The Farm Bakery & Café co-owner Rolo Igno started working in restaurants at a young age before joining the military. Then Igno went into law enforcement and executive protection, which offers security to wealthy clients. But when he and his wife were offered ownership of the Farm Bakery & Café, they jumped at the opportunity. Igno would have more time with his family and something to pass down to his children. It’s also a way for him to give back to the community that he loves—in a much different way from his years in law enforcement.
He says the Farm takes pride in customer service and has a homey feel. The “crown jewel” of the menu is the fruit tart with a shortbread/graham cracker crust, with a homemade blend of sweet cream cheeses and an artfully arranged assortment of fruit. Their extensive breakfast and lunch menus feature a variety of pastries and coffee and espresso drinks.
Hours are every day from 8am-4pm (5pm Thursday-Saturday). Igno dished about what sets their fruit tart apart and how his background prepared him to become a restaurant owner.
Why are the fruit tarts so popular?
ROLO IGNO: We are known for them, and they really are our flagship offering. It’s not just the way they look, but the way they taste that sets them apart. People have grown up eating our tarts, they are well-loved and people often have them at their weddings, birthdays and other special occasions instead of a traditional cake. People come from all over the state just to get them, from places like the Central Valley and Sacramento, and even Santa Barbara.
How do your previous careers help you now?
My background in law enforcement and executive protection has given me the ability to anticipate what others will need and provide that for them. This, along with my military background, has helped me to become more flexible and more understanding of other people’s needs. I’ve worn many hats; I thrive in environments where no two workdays are the same. My background has also made me detail-oriented and able to work well in high-stress situations, which definitely helps in the restaurant industry.
The Farm Bakery & Café, 6790 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 831-684-0266; thefarmbakerycafe.com.