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Cafe-museum makes siblings’ dreams come true

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A brother and sister have teamed up to showcase their twin passions — baking and the history of transport in Bermuda.

Sonia Martins runs Baked, while brother Paul Martins has taken over the back of the Bermudiana Arcade premises and created a museum of transport showcasing historic vehicles from his private collection.

Ms Martins, who formerly worked in office administration, said she had dreamed for years of opening a cafe specialising in Portuguese baking and cuisine.

She added: “I love cooking and I love baking and I did a couple of courses in Ottawa for cake decorating — and my mom taught me a lot. She had a love and passion for baking and food.”

Ms Martins, 38, of Smith's, said: “She said she was going to open a Portuguese shop and bakery, but she died when I was 18, so it's a tribute to her too.”

She added: “Paul and I just took two dreams and put them together.”

The new cafe, on the top floor of the Queen St arcade offers a range of Portuguese pastries and desserts, as well as cakes like the traditional Azores favourite quejada de villa, a custard tart, which are flown in from the North Atlantic island chain.

It also offers a full range of breakfast sandwiches and meals, as well as a traditional Portuguese buffet lunch.

Ms Martin also creates customised cakes and cupcakes to order for birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions and even an “edible arrangement” baked in the shape of a bouquet of flowers.

And a special range of Christmas goodies, including traditional Bermudian cassava pie and 3-D cakes in the shape of snowmen and Christmas trees, are available for order.

Mr Martins said he jumped at the chance to showcase some of his collection, which includes more than 100 motorcycles, as well as an old doctor's buggy horse carriage crafted out of Bermuda cedar and marine exhibits like boats and engines.

He added: “The oldest motorcycle is an Excelsior that was the first motorcycle to be licensed for the general public in 1946. I have a picture of it with the number 1 local plate on it.”

Mr Martins, 47, who owns Martins' Precision Automotive in Bakery Lane, Pembroke, said: “I've been trying to do something like this for 20 years. I've been collecting for 30 years and I still have one of my own first bikes, a Mobylette I got when I was 14.”

In addition to his bikes, Mr Martins also owns 16 classic cars, including British Morris Minors and Austins, Volkswagen Beetles and a rare Beetle-based Karmann Ghia sports car.

Mr Martins said: “I've always had a passion for transport — I've got stuff on display from the days of Bermuda trains and marine exhibits too. The plan over the next few years is to expand and display all the cars, bikes and boats I have.

“I'd like to share my collection with everybody.”

Dozens of bikes — some of them rare and valuable — are on display at the museum, with old valves from Belco engines used to create the stands and rope barriers.

Mr Martins said: “I like to use and repurpose things. I hate to see waste.”

And he said the vehicles on display, some of them painstakingly restored and others in their original condition, would be rotated regularly to keep the display fresh.

The cafe is open from 6am to 4pm, while the museum, which is also available for private parties, is open from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

Siblings' dream: Waitress Sarah Lima, Baked owner Sonia Martins and Vintage Transportation Museum creator, her brother Paul Martins, outside their join venture in the Bermudiana Arcade (Photo by Raymond Hainey)
Vintage transport: Paul Martins with some of his collection of vintage motorcycles

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Published December 04, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 03, 2014 at 7:46 pm)

Cafe-museum makes siblings’ dreams come true

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