Inspired by his father’s skilled hands, Michael grew up amidst flour and yeast, learning the secrets of this craft from an early age.

In 2013, upon completing his high school studies, Michael enrolled in gastronomy school and spent a couple of years working in the industry. However, it wasn’t until 2016 that he decided to become independent and venture into pastry, starting by preparing various types of cakes.

The initial years with his independent business were good, but after the social upheaval of 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic, problems arose: sales declined, and there was a need to add something more to his venture. It was at that moment that he recalled the knowledge his father had passed down about baking, seeing the opportunity to expand his business.

With dedication and love for baking, Michael applied every lesson his father had taught him from a young age. Each knead and each bake became a valuable lesson, even seeking to extend this baking tradition further by innovating with the preparation of sourdough bread or ready-to-bake pizza bases.

Discovering Impulso Chileno

In 2023, while seeking new opportunities to grow his business, he came across a publication mentioning Fundación Luksic’s Impulso Chileno program, which provides funding of up to $5 million, training with the UC School of Management, and personalized mentoring by the Simon de Cirene Corporation.

He submitted his application, and within a couple of weeks, he began to progress through the process. “I was calm and confident about what I was doing,” expressed Michael. In January 2024, he was informed that he had become one of the 250 winners nationwide.

“For people, it’s just bread, but for my dad, it’s a piece of what he passed on to me. I seek to imprint our story in the final product. Making bread is the soul of who we are,” explains Michael about his bakery, where his father and mother also work nowadays.

“Mao Pan Artesanal” has become a bakery that delivers authentic products for all tastes. Michael attributes this success to his father’s legacy and his perseverance in the face of challenges. “I am wealthy knowing that I have all this. With my story, I would like to inspire other people and continue doing things right. Always from the heart,” he concludes.

In this sixth edition, the winners represent all regions of the country from Arica to Magallanes. The Coquimbo Region had a total of 13 winners, where 9 are women and 4 are men. Among them, 6 ventures belong to the food industry.

In March, participants in the sixth edition of Impulso Chileno will begin the academic program with the Simon de Cirene Corporation handling mentorship and the UC School of Management providing training. All information about the program and other entrepreneurship calls will be published on Fundación Luksic’s social media and